Sunday, January 16, 2011

Home Improvement Project for the Home Improvement Project-Impaired. This Would Be ME.

I have never liked my dining room chairs. Actually, that's not accurate - I LOVE the beautiful cherry chairs that match the dining room furniture we inherited from my mother-in-law. I just never liked the material with which the chairs were covered. It was floral, it was faded, it was old and it didn't match the rug in the dining room.

So. I had one of my HOW HARD CAN IT BE moments. These moments rarely turn out well because the answer to HOW HARD CAN IT BE is usually PRETTY DAMN HARD. But I was on a mission. I could recover those chairs myself! I could pick out material and order it and cover them all by myself! HOW HARD COULD IT BE. My first stumbling block came at the upholstery store where I learned just how expensive upholstery material can be. Then I realized what I really wanted was just some simple navy fabric and maybe I could buy a few yards of that. So I had to find a fabric store, which I wasn't even sure existed anymore but guess what? They totally do!

I found the perfect, very inexpensive navy fabric and had the fabric store cut me a big piece. I had the unusual foresight to take of the chair seat and bring it with me to the store so they could tell me just how much I needed. The rather snippy sales person refused to cut small pieces for me and just sniffed and stared disdainfully when I told her it is physically impossible for me to cut straight. So I bought some tailor's chalk and figured I can do this. Don't forget HOW HARD CAN IT BE.

She did sigh and bring herself to tell me how long I should cut the pieces so I measured carefully, drew a line with my chalk and cut the pieces. The original material had been tacked on with little nails but I thought a staple gun would work better and easier and I was correct. Even though it did technically take me 1/2 hour to figure out how to get the staples INTO the staple gun.

I wasn't sure how to make the material stay in place so I got out some strapping tape and taped it on while I stapled, but that wasn't really necessary. Once you start stapling, it pretty much stays in place. So, here's how to do it. And you know what? HOW HARD CAN IT BE this time was actually PRETTY DAMN EASY.

Here's the chair with the original flowered pad. Needs work!

The chair bottoms are just held on with screws and pop right off.

There were lots of staple gun choices - I got one that was fairly small and easy to manage. I could actually staple with one hand, which was handy since I could hold the material with the other hand.

You can still see the tape I thought I would need - I didn't even use it on the next chair. I cut more material off the next time too and this helped the material to lie even smoother.

I had a little issue when I got ready to put the first chair back together and realized I had covered over the screw holes with material! So, um. Don't do that.

Voila! Much more navy in real life than it looks in the picture, so I was pretty pleased with myself.

Here's a finished chair. Love the way it matches the navy in the rug.

And here's the two chairs together so you can compare. Much better, huh?



Granny Annie said...

You have SO inspired me. I have a chair in my bedroom with a piece of tapestry cloth that has been draped over it for FIVE years. I shall now attempt to cover the chair. Will let you know how it goes.