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Anybody try reupholstering pieces? I was thinking of finding a cheap junky chair or maybe a stool so that I could give it a try. Any pointers or books I should check out?

 

The DIY network listed these as sources:

 

The Book of Upholstery: Understanding and Decorating With Upholstered Furniture

Model: 0517142724

Author: Candace Ord Manroe

Out of Print

 

 

The Essential Guide to Upholstery

Model: 1552850803

Author: Dorothy Gates

Whitecap Books, 2000

 

 

Simply Upholstery

Model: 0376011858

Author: Sunset Book Editors

1998

Sunset Publishing Company (Division of Time Warner)

Website: www.sunset.com

 

Upholstery Basics

Model: 0865733198

Author: The Editors of Creative Publishing International

(Singer Sewing Reference Library)

 

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You also need industrial-strength sewing machines/needles to do it best. :ph43r: When I found a guy who did two sofas and three Morris-type arm chairs for a total of $1,300, I was able to pick the fabric I liked best.

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My Grandmother was a professional upholsterer, she passed her first sewing machine on to my mother in the 1960s, I still have it, it is a bog standard, hand operated, Singer of the 1940's that had been 'upgraded' to an electric drive, literally an electric motor, operated by a foot pedal, with a rubber drive wheel that laid against the flywheel and drove it by friction alone. As far as I can recall she only ever used a standard machine, often the latest model with varying stitches etc and she used special upholstery needles (I think she got them mail order, her local haberdashers wouldn't have carried them), but she did replace them every 5 - 10 years or so.

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The easiest thing to do would be to redo the seat of a chair that has a slip seat. A slip seat is a seat that can come off the frame of a chair by unscrewing a few screws from underneath. All you would then need was a staple gun because all the staples will be on the underside and unseen after the seat is reconnected to the frame. I've done this dozens of times and you can do it to, no question. Buy some fabric, preferably upholstery grade, and some batting if the seat needs plumping, and pull the fabric (or first the batting) around and over tightly. In some instances you can put the new fabric over the old. In other instances where the seat is unevenly filled, you will have to take the old fabric off and investigate what's going on underneath it. The important thing is getting it completely even. Depending upon the thickness of your fabric, treat the corners very much like making a bed with a flat sheet but if your fabric is thick you will need to cut little slits in the fabric at the corners of the seat and pull, pull, pull, staple, staple, staple. Once you do one you'll see what you need to do. And you can always start over if you do not like the result. Get a staple remover too. ;)

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The easiest thing to do would be to redo the seat of a chair that has a slip seat. A slip seat is a seat that can come off the frame of a chair by unscrewing a few screws from underneath. All you would then need was a staple gun because all the staples will be on the underside and unseen after the seat is reconnected to the frame. I've done this dozens of times and you can do it to, no question. Buy some fabric, preferably upholstery grade, and some batting if the seat needs plumping, and pull the fabric (or first the batting) around and over tightly. In some instances you can put the new fabric over the old. In other instances where the seat is unevenly filled, you will have to take the old fabric off and investigate what's going on underneath it. The important thing is getting it completely even. Depending upon the thickness of your fabric, treat the corners very much like making a bed with a flat sheet but if your fabric is thick you will need to cut little slits in the fabric at the corners of the seat and pull, pull, pull, staple, staple, staple. Once you do one you'll see what you need to do. And you can always start over if you do not like the result. Get a staple remover too. ;)

Yeah I think I saw it done and I thought to myself that all I needed was a staple gun and some fabric to experiment. My old neighbor had this beautiful wooden chair with a hideous velvet vomit-colored seat and I was dying to re-cover it.

 

Oh. Regarding staple guns, are they all created equally or should I look out for a certain kind/brand.

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Heavy duty staple guns are stronger but you should see which ones you can easily squeeze. It's a balance between how powerful you need the gun and how hard it is to work with. I don't know a particular brand to specify. Go to home Despot.

 

You have to be more specific about the vomit color. Were there any beets involved? ;)

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Matthew Haly from the Furniture Joint has a book coming out in October. I took his upholstery class a couple of years ago - it was expensive but I learned a ton.

Oh, and Rose, materials can be different today. I decided to re-cover a set of chairs and discovered their base seat was heavy-duty formica and it wouldn't take staples or tacks. Go buy a new drill? Duct tape it? New decisions. Expensive or not, it's the why and what-if factors, too. We should ask Abbilovi what the ultimate goal is, for fun or learn the whole process? For employment or hobby or art? The sense of accomplishment outweighs the expense? The DIY always has a make-or-buy word problem to figure out. You can end up with better quality, unique designs representing your own creativity and then the moon will always set with balmy ocean breezes wafting through your soul. I'm still trying to find that little tool that you use with upholstery nails to keep from flattening them when you pound them in. How many times have I mentioned this?

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  • 2 months later...

Ok I found my first project. A beautiful cane backed slipper chair ( I think ). It was a great gradmother's (not mine) who apparently had 10,000 cats so I'm trying to get the fabric off the seat ASAP. Looks like the corner blocks are glued in place and mallet whacking is not working. Any other ideas? I promise to post photos as soon as the film is developed. Yes I still have done nothing about that digital camera.

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Well if anybody even cares, I wrestled off the corner blocks only to find that they seemingly have nothing to do with removing the seat of the chair. I ended up just ripping out the old batting and upholstery and as a temporary (until I figure out how to get the seat out) fix I put a sheepskin on over the springs. That actually looks really, really good and gives me little incentive to fix up the chair.

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Well if anybody even cares, I wrestled off the corner blocks only to find that they seemingly have nothing to do with removing the seat of the chair. I ended up just ripping out the old batting and upholstery and as a temporary (until I figure out how to get the seat out) fix I put a sheepskin on over the springs. That actually looks really, really good and gives me little incentive to fix up the chair.

I think the bottom blocks are to reinforce the corner joints of the frame. Is the cushion nailed in?

What are you going to do about the cane back, or is it in good shape?

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