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My Reupholstery Crash Course

I bought this pair of French chairs at an auction almost a year ago.  I had fallen in love with them and they had to be mine.  I was willing to pay about $100 for the pair, but ended up walking away with them for $20. 
Of course, they were orange.  I guess other people just couldn’t see beyond that. 
I originally made slipcovers for them, but they looked so sloppy after someone sat on them.  After slipcovering my sofa in the living room this week, I had a “bee in my bonnet” to do something with these chairs.  So, I browsed through my upholstery books, took a deep breath, and started ripping away the orange fabric.  I didn’t want to take this chair totally down to the frame, so I worked section by section to make sure I didn’t get overwhelmed. 
I bet most of you can guess what the chair is covered in – a painter’s drop cloth that was bleached.  I can’t believe how much it looks like an old grain sack.  It has this wonderful nubby texture that plays nicely against the warm wood.  It keeps these chairs from looking too stiff and formal. 
I am really proud of my double welting cord, which was also a first for me.
I painted stripes down the center of the chair to further hint at an old grain sack. 
I even made a pillow to match my curtains.  Did I mention I was up until midnight?
It looks so much better and “cleaner” now that it’s been reupholstered.  It’s not perfect, but I knew these would be my “learning chairs” and I learned a lot on the first one already.    For my first time, I think I did a pretty darn good job (if I don’t say so myself.)

I used an electric stapler that really didn’t drive the staples in very well, so I’m on my way out to buy a pneumatic stapler that I can use with my compressor.  I didn’t take pictures to write a tutorial on this one, because I was just learning myself.  I’ll take some pictures and give you some tips when I work on the twin chair. 

Come back Thursday night through Friday night to share your most recent furniture finds and makeovers at my Furniture Feature Friday link party. 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the crochet camera bag.  It runs through Saturday.

Miss Mustard Seed
I’m sharing this at JAG’s Show & Share Party and CSI’s Fabric Week.

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  1. Great way to recycle (or upcycle as I like to call it.) I love it and would love to see you post this at my linky party Upcycled Awesome!

  2. yes please!! make sure to give details on how-to's and all that! i really need to reupholster a chair of mine and have no idea where to start. =)

  3. Deb CLaytor says:

    I have begun an upholstery job, and my electric stapler doesn’t shoot the staples all the way in….guess a pneumatic stapler is better.
    I can’t find any info about the stapler you use or the compressor.
    For I am looking to purchasing both for my birthday.

  4. When it is more routine than we care to admit however it
    would be best to examine our way of working so that we can find a solution to
    the problem. If the client doesn’t ask, do you promise something anyway or just let the work go to the bottom of the pile. Treasured family heirlooms which are very much staying in the same home as well as things bought by dealers and being readied for the auction room are commonly worked on.

  5. Colleen says:

    I have seen a tutorial on how to paint the stripes on the drop cloth somewhere. I have looked through your tutorials and can’t seem to find it. Have you posted one before? Hope so! Thanks!


  1. […] going to look cheap.  If you reuse them in creative ways, they can look fantastic! This French chair was upholstered in a bleached drop cloth. Slipcovers were made out of drop cloths for all of my […]

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