Friday, October 12, 2012

Chair Reupholstery Project: Part 2

Continuing to part 2 of the story...(click here to read part I)



Step one were the cushions. First, I took out the foam cushions and boy were they nasty. One was stinky, which I could never detect through the upholstery, and the other had disintegrated into small popcorn-like pieces. The foam was non-reusable and went right to the dumpster. Then came the fabric which never looked dirty on the surface, but when I started tearing into them with the seam ripper there was 50 years of dust and general grodie-ness coming out with each seam. Now, I don't mind getting my hands dirty while working in the garden or in the yard, but dust and grodie-ness are a whole other thing to me!

At this point I needed to purchase foam and figured I would move on to removing the fabric from the chair itself and get the foam the next day. So I dug in with my fancy schmancy tack pull and started working away. Let me tell you, there were a bagillion staples and they weren't coming out easily! In some places I felt like there were staples on top of staples and there was more of that 50 years of whatever coming out of the fabric with every tug. I started thinking, oh crap, what did I get myself into?

The next day I ran to the fabric store for the foam only to find that it was going to cost $85 for a slab of the stuff. OMG... Then I would still need to purchase more batting and muslin for the chair as well as piping and zippers for the cushions. Ok, this was starting to get overwhelming price-wise and I was starting to think about how much time it was going to take me to rip the rest of this darn chair a part. My pregnancy nesting phase was also just starting to kick in and I was already freaking about how full our house was and how badly I needed to purge before the baby came. When would I have time outside of class to work on this chair? BAAAAAAA!

I bought all of the supplies and went home only to find myself way too stressed out about the whole project over the next few days. The hubster, bless his heart, offered to strip the fabric off the rest of the chair for me but he has enough going on already and I don't think quite realized the time commitment.

Then it hit me that a $4.99 chair had already cost me with class registration, tools, fabric, foam, etc. over $200!

I decided to return the foam and some of my unused supplies and stop the project, and that I would donate the chair and the fabric to the upholstery studio where I took the class so that another student could take on the project where I left off. At the next class I went in and told my instructor and classmates who were all so sweet about the whole thing. I felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders and it felt good.

What I learned from the class was not only the basics of removing and re-covering small pieces but the key thing I will take away is knowing what DIY reupholstery projects NOT to take on.

Any other DIY'ers out there have an upholstery project gone awry? Share below in the comments!
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34 comments:

  1. You actually got started with the class. My upholstery adventure was stopped before it ever started when I went to the community college website and thought I had registered for the class, but a computer glich didn't put me in the class, even though I got a confirmation that my email registration went through. I figured out that there was a problem when the charge for the class never went through on my debit card. By then, the class was full.

    My SIL has bought me an air compressor and stapler, but since I didn't get in the class, he's put off buying me a commercial sewing machine till I actually get some training. :(

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  2. Hey Rachael, I learned my lesson a few years ago when I too took some classes and started working on what seemed a simple chair. Not nearly as simple as it might seem and the project stalled and I gave it to some friends to have finished. a professional upholstery person earns their money! Thankfully I've got a great one!

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  3. I've always wanted to learn how to upholster furniture. They always make it look easy on tv. I'm sorry you weren't able to finish the project. But the little polka dot storage project came out adorable!!

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  4. This chair is damn gorgeous. I'd have scooped it up for a project at that price, too. My new partner and I are going to tackle re-upholster projects and document them on the blog in the future, but I haven't taken one on yet. It looks damn difficult! Good luck with future projects!

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  5. I sincerely admire your resourcefulness and creativity in remaking this sofa into a more pleasing and useful piece. It appears to me that it's good as new. Kudos to you, Rachael! I'll make sure to be attuned to you in the future times.

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