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Thread: Is this chair worth saving?

  1. #1
    Administrator Jenna Abbott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    20
    Name
    Jenna Abbott
    City
    Gold River
    State/Province
    CA
    Country
    United States

    Is this chair worth saving?

    One of my neighbors was dragging a chair out to the curb this morning and, I have to admit, that I swooped in like a vulture. This is a good quality, hardwood framed piece from the early 40's. I love the shape and I think it's worth saving but I don't have a clue where to start. It needs a full re-upholstery job and I'm thinking it might be a weekend project.

    So here are my questions:
    1. The fabric is trashed and so is the stuffing. The old stuffing looks like a mix of fibers and maybe even some animal hair. What do I need to be aware of when I strip it down?
    2. It has springs. Well, kinda. They're a mess. Can I buy new ones and should they be tied?
    3. The wood frame is in pretty good shape but it needs to be cleaned up and maybe touched up. What products are best for that
    4. Other than a good air stapler, which I have, what tools do I need to make my life easier if I tackle it.
    5. Finally, I am really good at drapery but I've never done an upholstery job. Are the skills transferable or am I a nut and should I just sneak the chair back to the curb next Wednesday?
    I'm all ears!
    Jenna

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8
    Name
    Kimberley Chagnon
    City
    Greenfield
    State/Province
    MA
    Country
    United States
    Hi Jenna,

    Keep it.... If it is a hard wood frame as you state it is worth saving.

    To answer your questions in order
    1 - you might want to wear a mask as the fibers aren't always pleasant as they filter out into the air. Take lots of pictures as you go
    so you have something to reference back to. Notes are also good. I would also save the fabric as it may help you when making the cuts on your new cover.

    2 -You can in fact buy new springs, but usually they are okay to reuse - What Kind are they, coil or zig zag.... Coil involves an eight way tie, and zig zag need to be tied to each other and spaced approximately 4" or so apart for adequate strength. You can go to my You Tube channel (Kim's Upholstery) we have a video on springs.

    3- to clean up the wood you could use old English scratch cover and steel wool. This works very well.

    4- To stripe the piece you will need a staple pulling tool, a good pair of scissors, dykes and eat your Wheaties that day as you will need
    strength to get the fabric off.

    5- Unfortunately, no this is not a given for someone who is great at drapery, but if you are a DYIer give it a try.

    I am more than happy to help you along the way. Email me pics and will answer any questions that I can.
    kimberley@kimsupholstery.com

    Hope this helps!

    Kim

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2
    Name
    Marcia Kalina, WCAA Chicagoland President
    City
    Palatine
    State/Province
    Illinois
    Country
    United States

    Smile Yes,Keep it. I too love to save things and refurbish them.

    Jenna,

    I mostly do drapery, slipcover, cushions and pillows. But love a challenge. So if I can do it you can too!

    Like Kim said.......Make sure to wear a mask and strip it down outside or in the garage if you can. You would not believe what will fly in the air. Also, get a large old sheet or tarp to set it on while you are ripping it apart and have a trash bag to put the fabric and such in as you go. That will avoid having to handle it more than once and reduce the debris in the air and the yuck factor! The Tarp or sheet will save you a lot of time cleaning up small staples, etc.

    If it has coils and needs to be eight way hand tied, there are some good upholstery books that show how to do small projects and tie up the springs and tell what materials to use. I got mine at JoAnne Fabrics.

    If you have access to a foam dealer, they usually have all the supplies you need and sometimes advice!

    Good luck. I am sure you will figure it out and it will look beautiful.

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