Monday, June 26, 2017

Arm Chair Makeover

A while back (like maybe early last fall) while utilizing my time wisely... okay, while perusing the Facebook yard sale sites, I found a set of wood arm chairs that stopped me in my tracks. I have been looking for a chair to pair with my grand-mother's French table.

I love this table. I am not sure what it was intended to be. My grand-mother purchased it when stationed in France with my grand-father. He entered the military during WWII and trained as a pilot. In the 50's they were stationed in France. My grand-mother loved cooking and she loved Julia Child! I suppose I can understand though my cooking crushes are more along the lines of the Pioneer Woman.  I imagine this table would have been lovely for rolling out pastry dough because of it's stone top but it is short. Perhaps it was a bistro table of some sort? I am just not sure. I do know that over the years it was used in different ways. She used it as a sewing table at one time. At some point it was passed down to my mother and she kept it outdoors on the covered patio adorned with potted plants. When my dad downsized, after mom went home, the table became mine. It has been to France, Korea, the Carolina's, Florida, Arizona, and now Massachusetts. It should have a passport!

Being so well traveled, I think she deserves a pretty chair that compliments her. Where do I go? I'm sure you can think of some pretty nice stores or online avenues that have beautiful, worthy options but that's not my first stop. I love the hunt... and a bargain and couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy two chairs for $30. (I think that is what I has been a while.) Where? On a local yard sale site on Facebook!  I have never reupholstered a chair before but figured I couldn't mess it up too bad. Right?

Life happens and these chairs sat for months without any attention. One day in December I decided to take off the cording and fabric. This is a tedious job! The little staples are a bear to take out but I persevered and eventually I was left with a naked seat. I kept the fabric, as I will use it as my pattern for the new seat cover.

Two months later...

I would paint the chair in a white chalk paint, I decided, one snowy afternoon.  I had paint from another project on hand and went to town until I ran out of paint. Ughhhh!

It turned out for the best. As the chair sat there mocking me for not having had enough paint to finish the project I realized she was not ever supposed to be white. I purchased some chalk paint from Lowes in black. This was an expensive can of chalk paint! I wanted to try the product vs. making my own. I don't know that I would do that again. The chair ended up taking three coats. Patience is the name of the game when tackling all the little cut-out area. I kept missing places that I thought I had gotten.

I allowed the chair to dry for a few days. After I was sure the chalk paint was completely dry I gave the whole piece two coats of a clear, satin finish to protect the paint. This chair will be used and I want it to last a while.

I went to my local fabric store, coupon in hand, and shopped for the perfect fabric. Everything I was looking at just wasn't appealing to me. I don't want the chair to compete with the table. I scratched that idea of finding traditional fabric and headed to the home improvement store. I purchased a medium weight drop cloth (hallway sized) and cut it in 1/2. I laid my fabric that I had removed from the chair onto the drop cloth and cut out a piece approximately 1 1/2 inches larger.

Using my regular old staple gun I stapled the fabric onto the chair; one staple on the back, pull taught to the front and staple. I did the same on either side and then started filling in, smoothing and tucking where necessary.

Now I needed cording. Ugh. Why didn't I think about this first? I know you can make cording by cutting your fabric on the bias and blah, blah, blah but I am not ever going to do that. I know my limits. How can I get around this??? Back to my fabric store.... They had nothing pre-made that would work with my chair and fabric. I don't want it to stand out. Finally, I grabbed some cording filler; this is the stuff that you cover when making your own cording...and, again, we all know I am not going to do that.

Instead, I am going to just glue this directly over my staples! Crazy? Maybe, but I am going to make it work.

First I trimmed the excess fabric close to the staples.

Then, I grabbed my handy-dandy glue gun I glued the cording over the row of staples. When all was said and done I was sort-of happy. I could see some of my glue and I could see raw edges still peeking out.

I headed back to my fabric store and bought some more cording.  I applied a second row and that was the trick! This is just a cotton and I am worried that it may pull and come undone. Using watered down Modge Podge I brushed over the cording, not to saturate but to just seal it and bind it to protect it against wear.  Perfect? No, but for my first try I am happy with the results. I will live with it for a while and see how it goes. I have the matching chair waiting for a makeover. My plan is the sell that one but we will see how well this one lasts first. Maybe I will sell this one and keep the second one...

My table and chair work beautifully together, now. I think my grand-mother would approve. 

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