Welcome to Re-upholstery 201!!!
Let me introduce you to our next victim…um, I mean re-upholstery project!! This upholstered rocking chair is very similar to my red rocker that I just posted about last week. The only difference is that mine is a wing back, and this one just has a flat panel back. It is the perfect chair to work on next. It is definitely harder than the Re-upholstery 101 chair that I did, but still not too difficult!
This chair had experienced some loving! Any piece of furniture that is white is going to show it’s wear and tear quickly. A few markers and a couple of spilled drinks had definitely left their mark on this chair. It was time to give it a make-over!
First step - - pick out your new fabric. This is actually a very important step. Other than the obvious, that you want something long lasting and something that is going to fit your style, you want something you love. I have a running joke around here that if you have “fun” fabric, you move to the top of my to-do list!! This is also what is going to motivate you to keep working on your project. You are going to be so excited about what the finished product is going to look like that you just keep pushing yourself. If you have an ugly fabric, you really are not going to feel motivated - - and truly, what fun would it be to work with a fabric that you hate?
The fabric choice for this chair is a fabulous black and white floral paisley. Are you aware that you don’t have to use just fabric that you buy by the yard? This is actually a king duvet cover! The fabric is a very heavy weave and super soft! You could also use curtain panels, table cloths, quilts - - anything you love, just as long as it is a heavy enough weight to be long lasting and not easily ripped! Think outside the box!!
After you have your fabric, it’s time to start taking the chair apart. Carefully take each piece off, doing your best not to rip your pieces, you will be using these to cut out your new fabric pieces. The important thing to remember is that you are going to put your chair back together in the opposite order that you take it apart. For example - - the very first thing that you will take off is the dust barrier on the bottom of your chair, then the back panel. So, when you are putting your chair back together the last two pieces you will put on is the back panel followed by the bottom dust barrier.
For this chair, the first step was to take the rockers off the bottom of the chair. It was super simple, just 8 long screws easily taken out with my drill.
Another important thing to remember is to take pictures as you go. In the beginning, when you are doing your first, second, even third re-upholstery project, you will want to take pictures of each piece before you take it off. Take pictures of every area where two different panels meet, take pictures of every place where things are stapled, take pictures of any area you think you might not remember how to put it back together!! This will help you tremendously as you put your piece back together!
I also label each of my pieces as I take them off. I label each one with where it came from, what direction it goes, where cording is attached or meets up, and any cut-outs or slits that are on the original piece. This will help tremendously when cutting out your new fabric and clear up a lot of confusion!!
To take the fabric off - you are going to start by grabbing your small flat head screwdriver and prying it under the edge of your back fabric. Once you have a small section loosened, then you can take a pair of pliers and grab onto the edge of your fabric and give it a huge tug. Most times you will be able to just rip/tug/pull your old fabric off. Sometimes, you will have a stubborn staple (or a thousand stubborn staples!) and you will need to pry it out with your screwdriver.
After you have taken all the fabric off your piece, you are going to take each of your pieces of fabric from the chair and lay them out on your new fabric. I try to leave at least 5 inches between pieces of fabric. I never cut my new pieces out exactly the same size as the pieces that I took off. 1. because those pieces are stretched out and misshaped and 2. because when they make the furniture in the factory, they trim the excess fabric - - a lot of times it is such a tight fit that there is no way you would be able to pull your fabric and be able to staple it down. So leave plenty of extra room around each of your pieces!
Alright - - I think that is enough for the day! Join me again tomorrow as we start putting the fabric on the chair!!