I'm SO happy to finally be showing you my new dining room chairs today!
I've posted about these chairs at least *8* times since I got them over a year ago...I counted! (But I have a feeling I may have still missed a few.)
When I showed you the last little preview, my friend Pam said she was surprised that I went neutral. She knows my love of color well. Well Pam,
here's another surprise! You know I had to get some color on these chairs!
After much investigating and hemming and hawing (is that a word??), I finally decided on this fabric for the back. I ordered from fabric.com but since then they have started carrying it in stock at Hobby Lobby. It is fun, bright, and has all of the colors I'm wanting to incorporate in the space.
I love how it adds a burst of color to the neutral room and houndstooth drapes.
All the while that these have been waiting to be re-done, I've spotted them here and there around the web. Erin and Layla have the same chair, and I've seen them made over and listed on Craig's list. I think it's so interesting to see the same chair that has survived over the years in different parts of the country.
These wingbacks are a little different than most since they have the wood wing and arm rather that an upholstered one. That was a big bonus to me since they will be used at the dining room table-no food swiped on the arms! I've done somewhat of a tutorial, but I got off easy because I didn't have to deal with those arms. I tried to group these photos up so there wouldn't be so many.
With the frame stripped clean, I used Rustoleum Metallic Gold spray paint for two or three coats. I sprayed a couple of light coats of polyurethane on top also.
The seat unscrewed from the bottom, so it was easy to remove and wrap just like you would recover a regular chair seat. I kept the original foam but beefed up the seats a bit by adding a 2" layer of padding (sold by the yard at Hobby Lobby). I did not want the seat to be tufted like the original, so I turned the foam upside down and filled in the holes with scraps of foam and batting. Then, I wrapped all of the layers in a sheet of high-loft batting, stapling around the edges. Finally the dropcloth was wrapped around and stapled tightly, and excess was trimmed.
This was my first time to make custom cording, and it could not have been easier! Fold about a 2" strip over around plain cording (once again, purchased at Hobby Lobby) and sew very close to the cording with your zipper foot on. I stapled the cording along the bottom front edge. It added such a finishing touch.
I also wanted to cut back on the number of tufts on the back cushion. After stuffing the holes I didn't want, I layered more batting on top of the original foam.
Tip: If you have an upholstery shop accessible, they should be able to make your buttons for you. These are GREAT because they are machine pressed and won't come apart. I chose the prong-type back to make the process more simple, and the shop I used charged .50 for each button. If you've ever wrapped covered buttons, you know that's totally worth it! All I had to do was push the prongs through the fabric and layers, pull it tight, and open up the prongs to secure. Don't worry about the bunching around the tufts, that will smooth out when the fabric is wrapped and stapled.
At this point, with all of the pieces finished but not attached, I took them outside and gave them several coats of Scotchguard.
With the seat removed, put the back cushion in place and wrap around the top and sides. Pull tightly in every direction, checking to see what the front looks like, to pull all of the folds and wrinkles out from around the tufting. Staple along edges and trim excess fabric. Pull tightly towards the bottom and staple.
I wanted the back to have a bit of padding, so I stapled on a layer of high-loft batting. The back is the part I was worried the most about, so after looking at several similar chairs, I decided to make it easy and staple the backing on all the way around and cover the staples with cording. I folded all of the edges under and then stapled to give a little extra stability to the fabric.
To cover the staples I made a double welt cording using this tutorial. This fabric frayed terribly, so after trimming the seam I used some fray-check to seal it.
Last step-hot glue the cording around all of the edges. I started at the bottom close to the edge. When connecting the two ends, I made a straight clean cut on both so they would meet perfectly and matched them up tightly. The seam in the picture has some fray check on it that isn't dry yet, but once it dried the seam was almost undetectable.
I wanted to add wheels to my chairs for two reasons: to ease scooting them in and out at the table, and to add a little more height. These chairs were originally too low for the table, but with the extra padding on the seat and the wheels they turned out just fine. I found some cup casters that were a great deal and the right size on eBay, but the wrong color. I roughed them up with a medium sandpaper and sprayed them the same color as the chair frame. I searched for some metal wheels for the back legs, but couldn't find the right wheel for the right price. These wheels with a screw on plate from Lowe's were almost the right size, but the edges hung off slightly and the holes were too close to the edge-we were afraid of splintering the leg. So, my Dad came to the rescue again, used his grinder to shave down the edges, and then drilled two new holes in the center. The wheels are attached with only 2 screws rather than 4, but they seem very sturdy.
Certainly not perfect, but I'm happy with the result of my first real upholstery attempt!
Let's just see how far these little beauties have come...
From so, so sad-
Piece by piece, the dining room is coming together. Still to do: new table that the carpenter is almost finished making a leaf for (then I need to refinish), china cabinet or sideboard on the big wall, and artwork. I can almost see the end in sight!
(P.S. You can see the latest version of the dining room here!)
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