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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Old Chair, New Look...

Before we carrying on with the next bathroom update, 
check out our chair that we revamped...

Remember all the old things I found under my parents house a little while ago? 
(You can read more about that here). 
Well after staring at this poor chair for a few months, 
I finally decided it was time for a revamp. This and the fact that I had now found material to use for the cushions. BUT before I carry on with how we did it, can i just say that I got such a good deal with this material!! I got it from Biggie Best in La Lucia Mall for an absolute bargain. Most of the material there is in the range of R270 upwards but I got three metres for R105 total!!!! It was on sale for R35/m. So despite being short on cash, I went ahead and bought it anyway. Normally this material would have cost me at least R800 for the same amount. After finding the material, I also got some foam cut for the seat of the chair and wadding/padding for the back of the chair. (actually Karin did this for me... Thanks Karin!!) We just used some brown paper to trace the shapes we needed for the foam for the seat and the back.

After cutting out my material, I started off by ripping out all the old torn canvas you see below. The original backing of this chair used to be cane and there were still little bits of cane stuck around the edges of the chair so we had to pry this out before carrying on. It was quite a time consuming process as we sat with a hammer and screw driver and slowly hammered it all out, being careful not to damage the chair. 
After this was done, I gave the whole chair a light sanding before painting it with two coats of wood primer. The wood primer I used was Plascon Wood Primer UC2. I then left it overnight to dry before bringing out my can of white spray paint. I have found an awesome white spray paint that is really good quality and covers really well. It is called RUST-OLEUM Painter's Touch: Ultra Cover, Gloss White. I only needed two coats before it was looking lovely and white... 
Because I loved this paint so much I went and bought two more cans and I gave our two bed-side tables and some frames we found some new glossy white life. 

Below you can see the chair in all its lovely white glossy-ness. (it looks better in real life)
The other picture shows the backing material on. We just cut it to size, using the brown paper pattern we had made and used a staple gun to attach it to the chair. We had to make sure that we pulled the material quite tight before we stapled it on. We stapled it from the front but the staples won't be visible because of the cushion that goes on the front.

Before we started on trying to upholster the back section of the chair, I attempted to make a cushion for the seat of the chair. Thanks to Karin for lending me her sewing machine and guiding me through making my first cushion cover... 
it even has a zip and piping around the edges...
To make the backing of the chair, we did a bit of recycling and pulled the masonite back off an old cupboard we were going to throw out. Again we used our brown paper pattern to draw out the shape it had to be. Once we had cut it out of the wood we laid some wadding over it and the material on top of that and slowly pulled it over the edges and then stapled it at the back. This process wasn't as quick or simple as I have just explained. Because this was our first attempt at any kind of re-covering/upholstery, it was very trial and error but it turned out well in the end. After the piece of wood was covered and looking pretty, we stapled it on to the back of the chair, this too was not terribly easy but after some time we got it to work. It would have been slightly easier if we had used a thinner wood but we were just using what we had lying around.
After this was done we used some edging/lacey stuff and glued it around the edges with a hot glue gun and finished it off with a some nice tacks, the edging and tacks were also compliments of Karin. While we were attaching the backing Karin sat quietly at her sewing machine and within fifteen minutes had whipped up the lovely little scatter cushion. Thanks for all your help with this Karin.. it turned out lovely. It really was a team effort...

A quick project breakdown

The chair: 
Removed old canvas, removed old cane edging, sanded lightly, 
two coats of wood primer, two coats of white spray paint.

The cushions:
Made a pattern of the seat and backing using brown paper, bought foam and wadding, 
bought material, cut out material, sewed the seat cushion, cut out wood for chair backing, 
upholstered chair backing, attached to chair, finished off with edging, tacks and scatter cushion.

This whole project cost about R380 to do. You could never find such a lovely, real wood chair for that price in the shops. So D.I.Y and finding and re-vamping old things is not only cheaper but we have fun doing it. 
Of course it always takes a whole lot longer than you think it would and is never as easy as you think but the end product is always so satisfying...