Sunday, August 22, 2010

DIY Chair Upholstery

Remember the chair I got for $10 at the world's longest yardsale? Here is is below when I bought it. It actually looks better because by this point I had thrown away a nasty back cushion.

First I removed the fabric on the chair and the trim. The trim was glued on and the fabric was stapled.

Next came off a layer of foam followed by a layer of batting. Here is the chair completely stripped down, ready to redo.

Next I picked a fabric, which was Waverly's Criss Cross pattern. (I ordered 2 yards, which turned out to be way too much. I only used about half a yard total.) I lightly sanded it, just to take off the gloss, and then used a Valspar white primer that I picked up at Lowe's. Here it is with one coat of primer. Better already!
 I waited about an hour for that to dry, then sprayed it with Valspar's Satin white spray paint. One can turned out not to be enough, so I went to Wal-Mart. There I got some Krylon white satin spray paint, and the new batting and foam cushion I would need.
This came to less than $20 total. So after I finished spray painting and the chair dried, I added the new foam and batting.
I ended up putting down a layer of batting, then the cushion, then another layer of batting over that. I filled in the areas where the foam didn't cover so it would be the same thickness all over the seat of the chair. Next I used the fabric piece I had kept to cut out a rough shape of the cushion.

Then I stretched the fabric over the cushion and batting, and pulling tightly, began to staple. I used a staple gun we already had with 9/16ths size staples. I tried to fit the staples in the groove running around the bottom of the chair where the trim had previously been glued in.
As you can see, it was difficult to get the staples even and some of them completely missed their mark. I cut slits in the side where the fabric met the arm, and stapled the excess fabric tightly to the underside of the arm to form a neat corner. After the stapling was complete, I used a rubber mallet to nail in some nickel nailhead trim all the way around, covering up the staples completely.
I got the nailheads at Lowe's for $1.24 a pack. I bought five the first time, with 25 in each pack, but ended up making a second trip for more. Total I used 9 1/2 packs, totaling roughly $12. I carefully hammered these in all the way around, but still managed to mark up the legs and sides a little. I'll need to go back and touch up some of the white. So here is the finished product, costing around $60 for everything I used and the original cost of the chair.
This is going in the bedroom for a much needed reading chair. I think it fits the space perfectly and for minimal effort and cost. What do you think?


  1. What a great job on that chair. I can't believe you did the nailheads! It looks great.

  2. So pretty! I love your fabric choice, very chic!