This summer I have what seems like a gizzilion furniture makeovers to do for my new house. This Monday I decided to tackle three of the dining room chairs. They were picked up at an estate sale by my mom for $20. She then stripped off all of the old, disgusting paint with paint stripper and a plaster scraper. Then I sanded them, cleaned them with Liquid Gold the same way I would dust, and then painted a coat of polyurethane gloss varnish. So this is what they looked like after the clean up:
They are now ready for new cushions!
Carpet Tacks- Can be found in the specialty nails section at your local hardware store
Decorative Upholstery Nails- I bought mine at Joannes but they have them at Lowes as well
1. Cut out the plywood to needed size of the seat. I just traced the original seat. If you do not have the original then make a template with newspaper and then trace it on to your ply wood. Make sure to know what style of chair you have, either the wood sits on top of the chair or it fits into a cutout. (These directions are for the first type, recovering the other type is slightly different.) Cut out the bases with a jigsaw.
2. Add the batting or cotton stuffing to your bases. I reused the batting from the old cushions because it was still in good shape, I saved some money and they really do not make batting the way they used to.
3. Glue the new seats to the chairs. I chose to glue them rather than nail them so as not to split the wood. When you recover older chairs, the wood is very brittle and likely to split. I was able to use glue because the seat does not have to come back out to recover. So put a solid line of wood glue around the base of the chair and then center the wood on top. Brace the wood down so that the glue adheres fully and the wood does not bow. I used heavy books and some scrap wood with braces.
4. Next make a template for the fabric. Use newspaper and put it over the batting. Figure out how much fabric you will need to tack it to the chair but not too much excess. Pin the new template to the fabric, and cut it out.
5. Now for the fun part! Tack the fabric down to the chair. Start with the back center, the front center and then the sides to make a cross. Make sure to pull it tightly so that there are no wrinkles in the finished product. Then fill in the rest of the circle so that the fabric does not come up anywhere.
6. Before adding the finishing touch, cording. Double check that the edge of fabric will be completely covered. You will probably have to trim off some excess.
7. Once all of the excess is trimmed off then pick where you want the ends to be, I like to start near a back corner. Put down a ribbon of the Fabric Fusion glue and then press the decorative cording down. Add decorative nails to further secure the cording and fabric. I added them about every six inches. Go all the way around the chair seat, and over lap the ends. Put a decorative nail over the ends so that the don't fray or come loose.
Now you are done! Not too bad, not too bad.