Friday, September 24, 2010

Accent chairs made pretty

So I am always looking for new projects (it's kind of a disorder) and couldn't say no when I saw these two beauties posted for $5 each on craigslist during one of my ritualistic midnight searches.

I had no idea where I would put them in my house since I don't really have the space or need right now but just had to have them. with my sister's help picking them up, I was able to get to work. I quickly discovered that I should have asked more questions about the condition of the chairs before I just told the lady I wanted them (hey, you have to act fast on craigslist deals) because one of the chairs was missing a cross bar. The chair was still very durable and seemed to carry a person's weight just fine, so I moved forward.

First, with my special helper's help, I removed the nasty seat cushions by unscrewing under each of the 4 corners.

Using a small Flathead screwdriver and needle nose pliers, I violently and painfully yanked out the staples.

*** Note: If you have allergies (like I do) or are a germaphobe (like I am), be forewarned that removing and having to touch other people's old gicky fabric is far from pleasant. Keep some Kleenex and Lysol disinfectant spray handy and know that the end result makes it all worth the pain!***

After removing the old fabric, I laid it out as a template on the new fabric and cut away. I chose an outdoor canvas fabric from Joann that was on sale for 50% off at the time. I LOVED the bold floral print and that fact that it would be easy to keep clean with little sticky fingers around (no, I'm not talking about Wingers).

Fortunately the foam was in good condition so I didn't need to replace that. The front corners of the fabric were sewn together so I copied that (sorry, forgot to take a picture) and then began the task of stapling away. For me what worked best was to start my staple in the front/center of the cushion, then pull tightly and staple directly on the opposite side. I worked from the center outward, doing the corners last. I didn't take detailed enough pictures of how I folded the corners on this project but will show better how this was done in a future post on another project I recently took under.

*** Note: I stapled the first cushion with a handheld stapler and was seriously sweating when I was done. I'm not gonna lie, it was MUCH easier doing the second one with my handy dandy pneumatic staple gun that my sweets gave me for an early birthday gift***

For the frames, I cleaned them off really well and gave them a light sanding (if you have antique items or intricate hand carvings, I would suggest lightly sanding them with steel wool rather than actual sandpaper as it is much less abrasive). I primed then with several light coats of Kilz original spray primer (the lighter the better). Once dry, I painted them with several light coats of Krylon gloss paint in almond color.

The last step to really showcase the detail on the chairs was to glaze them. For these chairs, I used my Ralph Lauren Faux Technique glaze. I wish I could tell you the color I used but can't because I spent 2 hours at Home Depot one night trying to mix it to the perfect color after the first batch turned out orange (which I unfortunately didn't learn until the morning after I glazed an entire china hutch). The end color is a nice chocolate brown, not too light and not too dark.

The easiest way to apply the glaze is lightly with a brush to get it into all the little nooks and crannies. I like to let the glaze sit for a few minutes before I wipe it off with a damp rag to let some of the color absorb into the paint. This creates a more "aged" look.

Lastly, I screwed the new cushions back into place, and viola! Gorgeous new (old) chairs. These babies currently reside in my sister's front room. Good thing she was so helpful to pick them up for me, right???


  1. I am so happy to be the lucky owners of these beauties! Which reminds me...I need to pay you for them! Send me your acct number, will you?

    They are so cute and I can't wait until I rearrange my front room, get new carpet, and a new couch. Then I will take pictures and send them to you!

  2. I love these Jen! I have some sort of similar chairs in my dining area that I'm dying to re-do. I'll just send them over. K?

  3. Nice and great information about designer furniture, accent chairs and home decor. Thanx for sharing this information.
    I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.


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