Monday, April 30, 2012

Carlee's Wingback Chair

Poor Carlee.  This chair was in a sad state.  It's home is a 1st grade classroom where 7 year-olds are always climbing on it.  Now, there are no rips, its so cute and all the other teachers are jealous.  

I thought this would only take 4-5 hours to re-cover.  Uh, no!  Way longer.  I bet there were about 400 staples holding all that old fabric and batting on there. And those staples were buggers to remove, let me tell you.  Like, 3/4 inch staples jabbed in to some hard wood.  By the time I got her all stripped down I had multiple hot spots on my hands from the pliers and screwdrivers.  Not complaining though.  Just sayin'!  If you wonder why professional re-upholsterers charge upwards from $300 to redo a chair like this one, that's why.  It's labor-intensive!  But oh, so worth it to have an updated, sturdy chair with fabric on it that you love!  

It's kind of my first one that I've done... I learned a ton by just taking the old materials off of it.  That's the key: if you want to attempt it yourself, when you're tearing it down pay attention to what order the different parts of the chair were originally covered in and observe the upholstery techniques that were used.  If you notice those details, and have some willpower, you can do it too!



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  1. Holy moly!! That looks incredible!

  2. Your chair looks fantastic. I have two chairs just like this. I've been afraid to attempt recovery due to the channeled back. How did you fit the fabric in the channels?

  3. Thanks guys!

    Beach Mil-
    The back of it was also my main worry when I started the project. I decided instead of removing the entire back cushion (which was heavily stapled on)and having to sew the new fabric on in between the grooves, which would probably have to be done by hand because there was a lot of cushioning, I decided to just start from middle, lay the new fabric right over the old, and put hot glue in the cushion cracks, then quickly push the fabric down in. I started out the project with fabric tack glue but switched over to plain ol' hot glue out of a glue gun because it adhered much faster and better, I thought. I did this while the old back cushion was still on the chair in its original place.
    Hope that helps!

  4. Wow, this chair looks amazing, Melissa!! In your hunts for new furniture pieces, if you ever see a steal on a similar chair that needs recovering, let me know! (I guess I should ask what your rate is for recovering, though, too) But anyway, I have been looking for a similar style wingback/Queen Anne/etc. style chair to use as a photography prop.