Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Re-Upholstering a Wing Back Chair, Part 1: Taking it Apart

Since I'm declaring the rest of this week "Re-Upholstery Week," let's get on with it already!

I should give a little disclaimer here. This is based on my experience in re-upholstery. I am in no way an expert, I just like to tackle projects and figure them out as I go. I did reference a lot of other blogs (I'll share those with you later on) and they helped me tremendously to figure out where to start and what to do next. 

First up is taking the beast apart. This is the fun part and probably the easier part. Who doesn't love demolishing things and taking them apart?

 STEP 1: BUY YOUR FABRIC 
Remember this post about how I chose my fabric? That was probably the hardest part! :) I think it's easiest to choose a busy print with no certain direction so it's easier to line up the pattern (for instance, if you used stripes you'd have to make sure every line matched up or it would be totally noticeable). The guide in the post is really helpful in deciding how much fabric you will need, too.

 STEP 2: TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES 
The best piece of advice I can give you for the entire re-upholstery process is to take lots of pictures. Take pictures before you take it apart. Take pictures while you take it apart. This is really important because at least in my case, the pictures acted as my guide to putting the chair back together. Get all the weird angles and funky seams photographed because believe me, you will forget by the time you put it back together!





 STEP 3: GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES 


You'll need these supplies at one point or another throughout the whole process. To start, you'll primarily need the pliers, a screwdriver, masking tape, and a sharpie (or other writing utensil).

 STEP 4: TAKE IT APART! (AND TAKE NOTES) 

Along with taking pictures, I would say take good notes too. At least write down what order you took each piece (or section) off in, that way when you put it back together you just need to reverse the order.

Find the top layer (the last piece that was put on) and start peeling it away (very carefully, of course - we're dealing with staples here!). With this chair, it was the back piece that came first (actually, I guess it was the bottom piece if we get technical). It's actually really fascinating to see how a chair is made and put together (and kind of shocking how my chair at least was so piece-meal). Buster really wanted to help out too. :)

As far as how we took it apart, our method consisted of prying the staples off the chair with the flat head screwdriver, then using the pliers when needed to get the full staple out (sorry I don't have a better picture). Oh, and don't forget the muscle! :)

After we took each piece apart, I labeled each piece with masking tape which side and where it belonged on the chair. This was also really helpful when we went to put it back together.







OK, I think you get the picture. Lots and lots of pictures. Take them. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!

Taking the chair apart is probably the most important part of the process because it's how you learn how to put the chair back together. You know, Humpty Dumpty style.

Tomorrow we'll put this baby back together!

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