• Mama Shell

Dining Room Chair Re-Do

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

If I can do this it is a simple redo. I can show you how I transformed a dirty, old set of chairs with table and made it new and custom.

I fully intended to start over once we got to Arizona. During the various moves over the last few years, I kept losing furniture every time for one reason or another. I knew in this last move that I wanted to start over and have a DIY, beautiful house. I want to be inspired every day, and especially in today’s world where our homes are our everything, I wanted to make my home a sanctuary.

We moved to Arizona March 3rd. We were just moving in and luckily bought one pack of toilet paper before the Corona Virus blew up and shut everything down. I still haven’t been able to explore much so what do you do? Look inwards. I had planned on relying heavily on thrift stores and a nearby swapmeet. I use Offer Up as one of my daily searches now but it’s a love/hate relationship.

I missed out on a few incredible tables consulting with the family so when this little set came up I jumped on it. It looked like the seats needed to be redone but it had the glass top we were looking for. It seemed like the perfect place to start my home remodeling and now we can eat at the table. Ok, truth be told I am using it as my workspace right now, lol.

As you can tell the chairs were in rough condition. The seat cushions absolutely needed replacing and there were places that were scraped to the bare metal. These are pics of what I found underneath. There were actually two fabric coverings. One was original equipment and looked to be new in the 70's maybe early 80"s. Then the blue striped cover was over that for a change of look. Once I cut that off I found a dirty cushion so time to cut that off. Luckily the wood underneath was still in fairly good condition. Great. On to making it new.

I used the wood from the chair and outlined it onto the foam with a sharpie. I ordered the densest foam I could find at the time. I don't have an electric knife that many of the other tutorials suggest. I don't plan on doing this all the time so I ended up cutting the foam with some very sharp, sturdy scissors. I picked a thicker fabric expecting it to be a little more forgiving. I fell in love with this fabric and bought it even though it was a bit more expensive. I'm a novice so even $28ish per yard was like whoa. But, I trusted myself and went for it and I'm so happy that I did. I bought two yards. It turned out perfect for 4 chairs. So easy for a novice. I cut it in half and then half again and viola.

I found this tutorial to be the most useful about the method to use to tack down the fabric. I'm sorry I didn't save the tutorial I used but when I do it will be here. I used a staple gun. Here is where a little bit of finesse came in. So you take the fabric on each straight side (halfway point) and pull it tight enough for a slight curve in the top foam but not so tight that it pinches. Next, it was staples halfway between this half point and each corner. I kept going until I was happy with the way the corner looked. I am still pretty happy with these corners and these chairs. But, oh, wait. I skipped what happened to the metal chairs while they were naked.

I'm using the most available, affordable items to make this table fabulous. I bought a multi-grit pack to use on this project. My love found this hammered metal paint. I love it. The last picture is the main two grits I used towards the end. I started with the rougher grit like the 220 and worked my way till it looked smooth and ready to be cleaned and sprayed. I didn't need to go finer than 1000 for the metal. So, just a little advice....go ahead and get a drop cloth to paint on, it's totally worth it.

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