Monday, 4 March 2013

How I Recovered My Dining Room Chairs

You may remember that one of my 2013 home goals was to update the look of the dining room.  There are several things I want to do in the room, including sewing a table runner, making curtains and changing out the rug.  Of the many things I want to do, I felt that recovering chairs would have the biggest impact, so that's where I started.  Do you remember how the chairs looked before?
They didn't look too bad, but they really weren't in keeping with the direction my décor is taking in the rest of the house.  Also, the gold fabric was becoming a little dated.  Trust me, this fabric was really in style at one time, and I was so proud of myself when I covered the chairs.  That was about thirteen years ago, and my style has changed since then, so it was time the chair got a little face lift.

Recovering a chair with both a seat and a back is more time consuming than recovering one with just a seat, but it's not any more complicated.  In both cases you start the process by removing the screws beneath the seat in order to remove the seat.
If your chair has a back, you'll need to figure out how to remove it.  In my case, the screws that held the back to the chair are concealed under these decorative wooden caps.
I had to use pliers to pull the caps off to reveal the screws.
I removed all the screws and the back popped right out.  Here are some of my seats and backs after I removed them.  Since I can't remember what happened yesterday, let alone thirteen years ago when I originally covered these chairs, I examined them closely to see how I attached the fabric.
After I figured out how the old fabric was attached, I began removing it.  It was just stapled on, so I just had to pop out the staples.  It wasn't difficult, but there were a lot of staples, so it was very time consuming.  Watching some recorded episodes of RHOBH made the time fly by. 
Now that the old fabric was removed, I used it as pattern pieces.  I simply placed it face down on the wrong side of my new fabric and traced the outline.
After cutting out all of my pieces, it was time to staple them to the chair seats and backs.  (Note: both this time and the last time I covered these chairs, I left the original fabric on the chairs and just put my new fabric on top of it.  It is in perfect shape and is a nice, neutral cream color.  If I ever decide I want a change, the original fabric will be there.  If the fabric on your chairs is not in good shape, you should remove it.)  When stapling the fabric to the seats, I started stapling along the sides, and finished by neatly folding the corners in.  Trimming off as much excess fabric as possible at the corners allows the seats to sit more flush with the chair frame.
When covering the chair backs, I started by covering the front of the back (can you say oxymoron?).  I folded the edges over to the back and stapled them down. 
Next I placed a fabric piece over the back of the back (confused yet?).
First I stapled the top edge, and then the side.  All of these staples will be hidden my the chair frame.
Finally, I put the seats and backs back on the chair and reattached them with the screws.

I'm very happy with the finished product.  Replacing the dated gold fabric really neutralized the space.  The dots add a fresh, current element to the mostly traditional room.
Does anyone else move their dining room chairs into the living room when they have a lot of company?  I do it all the time, but when I did, the gold chairs stood out like a sore thumb.  A bright, out-of-date, embarrassing sore thumb.  The new fabric lets me move the chairs around without embarrassment.  It's a great neutral that goes with just about everything.  Here's one of my newly recovered chairs in the living room.
Changing this one element in the room has had such a huge impact on the dining room.  I'm so excited to be one step closer to achieving my home goals for 2013.  Have you made any progress toward reaching your goals for the year?  Leave me a link in the comments section so I can stop by and see what you've been working on.
Linking To:

shabby creek cottage It's Overflowing

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
Life on Lakeshore Drive

UndertheTableandDreaming Home Stories A2Z

Today's Creative Blog My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia Debbiedoo'sTDC Before and After

BlogButton Furniture Feature Fridays

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