Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Seat Recover Tutorial-Throw Away Chairs

Who's That Peaking?
You know what I love about 8pm trips to the store for cat food? Free stuff people put on the sidewalk after they've spent the evening cleaning the clutter from their homes.

I picked up these two little gems last week.  They were literally tossed out the front door.  One seat was completely torn off of the frame.  The old seating was covered with a really hardened and cracked plastic.  They were the type of filthy that I wore gloves just to handle.  

Lighting Sanded
What I saw behind the nasty layers of worn away finish was the structure and grooves of the wood.  Beautiful and delicate with a simplistic design.  These chairs are really light unlike the heavy and cumbersome I am use to.

With a medium grit sanding block I scuffed off the finish going with the grain lines, brushing away the dust as I went.  

Two Layers of Milk Paint
I applied two layers of milk paint and then let them dry overnight.  By the next morning the milk paint true to it's unique nature adhered to certain sections and curdled away from others.

With a flat putty knife I very lightly went over the surface of the chair flaking away the areas that hadn't adhered, brushing away the flakes as I went.  The milk paint doesn't continue to peel like latex paint leaving large bald areas with harsh lines.  It just chips away here and there.  

After scraping the surface I applied two coats of Minwax Finishing Paste to seal and protect the milk paint from grubby fingers.  

The old plastic seat covering was peeled away to reveal an equally disgusting layer of fabric.  The treasure in the mess were the little metal nails.  I pulled every one of them out, cleaned them up and used them to recover the seats with a new layer of material.  

To cut the fabric to size I just outlined the seat and added 4 inches of material around the perimeter.  I then cut a thick piece of batting to add a little cushion underneath the fabric.  Laid the fabric wrong side up, placed the batting in the middle then sandwiched is down with the wood seat bottom face up.  To get the fabric taught the material needs to be nailed alternating the parallel sides.  So put a few nails in the right side and then put in a few nails on the left side parallel to where the nails were placed on the right side.  Once those sides are nail down then you work on the two remaining sides. 

 The corners are the final step.  There was no method to my madness and I know there is a correct way to finish the corners so if you are really concerned with doing it the correct way do a google search.  However, I'm pretty please with the end result of my corners.  

Last step was screwing the seat back onto the chair from underneath.  I haven't ever refinished and covered a seat before so there definitely was a squeal of delight.  The gals in my family are all really handy and have done this before, especially Grandma Judy and Auntie Carla.  With some of their projects in mind I'm pretty proud to finish my first baby project to boost my confidence to attack something bigger next time!  

Fresh Seat Love-Jessie


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