Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Well, the chair makeover is finally complete!  I learned a lot with  my first experience with upholstery, and am happy with the final result.  Drumroll please.................

Do you remember what it looked like before, in its brown and gold glory??

Parts of it were very easy, and parts of it proved to be a bit more difficult...however, I thought it wasn't a bad process for a beginner like me.  Here's how I (and my sidekick husband) made it work:
1.  Remove all old fabric -- including staples.  I used some needlenose pliers for this and it worked fine.  On this particular chair, the bottom cushion was attached to wood that sits inside of the chair frame, so I pulled that out, then removed the back cushion.
2.  Next, we decided to remove the wicker side panels.  At first, I thought I'd paint them, but then I envisioned globs of "beach white" paint stuck in all the crevices -- which would inevitably end with tears of frustration.  So...out with the wicker.
3.  Sand the whole thing really good.  I used my hubby's handy-dandy Craftsman "multi-tool" with the sanding attachment.  It was so easy!  Here's a pic of the stripped and sanded chair:

Those are wet puppy prints on the floor :)

4.  Next, the chair is ready to be primed.  We used Kilz oil-based primer in a rattle can.  I'm not "allowed" to use spray paint because Mark is convinced that I can't do it right.  No matter...that means I got to relax on the couch while he inhaled the primer fumes in the garage.  I guess the trick (that I am apparently incapable of) is spraying evenly and lightly to avoid runs.
5.  After the priming, I sanded any imperfections again so I'd have a nice smooth surface for my paint.
6.  I chose Behr "Beach White" for the color -- a nice off-white creamy color.  Brushed it on with a 1" brush, nice and light!  That way, there's no globs, runs, etc.  It takes a little patience to paint everything slowly and smoothly, but the result is worth it.
7.  Upholstery next.  The bottom cushion was easy.  I used the existing cushion, stretched the fabric over the top, and stapled it on the bottom.  Just make sure that you pull the fabric really tight!  Here's what it looks like on the bottom:

8.  The back cushion was the hardest part of this project.  The cushion is sort of balaced between two pieces of fabric, then stapled into the sides of the frame of the chair.  There was no wood back to staple the fabric to -- you can see in the above picture how the back is open.  After much frustration, and major help from my "sidekick", we managed to get it in place.
9.  Last, I hot glued the trim around the edge of the back cushion.  Voila!!

I'm proud of how it turned out. :)

Now, I just need a living room makeover to match my new chair!


  1. omg this turned out AMAZING...!!!!!!!

  2. I love this! The fabric is fabulous. Where did you get it? Do you have a shot of the back? You did a terrific job! Oh and when hubby says you can't do something... just do it when they aren't home ;) I also need to get a sample of that beach white, might be the right white for my cabinets!

  3. What a fabulous job. Seriously. I love the fabric you chose and the white color you painted it. Such a wonderful improvement!