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Monday, August 4, 2014

New (to me) dining chairs

Well hello there!  It's (once again) been a while.  I was overwhelmed trying to keep up two blogs, work and keep the family in one piece, so, I just didn't blog. 

I've decided to ditch the DIY blog, and just keep it all real and right here.  One stop shopping so to speak. 

I picked up a set of 4 cane-back dining chairs via craigslist back in the spring.  They've languished in the garage since then.  I know I want to refinish the frames, but have yet to really settle on the finish.  Do I strip and re-stain?  Colored stain?  Milk paint?  Chalk paint?  Decisions decisions!  I'm pretty sure I want to go with the colored stain. I'd love to see these chairs in a deep blue, like MMSMP Artissimo, which is a lovely deep navy blue. 

Here is what I started with:

 They guy I got them from had supposedly re-upholstered them very recently...I can't tell.  They look pretty gnarly to me!  The frames are in good shape; two of the chairs have small holes in the cane backs, but nothing massive or frayed.  This guy also decided it would be a good idea to "reinforce" the chairs with big, shiny metal brackets at the joinery, rather than gluing and blocking the joints like, well, like someone who knows what they are doing.  Not that I'm one of those people!

I spent a couple of hours prying nasty off of two of the chairs.  Now, generally, when something is RE-upholstered, it's not OVER-upholstered.  Like so:
Yes, this was the loveliness I saw when I had pried off a box worth of staples and stained fabric.  More stained fabric, and another box worth of staples!  Seriously, there were 973 staples in each chair.  My hands were so sore after finishing two chairs, I wanted to cry at the thought of tackling the other two.  Bruised thumb muscles. 

And, there were more wonderful surprises in store.  The original springs were intact, but a bit rusted.  And the inner layer of batting had rotted away to this:

That ain't microfiber people!

Moving on.  The springs and webbing were in great shape, and the top foam was decent.  I chopped up carefully measured a second layer of padding, cut from a cheap Room Essentials twin mattress pad I picked up at Target for $8.  It's fairly dense, and with the egg-crate side down, you'd never know unless I told you.  I layered the old foam on top of the new for some extra cushy for da tushy, and stapled a piece of old sheet over that to keep it in place, and to act as a dust-barrier.

I'll spare you the gory details, since there are a bazillion awesome upholstery tutorials out there.  Here is a side-by-side of the old and new.  Oh, I picked up the fabric at JoAnn for about $5 with my 50% off coupon.  It's one of the HGTV line's outdoor fabrics, and I love it!

Just ignore the detrius of picnic time behind the chair.  Keepin' things real around here.  I'll be back later with pretty, staged photos, once my hands have recovered and I've duct-taped the boys to the stairs.

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