The Queen Bee and I were walking through a design shop one day, and I stopped and looked at some chairs that were on display. I said, “This is the kind of chair that I would like to have in my dining room”. She agreed that they were pretty, and that they looked like my tastes and something I would pick. Some weeks later, she called me and said “I’ve been thinking about those dining chairs, and I think you could get that look from the dining chairs that you have stored in your attic”. I said “I have dining chairs stored in my attic”? I’m not proud to admit I had forgotten they were up there. In my defense, they were in the farthest back corner away from the stairs along with other unused furniture. Once we were done with our conversation I went up into the attic, and sure enough, there were the chairs.
I am lucky in that the Q.B. is very creative, she is an artist, a partner in crime, and always game for any caper. My significant other went on a business trip and Queenie came to stay with me…and it was on.
We retrieved the lonely (did I mention rather ugly), forgotten chairs from the attic. We took my current dining chairs to the attic, and we went to work. I had bought paint, some liquid sandpaper, some fabric to recover the seats, and a liner fabric.
First we removed the seats from the chairs and removed the 1960’s fabric from the seat a lovely orange, avocado green, and harvest gold brocade…yikes. Next we wiped the chair frame down completely with the liquid sand paper and let them dry. This stuff is great if you are just wanting to rough up the surface so it will take paint, especially if it is hard to sand with traditional sandpaper. Which these weren’t particularly, I just wanted to be lazy. We painted the frames with Glidden Muslin White with a satin finish. I picked a satin finish because I felt since they were dining chairs and would be around food they would be easier to clean and disinfect.
Next, we lined the seats with a neutral fabric, this step really isn’t necessary, but I had picked a very light print fabric for the seat and wanted to line it. It’s kind of the same concept as having a lined drapery. I also thought it might help the fabric wear better as it was for a chair seat. We fastened the lining fabric in place with staples. Then we repeated the step with the printed seat fabric. Taking the fabric print, we planned and laid out our intended design, and aligned it on the seat. You need to cut the fabric larger than the seat so that you have enough to fold over and staple onto the underside of the seat. Next we smoothed out the fabric, design side down, and put the seat underside facing up on top of the fabric. Then we took the fabric, in the middle of one of the long sides of the seat, and stapled it on the underside (the side facing up). We repeated this on the opposite long side pulling the fabric taut. The next step is the middle of the short sides, one then the other, just as you did the long sides. Once the long and short sides are stapled in place, I like to do opposite corners. This way I’m always doing opposites and pulling the fabric so I get everything centered and smooth. Once I have done that, I finish stapling all the way around and trim off the excess material if any.
At this point, if I were ambitious, I would have lined the bottom to make it look pretty and hide the staples, but it’s just for me so I left the underside “raw”. Now we were ready to re-attach the seats back onto the frame. One little tip. Make sure when you are stapling that you do not cover over the holes on the underside of the chair, because if you do it will be problematic when you go to attach the seats back to the frame.
I hope you enjoy the picture of the finished product. The Queen Bee was right. They do give me the look that I wanted in my dining room. Until next time, stay creative, stay open to looking at things with fresh eyes, and above all stay glamorous.