8.04.2011

A Pair of Chairs

I promised a post about our chair redo and here it is! We picked up these stools last fall at Goodwill for about $10 each. We are suckers for stools and I'm not sure why. I think it has to do with Zach being a guitar player...stools are his perch of choice when playing.

When I was pregnant, I did not nest in normal ways. My nesting included using a leafblower to clean our patio when it was 30 degrees outside. It also included a wild hare (hair?) to recover these chairs. So Zach obliged me and we tore into the chairs. We unfortunately did not get a “before” picture, but here’s a picture of the blue vinyl that covered one of them and the other was the exact same type of vinyl, but in green.



Lovely, huh? Well, we got the things torn apart and one of the seats recovered and reattached to the base and one back recovered, but not reattached…and then my wild hare ran off. So they sat sadly in pieces in our sunroom for several months until I started reading DIY blogs and got inspired. So a couple weekends ago when my parents were in town, Dad graciously helped me finish my project! I don’t have step-by-step instructions with pictures, but I will give you a rundown of some missteps and how to avoid them.

The picture below depicts what happens when you don’t measure well.



The fabric was a little short on the side, so you can see the staples. This was a constant fight while doing this project because if we gave generous amounts of fabric to wrap around you couldn’t see the staples, but the fabric was so thick in places that those little studs wouldn’t go through all the fabric. We fixed this problem on the second chair by cutting little V shapes into the places where the fabric overlapped several times which cut down on layers of fabric when we made the corners.

The staples were another small misstep we ran into. When I overzealously decided we were recovering these babies, we only had 1/2” staples. That’s waaay too long for going through some vinyl into particle board. Make sure your staples are appropriately sized. We ended up with squiggly staples like the ones shown here or pounding them in with a hammer. It was annoying. Happily MOST of the staples don’t show…

We also did not paint the frames of the chairs, which in hindsight I would have done. Maybe one day I’ll get the gumption to take the seats and backs off again and paint them. Maybe I’ll just cover and tape them really well and spray them…maybe not. So we’re going to call the frames “vintage-style”. Sounds good to me.



I love the vinyl we chose for the covers. We knew we wanted green vinyl to match our kitchen curtains. We walked into Sis’s Fabrics and asked, “Do you have vinyl?” Sis pointed us to a wall lined with bins with bolts of vinyl in every color. It was really well organized, so we went to the bin of green vinyl and picked our perfect color. I love that it has a little pattern/texture happening, too. It does not resist dirt the way I expected, but that was a mis-expectation on my part. It is soft vinyl, not plastic-y vinyl, so it does hold onto dirt a little more than a less porous version would. Wiping it with my licked fingers did not do the trick (no comments on my super sanitary and efficient method of cleaning…), but I’m pretty sure a wet cloth will. I’m not too worried.



I really enlisted my Dad to help because I wasn’t sure how to attach the backs and seats to the frame that holds the backs after recovering since the original screw holes were now covered with fabric. He is a genius, of course, so he just got a pin and stuck it through where he eyeballed the holes to be and kinda felt around till he found them. Then he lined the frame up and screwed it right on. What a smart man. I told him if I was doing this part of the job, it would have probably ended in yelling (at Zach) and crying. So I was very glad to have him there.

Here they are all put together and finished!



And here they are in their new home! We tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, especially when people are over, but not a lot of time at the kitchen table. Hence the folding IKEA table, Norden. It really is wonderful for us. Anywho, back to the chairs. We decided that we needed some seating in the kitchen that was not our kitchen chairs (they tend to live elsewhere and only come out when needed since Norden is almost always folded down). They match beautifully and are perfect for the space! I wish I had a picture of our white and green curtains to show you so you could see how nicely they tie in, but our window area was not fit for a photo at the moment.



Voila! Our first DIY (with some assistance) project on our blog!

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