Let Me Upgrade You

Here’s a little DIY project we did this past weekend. Meet our 14 year old hand-me-down dining room set. She has been impatiently sitting in the corner of the spare bedroom begging for our attention. We had big plans for this since day one and now it’s her chance to shine bright…like a diamond. Repainting and re-upholstery-ing…we were all over it! There are many different ways to “beautify” your hand-me-downs, but this was ours.

Fabric was from Hobby Lobby bought at 40% off with their coupon (we NEVER buy things full price there!).
This is what it looks like before: 


First things first: remove the wheels, fabric, hardware, etc. Phillip’s head screw driver became our Adam’s best friends in order to remove the screws that connected the seat of the chair.


After using the Philip’s, we had to use pliers to pull out the wood plugs covering the “hidden” screws. The plugs can’t be reused, but we can use a little wood putty to fix that up.

Our ultimate least FAVORITE part of the upgrade was the staple removing session.  There had to be hundreds of them. We did start counting and then lost count. So I may be over shooting, but I’m going to say there were about 1,000 maybe 5,000. Again, I can be overshooting.

We used an All and a hammer to loosen the staples enough to get until I got under the edges. Then I used the hammer to bang on the All to get under the staple just enough where I could pry them up making it easier to yank out. 

We had to carefully remove the black sheer fabric in order to reuse it.


The 4 nuts and bolts holding the bottom of the chair arms to the seat were removed using a 1/2 inch wrench


The arm rests were removed from the chair to make it easier to finish the next step.

The arm rests removed from the backing.
We had to use pliers to remove most of the staples. I’m pretty sure the original manufactures had an endless supply of staples with the amount we had to remove.

The cushions and fabric had to remain in tact in order to have the fabric measured correctly and to finish the chair.




We ended up using a box cutter to remove the rope used to simulate creases. We HAD to keep this intact in order for the creasing to look good

Tip: use permanent marker and mark ev-er-y-thing. Everything! This helps you to know what goes where when you are trying to connect the dots at the end. 


We laid out the new fabric inside out in order to trace with white chalk the outline of the previous upholstery. 

This part took the most patience: lining the fabric up with the cushions. There may or may not have been a few times where we got a little excited before realized the cushion wasn’t completely covered and had to start all over again

Four hands are required. While I was stapling the fabric, Ashley was pulling it as snug as it could get. One of our biggest issue we kept having was the fact that the staples were not going in all the way, so it had to be hammered.
Note to self: get staples that have angled ends to help drive them into wood easier.

The next steps we just used our judgement to determine how we wanted to continue reupholstering the chair. We started with the rounded edge on the bottom of the cushion because it gave us more room to play with on the other side of the cushion. 


 Using the marks, I took to the sewing machine and sewed the rope into the fabric that will be used on the front of the chair back.  It allows us to pull the roped fabric into the groves giving it a better creased look.

Stapling in some of the original cardboard lining.
Hammering in the staples.

We didn’t add the next step which was stapling the back fabric on. We ended up laying the fabric in and folding it inward at the top. We stapled it to the back and then did that until we got to the bottom. Then we hot glued the fabric together at the bottom.

The rope lining the inside made the creases stand out more.
The rough edging along the sides will be covered by the arms of the chair. 
Here’s what the cushions looked like before they were put back on the wooden frames.

Fully finished chair back and chair seat.

And here she is good as new:



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