October 15, 2010

Cane Chair Makeover.

I've been wanting to attempt chair reupholstering for awhile now and it finally happened yesterday! I took the day off because I had a plumber doing some work on the house and figured I'd put my time off to good use! So I ventured into the garage and pulled out this beauty! This chair (it has a twin sister, too!) belonged to my grandmother and from the stories I've heard she loved this thing! Before I began, I had done a ton of research on reupholstering chairs and most of the sites I found had this long list of supplies I would need and detailed step by step instructions...but all I used were scissors - to cut the new fabric, a drill - to remove the monstrously large screws holding the cushion in place, needle nose pliers - to remove the ridiculous amount of staples, and a staple gun - to recover the cushions.
Other than the cushion...it was in great condition! So I unscrewed the bottom cushion and got to work removing the staples. This was the most time consuming part of the process. It took me a good 2 hours to remove all the staples and old upholstery.

Once that was finally done, I layed the old pieces out in order to use them as a template for the new fabric. The old chair had tufting and since this was my first time experimenting with reupholstering I decided to skip the tufting and just filled in the wholes with cotton balls. Normally, you'd want to use some sort of batting but I didn't have any and I wasn't going to make a trip to Joann's just for that so I improvised! Now it was time for the fun stuff! I pulled out the staple gun and attached the new fabric to the cushion! Let me just tell you, I could have stapled all day!! Which now that I think about it, that's probably the reason there were so many staples to begin with - it's easy to get carried away! And this picture gives you a sneak peak at the fabric I chose! Next I took the chair outside and spray painted it granite. It only took 2 coats and this pic was after the first coat. The back cushion was pretty strongly attached...it was probably glued on and still in good condition so I just left it on. After it dried, I brought it back inside and started recovering the back of the chair - it was a little tricky just making sure that everything got tucked in smoothly but even that part wasn't too difficult.

So here are a few shots of the after...
The back... So one more time...here's the before:
And the after!!
I love it, I love it, I love it!! This chair is now one of my favorite things in my living room. Overall, I'm super happy about the way it turned out. I can see a few imperfections but it's nothing that I can't get over and I will not be pointing them out any time soon!

I have another pretty grand idea that I've been bouncing around that involves a little reupholstering and some other stuff so this was project was great practice! Until next time...


  1. Simply amazing! You're so crafty! It's almost like you're making the house a mosaic with all these fun re-purposed pieces from your grandparent's past. I look forward to seeing the next!

  2. Rachel, this is FABULOUS! I just bought a couple chairs the other day that I'm doing the same thing! Love the grey/black and white!

  3. Fantastic! Fantasticfantasticfantasic!

  4. Hi Rachel - I found your site next to mine! and think you are very talented - well done - love the colours and fabrics - you make it sound so easy to do - may have to start myself! If you dont mind will follow you to see what u do next!

  5. I love your site, you are giving me so many ideas, I can't wait to do my teenage daughter's room.