Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reupholstering Dining Chairs & Challenges with a Staple Gun

Reupholstering Dining Chairs  & Challenges with a Staple Gun

Nothing is ever as easy as purported! When I purchased the antique mahogany dining set from the estate sale in Ruckersville, the proprietor told me it would be easy as pie to recover the seats. He plucked one up from a similar chair, flipped it over and told me that with a yard and a half of fabric and a staple gun I would have refurbished chairs lickety split.

Fabric I HAD to cover!

So, I cruised fabric stores and searched the Internet for a neutral fabric that would appeal to both Todd and me. I found an eBay seller who was liquidating his design shop in Tennessee who had top quality upholstery fabric remnants at unbeatable prices and purchased a lovely gold damask piece by Brunschwig & Fils after obtaining the blessing of my delightful but stitch Nazi husband.

I was thrilled when the fabric arrived and eagerly displayed my purchase, only to be met with skepticism. The tone on tone print appeared to be too big. I disagreed and insisted that I could sway not so public opinion with careful measuring.

The Brunschwig & Fils Winning Choice!

No doubt in part to humor me, my spousal unit ventured out to Wal-Mart yesterday morning to present me with my very own staple gun. It did not come with instructions, but I was convinced that such a simple device must be intuitive.

So I measured the fabric, which was the perfect size, and cut the piece into 6 pieces. Then I tried to remove the first seat. It wouldn’t come off! It never occurred to me to check underneath to see if there were screws! Once my very amused spouse suggested there were screws, I was set. I removed two seats to begin – a side chair and an armchair. I carefully placed the fabric over the purported original covering and set about affixing the fabric to the wooden bottom. But, the staple gun did not belch up the staples! How difficult could this be!!! Anybody can use a staple gun – I’ve seen it on those awful reality shows!  Oops! I had it turned around! I found staples in the wrong place! The table! The middle of the chair! The carpet! Ouch! At least I missed my foot!

Then I tried to screw a side chair seat onto an armchair! Didn’t notice they were different sizes! And there was a gap! Too much fabric! It was too thick to lie flat. After some investigation I discovered the chairs had been recovered multiple times in the past. So, I had to undo my work, pull out the staples and then remove the underlying layers of fabric. Sigh! Once I removed the ugly fabric I was trying to hide, I found a lovely print that was still in excellent condition! But, since I’d gone to the effort of embracing this project, I was determined to finish!

What was hidden by the UGLY fabric!

So, I channeled my OCD productively and am satisfied with the result. For $48, a hairpin learning curve, and a little sweat equity (thanks to hot flashes), we have a pretty spiffy new old dining ensemble! I am woman hear me roar!

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