Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dining Chair refit

When my parents retired, they downsized. They sent a lot of furniture my way - which is awesome, since we have this nice big house that is twice as large as any home we've lived in before. Quite a bit of it is antique. This is really more because my family never gets rid of furniture, than anything else. (Seriously. When my mom cleaned out a secretary desk that her mother had given her, she found keepsakes and cards from World War II.)
Anyway, we wound up with a gorgeous dining table (that Tim hates, because the feet are uneven and he thinks the disks I put underneath to level it are "garbage", and he won't approve any of the rugs I've shown him that would help stabilize it) and 11 dining chairs (that Tim hates even more, because they were built in the mid-19th century when people weren't as big, and they are admittedly narrow).
But the table and chairs that we both liked and would have purchased, costs about $5000 for the set, so we're going to stick with my gorgeous table and chairs.

Oh, did I mention the chairs came to us with horsehair cushions and webbing supports?
And a mixture of fabric covers? 

Well, it was definitely time to update them. 

So the first thing I had to do, was cut new bases out of 1/2" plywood. Luckily, my dad also sent a bunch of tools with all the furniture, so I used my new (to me) portable jigsaw. 
Next step, was replacing the cushions. I first tried cutting pieces from a memory foam mattress topper - this actually did not work very well. The foam is not firm enough, so when you sit on the cushion your butt immediately sinks to the plywood. Oh, well. Then I bought some 4" thick high-density foam, and that worked out much better. (These photos, though, are of the memory foam - the process is exactly the same, just the end result is different.)
I used a spray adhesive to stick the foam to the plywood.
See how those edges are little jagged? That's because I used scissors to cut the foam. It happened on both the memory foam and the high-density foam. But that's ok, because the next step was to cover the foam with some cotton quilt batting (I had a bunch of scraps, and managed to use almost all of them on this project).
And then I stapled this to the underside. This helped smooth out the sides. 
And then, the fabric. Remember that rocking chair I did a rehab project on last fall? Well, this is the same design, but on a smaller scale.
My mom went nuts over these. She didn't even realize I used Dr. Who fabric, she thought it was just a pretty blue damask. My sister said the same. Tim keeps calling me a geek for it...but he likes it, too. He hasn't mentioned getting new chairs in a while.

Oh yeah - I've only managed to re-fit six of these so far. Some of the chairs needed a bit more TLC, and I'm still getting comfortable with working on them. But they're coming along. Maybe next year, when we host Thanksgiving again, we'll have them all complete. I'm not in a rush. 

No comments:

Post a Comment