Decorate: How to update a chair

You will need:

1 x nursing chair or similar, 1 x metre of fabric, 1 x metre of trimming, 1 x adjustable spanner, 1 x industrial staple gun, 1 x pack of industrial staple-gun nails, 1 x pack of Wundaweb, 1 x tube of fabric glue, 1 x fabric scissors, 1 x nail scissors, 1 x box of dress-maker pins, 1 x iron, 1 x ironing board, 2 x can of Montana 94 matte spray paint, 1 x can of primer spray (optional), 1 x tea towel, 1 x tarpaulin and 4 x cardboard boxes (of same height).

I sourced a vintage Lloyd Loom nursing chair from eBay, where you can find similar designs. The seat fabric is grey cotton twill from EPRA Fabrics, the Montana spray paint is a matte finish from Cowling & Wilcox art supplies, the industrial staple gun from Leyland SDM and the trimming and other sewing supplies from haberdashery expert and fashion college favourite MacCulloch & Wallace. Turn the chair upside down and you will see the bolts and fixings holding the upholstered seat in place. Gently undo these and set the fixings, seat and upholstery fabric aside. Protect your working area with tarpaulin and wipe the chair down with a damp tea towel, removing any dust and dirt, then place on your cardboard boxes using one to prop up each leg. Shake the can of spray paint continuously for a minute and coat the chair evenly, leaving roughly 20 minutes between each coat; repeat until you have complete opacity of colour. This may take up to four coats depending on the original colour of the chair; if it is dark and you are spraying it white, you may find it easier to use a coat of primer spray first.

While the chair frame is drying, gently remove the original fabric from the hardboard seat with nail scissors, then set aside the wadding and the hardboard. The fabric must remain in tact as it forms the pattern for your new seat cover. Iron the fabric you have removed and pin it to your new fabric, gently cutting around using fabric scissors. Take your hardboard/wadding and place face-down on the new fabric, with the hardboard facing up towards you. Work out which side needs to be left out to cover the front edge of your chair and staple the fabric using just one staple to secure to the three sides of the board. The fourth edge reaches over and covers the front of the chair, so you will need to leave this edge until last. Gripping the fabric, go around the three edges of the board with the staple gun, securing the fabric. Use fabric glue to secure any loose edges and trim any treads with your nail scissors. Leave to dry for at least four hours.

Once your frame and reupholstered seat board are dry, turn the frame upside down and reattach your seat board to the frame using the fixings that you set aside at the beginning of the project. Take the staple gun, folding the edge of the fabric to make a clean straight line, and use it to secure the vertical edge, taking care to keep the fabric taut. Moving to the other vertical edge, tuck under any excess fabric and repeat the process, ending with the bottom edge. Finally, use your trim and Wundaweb, or textile glue if you prefer, to cover the staple nails on the front edges of the chair.

This entry was published on February 27, 2012 at 14:12 and is filed under Decorate. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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