Buying CL chair 'project'

nosoccermomJuly 16, 2012

For hose of you who are experts reupholstering: What do you think of this chair? Is it really done just with putting tacks around the edge?

Here is a link that might be useful: Chair project

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beachlily z9a

If those had been upholstery tacks, maybe. But it looks like a job done by an amateur.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 5:53PM
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So that means that it's not that easy to finish the project, especially for amateur no. 2 (i.e. me)?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 6:25PM
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No, it needs a bit more. Those are staples, holding the fabric on. The way she has done this, you'd either need something like gimp to cover the staples, or make welt to cover them, Both would be attached with glue. I use Magna-Tac 809, but I also have hot glue sticks made for upholstery. You can use regular hot glue.

If you use gimp, then you can use decorative nails. Or if she has any of the fabric left that she used, you can make your own welting, or make it from a contrasting fabric, like a solid black.

I'd recommend double welt to cover all the staples, unless you use a really wide welt cord. Look at the 4th pic down in the post I linked below, and you'll see the double welt that I made for a similar CL chair a month ago.

So depending on how you do this, you either need to buy several yards of gimp, and glue to attach it all around the chair where the staples are. Then you COULD buy decorative nails to put over the gimp; but it's not required. You'd want a rubber mallet to pound them in, and from personal experience, they go in a lot easier if you pre-drill first with a TINY drill bit. Otherwise, depending on the type of wood the chair frame is made from, you risk bending many of them as you try to pound them in straight.

Or, do a wide single welt or a double welt. You'd glue that on, and you wouldn't use the nails. There are blogs out there that show you how to make welt, but you need to buy welt cord (looks like white rope) that you cover with your choice of fabric. I can't recall if you sew at all, but if not, the gimp may be the way to go.

Here is a link that might be useful: Craigslist chair re-born - 1st upholstery attempt !

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 6:40PM
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nosoccermom, I want to clarify what I said above. She has done this just the way the fabric is supposed to be attached, and she has matched the pattern in the fabric from the back of the chair to the seat very well.

If this chair works with your decor, it looks very nice and a good buy. If you know anyone who sews, (if welt is used) or is crafty (if gimp is used) you could probably get it finished up for not too much $$. Perhaps the seller would reduce the price a bit if you tell her that you'd need to pay for the remaining work.

It looked gray with black and white fabric on my monitor, which is why I mentioned solid black fabric as a welt possibility. Now I read that the frame is light blue and the fabric is navy and white.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 7:06AM
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I also have a question about the double welt. I recently picked up 2 free chairs on craigslist. They are upholstered the same way. I painted the wood frame and pulled all the double welting off of it so I can recover the piece. Would it be possible to just recover the double welt I pulled off and reuse it? I wouldn't take the existing fabric off the welt I would just cover it with new fabric, maybe run a line of stitching through the center and then reattach it to the chair. Otherwise gimp sounds easier, just something I would have to buy yards and yards of!

Thanks for any help my3dogs! Still love your chair :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 8:28AM
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Thanks, rafor! The double welt is made by first covering one 'rope', and then laying the other next to it, folding over the fabric, and then sewing that one in place.

I hat to admit that I ran short on that chair in the link, and had kept some of the old original welt. I carefully removed the fabric from the original, by using a seam ripper and small scissors and re-used it. So, the answer is yes you can, but not quite in the way you hoped. Read through the blog I linked below and you'll see how it's done. It's really very easy, and gives a professional look. I used my zipper foot the whole way through.

Here is a link that might be useful: Making double welt cord

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I have done a chair like that myself, covering the staples with gimp. You should be able to buy the gimp for not that much money and then hot glue it on. This was my first attempt at upholstery and it is way less than professional, but it looks good and is still holding strong after several years.

There is also this sort of premade strip stuff that looks like upholstery nails. I think that can be hotglued on as well, or nailed in just certain spots (between the staples). As it is, it would be hard to use individual tacks because of where the staples are, but the strip stuff is supposed to be easier to use anyhow. I think you could do it either way yourself (even with no experience) for not a lot of money, so I say go for it if you like the chair.

Here is a link that might be useful: Example of upholstery nail strip stuff

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Thank you so much for all the great advice. Two more questions:
These little staples really hold the fabric in place (e.g. if I put gimp over them)?
What do you think about the blue paint? I would prefer a creamy/ochre white but realize that it won't be easy to repaint the frame without messing up the fabric.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:43AM
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Assuming they are staples from a hardware-type staple gun (and they must be, to penetrate into the wood like that) then yes, they will hold the fabric in place fine.

If you don't like the blue (I do, but see how it could be more limiting than cream), I think it would be fairly easy to paint it. I would paint before applying the gimp -- the gimp will cover the edge anyhow, so any bits of paint that got onto the fabric would be covered by the gimp. Just use a tiny brush to edge close to the fabric and go slowly.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:23AM
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You'll see how strong those upholstery staples are if you try to pull them out! I have pulled out thousands of them, along with tacks, and it 'ain't easy' let me tell you. Those ARE upholstery staples and they do hold extremely well.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:29AM
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This my one of 2 identical chair projects I am working on at the moment. And my3dogs is right: my hand hurt after just pulling out the staples holding in the welting on just one of the chairs.

I painted the wood with Duck Egg Chalk Paint and am now on the hunt for muslin or linen or some such white/cream fabric to cover the oh so lovely orange!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Indecision is my middle name. I need a COMFY reading chair for my office and can't decide what I want. Not sure if it would work in any of my other rooms, e.g. the bedroom.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 1:03PM
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If you likes the looks of that one, maybe go see it, sit in it and you'll know if it's comfy. The Drexel one that I got sure is, but I think it's bigger than the one in in the ad you linked, and it has that down-filled cushion. You may want to try to find one that a bit more 'cushy', although she did do a great job on it as far as she went.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:02PM
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