I’m a bad blogger. We’ve actually done quite a few projects around Stoneybrooke in the past few months but I am constantly having an inner debate between waiting to post until “the final reveal” so as to not spoil the surprise of the end look, and posting piece by piece as we work at the pace of real life.  Since there are still a few more details to take care of before I post a photo of the dining room progress overall, I thought I’d show you the update to our dining room chairs. This is one of the easiest, albeit time-consuming projects ever.
Dining Chairs Before Green White Black Gray Grey

I picked up these bad boys on Craiglist for $5 a pop (that’s right… 8 chairs for $40!!!)  I was pretty stoked to say the least.  They had been sitting out in the rain for a few days before we picked them up so the screws and brackets were a little rusty and the clear coat was peeling up, but that wasn’t a big deal to me since were planning to take them apart.  Here’s a little play-by-play of the excitement.

Step 1: Remove the Nasty

Removing the old fabric and crusty foam was a long process. I recommend you do this step while catching up on your overloaded DVR with a bottle of wine.  I started pulling out each and every one of the old staples on the first couple of seats, but gave up after 2 seats. Some of the plywood was not in great condition because of water damage and pulling out the staples was pulling the plywood apart. Because I don’t plan on keeping these chairs forever, just for a few years until we’re done doing major updates to house and have more room in the budget for furniture, I wasn’t terribly concerned with the chairs being PERFECT.  You don’t see that side of the chair anyway so it’s not a huge deal. If you’re a perfectionist, then have at it… and then come over and do some of my projects for me! *hehe*

table-with-wood-cushions

I used my palm sander on the chairs as much as possible and then did some hand sanding for areas that were hard to get to.  I hate sanding as much, if not more than the next person, so I mainly did the sanding to get the flaky water damaged spots on the wood removed.  Then I used a deglosser on the rest of the wood to soften up the remaining varnish so the new paint would stick.

Step 2: Prime!

This is one of those time where I thought I should probably prime, decided to skip it because of the time crunch I was under, and totally regret it! Always go with what your gut tells you.

Step 3: Paint

I really, really, really wanted to spray paint these chairs, again because of the time crunch, but couldn’t find a color available in a spray that would whisper sweet nothings to me. So, I sucked it up and enlisted slave labor my friends to help.  We did two coats of Valspar Signature Interior Paint/Primer in “High Speed Steel,” waiting a full 24 hours before putting on the second coat. I haven’t used Valspar before but it had good coverage and drying time.  Because its been pretty cold around here and our only time was in the evenings, we had to paint in the basement.  This was not so much a problem for the Valspar since it’s a low VOC paint, but Montana was pretty sure I was going to kill us all when I did the clear coat down there. We’re all living still… just with a few less brain cells.

Dining Chairs Painted Gray Grey

Step 4: Protective Coat

For the top coat I used my favorite Polycrylic by Minewax, that comes either in a spray can or different sized cans for rolling/brushing.  I opted to splurge a little and buy the spray.  I was able to do 2 coats on 8 chairs with only a can and a half so I think it was well worth the few extra dollars to save easily 5 hours of painting time.  This was when I realized not priming (even though my paint had primer in it) was a mistake because some of the red was showing through.  After a few minutes of pouting and self loathing I decided that the lack of perfection on the chairs actually made them look more rustic which is kind of what I was going for anyway.  I was originally going to do two colors of paint on the chairs and rough up the edges to show the second color but the lack of time made me stick with one color.

minewax polycrylic

Step 5: Reupholstering Cushions

Supes easy.  Cut fabric and lay flat, set foam on top of fabric, set wood seat on top of foam, staple. Boom your done!

Ha. To quote Cher Horowitz, As if. Insert cursing the day the electric stapler was invented every few staples as it gets stuck and you have to completely unassemble the stapler to get the stuck staple out. Repeat x100. Step 5A: Go to hardware store and buy an old-fashioned non-electric heavy-duty stapler. (We haven’t done this step yet).  *If anyone has had an electric stapler that they actually like, please comment away.  We bought 2 staplers and they were both HORRIBLE even though they were $50! Not cool!

We used 2″ foam so that they’re nice and cushy and won’t be completely flat after a few years of use.

Green Eco Friendly Cushion Foam

For the fabric I chose a toile from Hancock Fabric which I got for 50% off at the Labor Day sale. Score!

My main tip for stapling is that when you start, staple first in the middle and push the cushion down a bit. If you don’t push the cushion down, then when you flip them right side up, the edge on the foam will be very square.  After you staple the first side, staple the opposite edge before the adjacent edges while making sure you pull the fabric tight. Wait to staple the corner sections until all the sides are done and tuck the fabric under itself like you’re wrapping a present. I gave myself an extra inch of fabric more than I needed to help me pull it tight. You can cut off the extra fabric when you’re done stapling.

how to reupholster dining cushions

I also decided to use a waterproofing spray on the cushions when we were done since the fabric I used was white. Hopefully it helps with spills, If not, I bought an extra yard or so of fabric so I can recover them if necessary.

Step 6: Reassemble chairs and brush your shoulders off. You so fancy.

Dining Chairs After Green White Black Gray Grey

 

And now for the Before and After…

Dining Chairs Before After Green White Black Gray Grey

Hopefully soon we’ll have our table refinished and then I can do a proper “progress” shoot of the dining room. Until then…

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Dining Room Progress | Stoneybrooke Story

  2. I am so glad to have found this! I was recently gifted a colleague’s grandmother’s dining room set when she bought a new one (she wanted to give it to someone who would appreciate that it was SOMEONE’S grandmother’s furniture even though not their own) and I would like to refinish it because the wood is much lighter than the other pieces I own. Maybe I’ll spend my JoAnn’s Christmas Gift Card on fabric to reupholster the chairs.

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