My chair for this year’s charity event is finished and submitted! Here’s what I started with, found at the Trading Post in Plymouth:
Mark had the toolbox at school — his AP class is using it. Fortunately my sewing machine screwdriver fit to remove the seat screws, and was also good for prying up the upholstery tacks.
The seat is made with a piece of plywood attached to four thicker boards, each curved on the top edge and rabbetted on the bottom edge to fit into the chair frame. That edge is very thin, and covered with holes from previous upholsteries, and some parts were cracked and broken. I repaired them as best I could with wood glue. I also bought a new pad instead of the old greasy-feeling blue-green-yellow-bits one.
And here’s the final product:
I was originally going to just reupholster the cushion, and consider the dinged up finish “shabby chic.” But looking at it again last night I decided it just looked dinged up and needed to be painted. Quick search on how to paint a chair told me what kind of paint to buy, and advised sanding for prep. So I got out my block of wood and strips of sandpaper and went to work, discovering all sorts of unevennesses and dings that I hadn’t seen before. I wonder how old this chair is, and whether any of it was machine-made. Off to Jo-Ann’s for the cushion and Lowe’s for paint, more sandpaper, and new upholstery nails, home again to finish sanding, attach the seat cover, and get the first coat of paint on. Off to bed with the sorest hands, arms, neck, and back ever. (Wrapped my hands in my heat therapy corn bag, and they’ve been pretty fine today.)
Attaching the seat cover was a real challenge. The felted entrelac was much thicker than the previous fabric, but felt doesn’t unravel so I didn’t have to fold the edge over. The first bit I tried to nail to the rabbetted edge, like the fabric had been, but the edge broke. A little wood glue later, I decided I had to nail it to the thicker part of the board instead of the rabbetted edge. It was challenging to arrange the cover for a straight and attractive pattern on top, and to stretch and nail it without it shifting, and to manage the corners. I ended up stitching the corners down with yarn.
I’m pleased once again, and I hope someone else will be, too.