On the last day of 2018, I can finally say I finished this project. I’m not happy with the outcome. But I think it’s important to be honest about the things that go wrong, as well as the things that go right.
We’re all learning as we go through this live, right?
I wrote the first part of this post back in October, when I took the chairs apart and stained them using General Finishes Java Gel Stain. Then they sat in the garage throughout November and December. Part of the reason for that was the holidays, but the other part was the fact that I lost my staple gun.
A place for everything, and everything in its place, right?
Wrong. The staple gun was in one of the plastic bins where we store Christmas lights.
Oh well. I found it. And I reupholstered one of their chairs. To be honest, I’d done it once before and was unhappy, so I tried, tried again. I’m less unhappy now but it’s still not where I wanted it to be.
The chair I decided to tackle was one of the side chairs that had a “dip” in the middle. It made for tricky seating! When I took it apart I realized that there is a tough piece of mesh within a hole in the seat board, and it had come lose. So the first thing was to staple that back in place. It was in fine shape so didn’t need to be replaced.
The old foam had become misshapen due to the loose mesh, so I replaced that. The first time, I kind of “sawed” the foam, and I ended up with jagged edges that showed through the fabric. Looked awful. I did some more research online and came up with this video :
The second effort looked much better. Then it was just a matter of positioning the fabric I’d selected, the foam, and the original chair seat board (with mesh now firmly attached) and stapling it into place.
Finally, the chair seat and pad were ready to be screwed back onto the chair. The final result?
You can probably guess why I’m not happy, but in case it’s less obvious in the photos:
- the foam is probably too tall. I should have gone with 1″ instead of 2″
- I accidentally puckered the fabric in the front
- Overall, the thinner and lighter-colored fabric shows every detail of the foam underneath. I wish it looked more like the original
If I had to do it over – which I won’t, because these are going out in the garbage where they should have gone to begin with! – I would get materials from a more specialized store, not Hobby Lobby. I’d probably go with a darker material, or at least a thicker and more stiff fabric that “holds its own” a little better than this more drape-y fabric.
Live and learn! It’s totally fine, since we rearranged and got rid of the table where these were being used, and I want to put occasional chairs in that area rather than obvious dining chairs.
The good news is that I got to practice with the Java gel stain before I tackle something that’s attached to the house (ahem…cabinets)
If any of you have tackled a similar project, particularly the upholstery bit, please feel free to give me your advice! I’d love to know where I could have made a different choice and had a better end result.