Welcome back to those who have been following along. For those who are just joining in, you will want to check out Part 1 and Part 2 to get yourself up to speed. Time to reupholster and see our work firsthand.
Ready to finish? Here we go!
Remember the batting, padding and old upholstery you saved for later? Well, you’ll need to grab your stash now.
My rocker needed 2 yards of upholstery weight fabric and 6 yards of your choice of trim (it should be wide enough to cover your staples). You will want to use a nice tight weave fabric so that it will withstand years of love and use.
Lay your fabric out flat and place your old removed pieces and lay them out like below:
Notice that the top and seat are lined up so that the fabric below has the same pattern and design direction. Use pins to secure them while cutting.
Just cut along the old fabric edge, no need for any allowances. Simple enough, eh?
Now for the fun part. Grab your padding and batting and put them back on the chair and check to see if you need to add any extra. I added more to the lumbar area and the seat. While working on the chair I really had hoped that some new mother would be nursing her young one while enjoying her chair, so I wanted it comfy!
Time to add your upholstery, so grab your staple gun. I worked on the chair in this order: seat first, front, and the back last – to hide all the work.
Staring in the front center, tack down the fabric. I folded my raw edge under just to prevent fraying over time. Then, I work on each side of the center staple adding a couple on each side approx. every half inch, but don’t complete it yet. To create good tension, I then tack the center back down, and do the same as the front…add a couple on each side. Do not finish the back at this point, head back to the front and finish it to the corners.
Next, pick a side to start on and begin in the center, and add a couple on either side. Again, like before, cross over to the other side and find center – tack it down and add a couple on either side.
Now, go back to the side you started on and keep working back from one side to the other in this pattern: staple Left, staple Right – matching the tensions on either side (you can do a couple at a time). This will create a lovely tension with a firm seat.
You’re going to use the same idea for the top and back. First, start at the center top on the front piece, adding a couple on either side, then go down to the opposing center on the bottom, adding a couple to either side, to get that good tension.
Use the same method to reupholster for attaching the back. On my chair the top raw edge of the back was folded down over top of the front edge creating a finished look (you’ll hide the staples later with your trim). I apologize for not taking a picture of this part! Just finish with stapling about every half inch and working from top to bottom and then side to side to create good tension.
When you are done stapling you might have a few wonky staples (staples that didn’t go in completely). I use a large head nail punch and upholstery hammer to lightly tap them in, so that I do not damage my paint job.
a.) doesn’t burn your fingers off
b.) doesn’t leave a stringy mess to battle with
c.) doesn’t come out in an uneven form
d.) doesn’t yellow over time – potentially
a.) it takes a while for it to cure and I don’t like to have to hold it in place and wait.
TIP: if you use accidentally get a drip of hot glue on your fabric, DON’T touch it, just let it harden. Then, take your hair dryer and warm the glue. While hot use a blunt object (butter knife or like me, a paint can opener works great!). It will come off perfectly if you’re patient.
Start at the bottom of the back right or left, and work your way up and over the front side. Then, down and around the seat, and back up over the opposing front side (left or right). Last, finishing down under the bottom of the back.
Clean up and unwanted hot glue if you used it and we’re done! I was thrilled that the chair sold within a couple of hours of being listed. Bonus, it’s at its new home…for a mommy-to-be. My reupholster project is done.