Friday, September 23, 2011

Adventures In Upholstery

My first venture in reupholstery.  I have been wanting to try upholstery forever.  I was too chicken though, afraid I'd make a mess of something.  So, my humble, cat-scratched, beaten-up bench was a good first victim.  My inspiration and instructions came from Jenny's Little Green Notebook and Little Miss Penny Wenny.  Thank you for such great instructions and inspiration!!

I started by painted the legs white because there is too much dark wood in the room.  I didn't sand but used Zinser oil-based primer for the first coat.  After that I did a few coats of white latex.  I am purposely not showing a close-up of my paint job, it didn't turn out too well.   I went back and reread the tutorials mentioned above.  The reason (I think) was that I didn't do a thin enough coat of the primer to begin with, then I globbed on the latex with a paintbrush.  I think if I did a very thin coat of primer, then either sprayed the top coat or did a few very thin coats of the latex with a really good brush I would have been OK.

After painting we pulled out the staples and carefully removed the fabric so I could use the fabric as a template.  We uesd a flat head screwdriver, hammer, rubber mallot, and a pointy screwdriver I found in my tool box, not quite sure what its for but it worked wonders on staple removal.
If a staple was really far down into the wood we placed the screwdriver near the edge and tapped the screwdriver with the mallot to kind of dig the staple out.

I tried to use the fabric that was removed as a template but quickly realized I didn't want to upholster the same way it was put together.  The manufacturer used a lot of pieces and I wanted to use as few as possible.  Also, I wanted to eliminate the sewing of the arms and just staple.  When I removed the arm pieces I saw that they were sewn slip-cover style, so they lifted right off in 1 piece.  I am not good enough with the sewing machine to achieve those perfectly fitted arms.

I got this fabric at Hancock, it was $6/yd (I think it was on sale).  I bought 2 1/2 yds.  I choose this becuase it had the colors I was looking for (grey, white, black) and a busy enough pattern that I could get away with not matching up.  I kept all of the original foam and batting but if I were to do again I'd add a little more batting.

I got a LOT of staple gun practice.  I have a simple manual one I got at HD, pictured below.  It worked really well although I had my hammer handy because most of the staples didn't quite go in all the way so I pounded them.

 Here I am "in action".
The last step was to make the cording and glue/staple over the visible seams.  This was also my first shot at sewing cording and I opted to only do a single welt but I used a medium sized cord.  I used the original bench as a guide for where to put the cording and secured most with hot glue. 

And voila!  I almost can't believe I did it.

 This fabric matches the new color scheme I have for the room, can't wait to show you more!