Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Upholstery Project

My first piece was a dining chair.  I had a Thonet Bistro chair upholstered in this hideously decaying emerald vinyl.  After taking apart the seat and removing the vinyl, I embarked on the project of sanding off all the old stain and varnish.  I thought that part of the project would go pretty quick, but as it turned out, it was the longest part!  I'm quite familiar with sanding on flat surfaces, but I've never had the opportunity to sand bentwood, will all it's curves and grooves.  When the sanding was completed, I stained it with minwax stain/poly in one.  I ended up putting two coats on and it came out great!

For the seat, I choose an upholstery fabric that I had gotten from my mom a while back.  She had gotten it from a friend's mother, and based on it's color and pattern, I'd say it was from the 60's.  It's a really awesome limey-green velvet flower pattern.  I had to take a deep breath before I started cutting it up, but now that it's on my refinished Thonet chair I feel excited that I finally got to use it.  (I still have some left!)
Reupholstered Thonet Chair, with scale figure (Romeo)

I have 1-2 ottomans that I'm working on, while simultaneously working on "the big chair".  It's a little bit more complicated than what I originally anticipated, but I think it will look really cool in the end.  I'm not going to try to deal with all the sanding of all the intricate parts.  Instead I'm going to hit a few spots with the orbital, then spray the whole thing white.  I'll go back over it with a fine sandpaper in a few spots, then hit it with a stain to get the "dirty" look.  I learned this technique when we went to our Sherwin Williams field trip, and I think it will be a lot more time efficient.

The "big chair"
Back of the "big chair"
I ordered my supplies from Amazon.com yesterday so they should be in towards the end of the week.  I had a really tough time picking out fabrics because there were a lot of them that I really liked.  Because of the tufting and the grooves in the foam, I had to pick a fabric that wouldn't look odd when part of the pattern cuts off.  I envisioned the fabric to look a little bit more on the modern side, to juxtapose with the style of the chair. 

Fabric swatch of upholstery fabric

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