We love a good DIY project! Not only is it fun to give new life to old things, it is a great way to keep items out of the landfill. Part of a sustainability mindset is finding ways to use what we already have and therefore purchase less.
The DIY Project: Cleaning and Updating Wooden Dining Room Chairs
Why I Love It
These chairs, while visibly grungy, still had a lot of character. These chairs are solid wood and have beautiful carved detailing on the legs. It is rarer to see chairs with unique detailing on the backrest, so that made these extra special as well. It is worth looking passed the dirty surface on these as dirt is easy to wash away.
The plan for these chairs is to give them a good clean, a fresh coat of paint and new fabric for the seats.
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- Cleaning Supplies (soap and water)
- Chalk Paint
- Foam Paint Brushes
- Hammer, Pliers…any other staple remover tools
- New seat cushion material
- Staple gun and staples
I started by removing the seat from the chair and then gave the chairs a good scrub down. There were years of grime layered on these chairs, but elbow grease was enough to get them clean.
I had chosen a fabric I loved and this fabric directed my choices for the chairs. To compliment the colours in the fabric and with an aim to make the seats pop, I chose the dark brown chalk paint. I painted the chairs using foam paintbrushes. I find that it usually takes two to three coats to thoroughly cover and give a rich finish and I like the control I have using foam brushes versus a standard brush.
I got out my tools to remove the old fabric. Boy was my work cut out for me! There was literally 100 staples in each of the seats holding that fabric down.
You never know what you’ll find beneath a layer of fabric. This time it was more fabric! After some more work, I continued on with new padding and this patterned fabric that I absolutely adore. This was my first solo attempt at uhpolstery, so I accidentally put the fabric on upside down on one of the chairs, but I decided that it looked okay regardless.
The process to upholster a chair seat is fairly simple. First I positioned the fabric on the seat where I wanted the pattern to sit, then I cut the fabric with some room to spare for me to pull it around the back of the seat. The last step is to staple the fabric down starting with the flat edges of the seat. I pull the fabric so that there is a nice clean finish across the seat. For the corners, I fold the fabric to give an attractive finish before stapling it down.
The Finished Product
Here’s the finished product!