Saturday, 21 June 2014

Antique Chair Rescue

Antique Chair Rescue!

When I was at the Arthur Swallows Home and Antiques fair a few weeks ago, I picked up this amazing little chair. I got it for £10 due to the poor condition it was in, definitely a project piece.
It is a traditional spring bottomed chair but unfortunately the lining on the bottom had broken down due to age and damage and the springs were all falling out. The old wadding and stuffing inside the seat cushion had also broken down so there was nothing I could do but take it all off and recreate the chair from the frame.
My Grandma had some basic upholstery tools which she lent me, and as I have no professional experience upholstering furniture, I used my common sense and worked out what I needed to do. 

A lot of the old nails needed to come out and the fabric need to come off. Just pulling this made it fray and come off quite easily. I got out most of the nails and tacks out as I went, a few came off in the fabric and some I used a claw tool to help me.
Once I had the layers of springs, stuffing and fabric off I was left with the bare wood frame.
This is a nice place to start from.

I got Rob to fix some MDF on to the bottom and make a solid base. He cut to size the sheeting we had and built up a platform for my foam cushioning to sit on.

Once that was firmly attached I bought 2 x 1.5 inch chair seat pads from Dunelm. You can easily buy the big rectangle and squares and cut them down, but for what we wanted, this suited. 
Once they were in place I then covered the foam in thick wadding to help me create the rounder edges rather than the straight ones. I then covered it all in plain white cotton and created my seat. I attached the cotton with a staple gun as I plan to not remove it again. I will only change the top fabric as time goes on or as taste changes.

As the wooden frame had a nice cream grey shade of paint on it, I didn't want to change it. I wanted to keep something that said, 'I've been a bit battered before but now I look NEW.' I like remembering that we have taken it from its poor state and changed it to something that will be loved.

For covering with the top fabric I have some upholstery tacks Now you can buy these plain or you can buy fancy ones with detailed heads. They are what you then use to fasten the top fabric to the furniture giving it a professional finish. I got my fabric from a stall at the Lincolnshire Show. It is actually tablecloth but it is a supper soft PVC in a linen with matt finish so its not shinny and stiff like you usual PVC table cloths. It is also just a bit more child friendly as it can be wiped and you actually have a chance to get little stains out!
I also got some decorative trimming to finish the edges nicely. 

I first placed the fabric over the chair cusion and cut to size. I put a couple of staples around the chair just to hold the fabric in place. Then I put the tacks and the trimming on at the same time. Make sure you pull the fabric tightly so its doesn't go baggy.
This has finished it off nicely.

I am really pleased with the final look of the chair. We will love it forever I am sure!

Post by Emily 

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