"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." -Winnie the Pooh

Friday, April 15, 2011

Learning to Reupholster

I have been referencing this post for a couple of months now.  I just haven't gotten around to writing it!  So here is my chair redo from a few months ago! Enjoy! 

A few months ago, David's mom discovered that Days Inn was redecorating.  That meant that they were "Garage Sale-ing" a bunch of furniture.  {And yes, I know it should be "selling," but it was a garage sale of sorts}.  So she headed over to see what they had to offer.  She found a few pieces of furniture that were priced and two small parsons chairs. When she asked them what they would charge for the chairs, they responded, "oh you can just take those."

Yes, I know, super ugly. But what you may or may not know about my mother-in-law is that she is an expert at reupholstering furniture.  So she reupholstered her two chairs.  She mentioned something about them to me when we were out searching for lamp shades.  I freaked out.  I had been looking at two from Target that were on sale for $99.  Free...$99....free....$99.  Hm. So she went back the next day and asked them if she could get some more.  I think she came home with 7 more.  Two more for her, and two for me.  She still has a few left that I think she plans to redo to go with some of the furniture that she bought.  ALL FREE.

After discussing with my Mom, we decided I should invest in some nice fabric that would stand up to people sitting in it.  She knows me, and she knows it is hard for me to throw things away, sell them, etc.  I recently sold our old bedspread on Craigslist and she had a freak-out moment in which she asked me was I her same child.  I thought her blood pressure was going to spike.  Then I'd have to call my dad and tell him I gave my mom a heart attack because I actually sold something.  Please note our green chairs, coffee table, lamps, microwave table, or the desk from my childhood that my mom was going to get rid of, but I rescued to my home, among other things that she or my mother-in-law gave us.  I can't stand to get rid of something.  But she did not spike her blood pressure and she did not have a heart attack.  Thank goodness.  She did ask me to sell some of her stuff on Craigslist though.  If you'd like to sign up for that deal, let me know.  Our cut will be an even 70/30.  Me 70, you 30.  Haha. Maybe we can come up with something else....50/50?

Anyway, I digress.

I bought fabric from Hobby Lobby and set out to remove the bajillion million katrillion staples that had been used to secure the hideous fabric to the Days Inn chairs.  And yes, bajillion and katrillion are words...infinite number of numbers...remember?  Barrrzillion if you prefer Mississippi talk!

After I got them out, I Febreezed the heck out of my chairs.  I even sprayed Lysol on them.  I mean, you don't know who has set in them.  Then I set to work on staining the legs.

Oh staining the legs....where to begin.  I will HAVE to remember to get Danielle to teach me how to stain things because 1 week, $40, varnish stripper {I typed only "stripper" first and then added varnish! Haha!  VARNISH stripper}, putty knife scraper, and stained hands & clothing & yes, even shoes later, no stained chair legs.  UGH! Can we say frustrating.  I'm pretty sure I sanded those legs 18 hundred million katrillion jillion {here we go again} times.  Finally, I had a genius idea....yep, you guessed it.  Spray paint.  

Now we pause for an Ode to Spray Paint

Ode to Spray Paint, how I love thee
When I'm so frustrated with my project, you make me feel artsy.

You fix my mess You dry my tears
Be my compadre for many, many more years!

And now, I promise to leave the poem writing to David.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should read our engagement story...here.  I can't believe that's still online!

Okay...seriously, back to the chairs.  I spray painted my legs..I mean, the legs.  And some of my legs.  And off we went at my reupholstering lesson.  The following are pictures of the progress:

Well, what do you think?  I learned a few lessons in my first reupholstering endeavor {staining not included}:

1. Be sure to not manicure your nails before beginning pulling staples out.
2. Have plenty of band aids on hand while pulling out staples.
3. Have a husband near by to finish the last part of staple removing because you seriously can't feel your fingers anymore.
4. While heavy duty fabric is a good idea for wear and tear, not so much for trying to staple the folds of the extremely thick fabric.
5. Always check what end the staples are coming out of the staple gun.

I just realized EVERY one of these lessons involves staples.  You've been warned. All in all, it was worth it.  I'm pretty sure I'll be up for doing it again, just not anytime soon!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my Mother-in-law, who without, NONE of this would have been possible!


  1. Sara! These are amazing! I love making old things new.

  2. They look great!! I am going to have come visit you to learn all these cool tricks!!

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