Finally Finished the Chairs!

Now I can have people over for dinner again! Who wants to come sit in my new/old chairs! We bought these little swedish chairs in August with the intention of repainting and recovering the seats.  It took until February to do it.  Oh well, they are done now!  You might recall from an earlier post  (January, Little Renovations) that I painted them and took the seats off, but then it took me a while to sit down and actually staple the new fabric on.  But like everything else, once I actually take the time to sit and do a project, it isn’t so bad, and the outcome is grand.  Have a look!



pretty seat...

...using Anna Maria Horner's oil cloth - this fabric is so nice because it is actual cotton fabric which has been laminated (pthalate free!), and not that awful plastic stuff which cracks over time. I think this will last, and be easy to clean.

Really, renovating a chair is super simple. If you have old chairs that need a facelift, don’t be intimidated!

Here’s how:

1. Most seats are only attached with a few screws on the underside, so just flip the chair upside down and unscrew those with a screw driver – and save those screws for later.

2. Now you have the seat cushion off, take out your hammer.  Most of these chairs have the fabric attached with either staples or little tacks.  My chairs had tacks so I used a hammer to pry them out, but if yours has staples, your screw driver will work just fine.  You can save these if they aren’t too bent and old, or you can get new ones.

3.  Pry that old fabric off!

4.  Now is when you sand down the old paint, and put a few new coats on.  If you’re lucky, your kids want to help with this step.  Mine sure did! For 5 minutes…. then they got bored, but I did manage to snap a picture of it, so I can make it look like they are helpful angels…. Ha!

5.  Then while the paint dries (or a month later when you get tired of sitting on random stools you pull up to the table for dinner), you recover the cushions.  Sometimes I like to add a layer of batting (you get this at the local fabric store – ask for the stuff they use inside quilts) for extra cushion, but these chairs are so dainty that I wanted to keep them sparse and sleek, so no batting here.  Basically, you cut your fabric into a square that is at least 6″ wider than your cushion.  You do NOT need perfection here, which is great.  You take your staple gun (or your hammer and tacks) and just staple as you wrap the fabric around to the underside of the cushion.


– Make sure your fabric is facing the direction you want it to go before you start stapling!

– To get a nice tight fit, staple once on all four sides first.  Staple front and back (in the center) and side to side (in the center).  Then fill in all around until all fabric is wrapped and stapled to the underside, smoothing out the corners.  This is a very forgiving process, because it doesn’t have to look good underneath!

– Trim away any excess fabric underneath, screw the cushion back on to the frame using the saved screws from earlier (you still know where they are, right?!) and voila!  Brand new chairs.  Feels so much better….


1 Response to “Finally Finished the Chairs!”

  1. 1 mallorymurray February 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Those turned out beautiful and I simply love your fabric!

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