Reupholstering a Chair... in Photos


Remember when I told you guys about this awesome chair I found at a thrift shop in Centralia about 9 months ago??? No? Well, I don't blame you because yeah, it was 9 months ago. But, it's finally finished! Well, almost finished. I still need to work on some finishing touches (the arm details, side panel stitching, and the back finishing along the curved detail - more on that below).

I fell in love with the shape of this chair right away. Check out those curves and the tufting. Mmmmmhmmmm. By default, this is technically Zach's chair since I already reupholstered my own wing back chair last May. While I used a bright, fun patterned fabric for my chair, I wanted to use more of a solid, sophisticated (and manly) fabric for Zach's chair. See my previous post about how I decided on the charcoal gray fabric.

After the rosy pink chair sat for a few months in all it's pink glory, we finally decided to get on it in early December. I used the same methods for this chair that I did with my wing back chair (check out Part 1 and Part 2) with some adjustments when we put it back together since there were some other challenges (hello curved shoulders PLUS tufting!). 

For this post I wanted to do more of a photo tutorial since I think every re-upholstery project is different. I'm hoping this photo tutorial gives you a guide of what to do and then allows you to tweak your method to make it easier for you and your project. Here we go!













Still working on the finishing touches. As you can see, the front of the arms needs some finishing details. It originally had a curved wooden piece on each side, but one was damaged and I think I might explore using re-upholstery brads instead. The back also needs to be finished (above, middle). Originally, it had some color-coordinated rik rak glued on to cover the staples, but I'm also thinking of using brads here too. The above right photo shows a little gap on the side (right above the leg) that just needs to be stitched together with coordinating thread.

So, like I said, not completely finished, but for our purposes (especially since baby will be here soon!) this bad boy is probably done for now.

Some additional notes on this project:
- If you have a curved wing back like I did, make sure to cut the piece of fabric with plenty of extra room since you have to cut the fabric and work with it to bend around the curves (see the cuts we made in Step 11 above).

- Be prepared to reinforce the chair with whatever method works for you, especially if it is an older chair. We used some leftover chicken wire and some nails with ours. :)

- Tufting is hard. Tufting + a curved back is even harder! We started in the middle/bottom and worked our way up as we pulled the fabric tight around the curves. Take your time and make sure there is no bunching. It also helped us to use the original pink fabric as our guide and put pins on the gray fabric where the buttons were supposed to be so they lined up easily.

- If you do nothing else, at least 1) take photos before you start 2) take notes as you take it apart for ordering 3) label the pieces you take off so you know where to put the new fabric back on. From there, you can probably figure out the rest by trial and error (and a lot of staples).

Here are some more photos of the (almost) finished chair - we love it!




I'll be sure to update you when I complete the finishing touches... hopefully soon, but with moving and baby girl, who knows!

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