Meet my sad little chair. Old girl has been with me since college, when I found her at a flea market and slapped some royal blue paint and cheap-o yellow fabric on her seat. Since neither of these colors plays a big part in my current abode, I felt the need to give her some new clothes and dress her up a bit so she didn’t feel out of place next to our new bed or the womb chair. Her current state was pretty embarrassing, right? So I took a screw driver and some pliers and went to work.
The demolition of the chair fabric was probably the hardest part, but once I got started it went along pretty quickly. I made sure to keep the fabric in one piece so I could use it as a template for the new seat fabric, once I gave this girl a fresh coat of white paint.
For this paint job, I decided to forgo my paintbrush, and pick up some semi-gloss white spray paint from my local hardware store. With the little details on the legs and the canning on the barrel back, spray paint was the way to go. Just be sure to do this outdoors in a well ventilated area and away from anything that you might not want bits of white paint to get on (including yourself, or your dog).
After my paint dried, I laid out my new fabric (I decided to go with a different pattern than I originally thought, still from Calico Corners – this one was much more “me” in hindsight) and placed my old seat fabric down as a template. I bought a whole yard of this new fabric so I could be sure I got the right gray-to-chartreuse ratio to my liking. Once I cut all the way around my old seat fabric, I made little slits in the fabric where the chair legs would go. This way, I could lay the fabric on the chair and cut my way around the leg holes as I went. I felt that if I cut the pattern exactly how the old seat fabric was, it wouldn’t fit exactly the same and I would be short on fabric. That’s just my luck.
Once I finagled the fabric around the legs and shape of the seat, I started nailing it into place, starting at the parts that were the loosest and hardest to get taught. Believe it or not, I got this tip from my husband, who helped a friend upholster a seat cushion on this boat – who knew? I pulled the fabric down pretty tight at each nail spot, and worked my way around the chair – a few nails at each chair leg, and then at the leg diagonal to that, and so forth. I learned it was best to not start nailing at one space and work your way all around clockwise, since you’re constantly pulling and tweaking to make sure the seat is tight. After my nailing was completed and I had used a screw driver to help me really jam those suckers in there, I cut off the excess fabric and hot glued my trim piece over the nail heads.
And voila! After a couple of afternoons worth of work, my sad chair had its much needed facelift. I love how the new fabric is basically different shades of neutral gray, but with a few great pops of yellowy greens. Along with the white paint, it was the fresh start that my old chair certainly needed.
Plus, with one yard of fabric only putting me back $17.00 (on sale!), a trim piece for $3.00 and $3.00 for spray paint, this project was not even 25 buckaroos. A new chair would have put me back at least $100, so I’m pretty happy with my little weekend makeover. What do you think?