Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fun with a Staple Gun: Recovering Chairs

I have lived with no real dining room chairs for a number of years.  It never seemed to be a big deal; I would use folding chairs or my desk chair if I wanted to get fancy and not eat dinner on my couch.  However, I figured it was time to grow up and have a real place for my guests to sit and eat.  My parents started me out with a nice antique wooden chair with a leather seat cushion.  This was probably from my Grandma Grace... she is responsible for all of my "real" non-Ikea furniture.

When I started looking around for the other 3 chairs, I soon found that chairs are darn expensive!  So, I started foraging in the local thrift stores.  We have a few good ones in Richmond.  So far, for furniture, my favorites are Diversity Thrift and DT2.  I especially like DT2 because it is conveniently located on Main Street and I often pop in when I'm headed other places in the city.
Photo: Diversity Thrift

After a few months of looking, I ended up with one $8 chair from DT2 and one free chair that my parents found on the side of the road with a "free" sign attached to it.  Neither of them were much to look at, but they were built solidly, I couldn't beat the price, and I saw potential!  I'm still patiently looking for another chair to complete the set.
My $8 DT2 Chair
Free Side-of-the-Road Chair

To make it look somewhat intentional, I chose to recover all of my chairs in the same fabric (not the leather one).  I loved this green and brown pattern that I found at JoAnn.
I chose to paint the side-of-the-road chair green to compliment the fabric.  I took my dad's advice and took the time to sand off the old finish before spray painting.  He is usually right in all matters of building things, so I have learned to just listen to him and not cut corners.
Painted Side-of-the-Road Chair
I unscrewed the seat covers, took off the old fabric, replaced the foam, and covered with new fabric.  I stapled the fabric onto the underside of the seat cover with my shiny new staple gun that I bought just for this project.
Seat cover with new fabric and foam
I'm very happy with the way they turned out.  The green paint and fabric are bright and cheery and the chairs make me happy whenever I see them.  I guess I should start sitting at the table now!

Finished chairs!
Of course, after I figured this project out for myself, I read the March-April issue of Richmond Magazine's R-Home and saw a very helpful article on how to refinish and cover an old chair called "The Chair Challenge"!  It was written by Karen Guard, author of the Darling Octopus blog.  I'm happy to say that my methods didn't really deviate from hers, so I feel like I did it right.  Plus, now I have a cool new blog to follow!

The reason I had the March-April issue of Richmond Magazine's R-Home is that they did a profile about me!  Check it out here.
My profile in R-Home Magazine

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