Funk up your chairs!

Funk up your chairs!

This gorgeous chair, didn’t always look like this. When I got my hands on it it was dark wood with a peach fabric, reminiscent of a chair you might find at your Nans bungalow… Well that’s exactly where I found it! (My Nan, not yours.)

I wanted to turn this quality piece of furniture into a contemporary boudoir chair, yet still keeping it’s authentic character and charm. I knew to achieve the look the wood had to be painted to give it a new flavour. Red is my favourite colour and I knew I had half a pot left over from other home improvements, my mind was made up. Before I painted the chair with my water based acrylic paint I gave the chair a light sanding and wiped it over with a damp cloth.

I then started painting the chair with my red paint, with a small brush and was careful not to get any runs. I left four hours between each coat of paint, which left me quite a lot of time to search for the perfect fabric. I do have a major crush on thick, bold stripes so I already had a good idea of what fabric I was looking for. I stumbled across this gorgeous material, it’s perfect for covering chairs, it’s called ticking and is a tough cotton fabric. You can purchase ticking in a variety of different colours and stripes. This one was £4.75 a meter, although I had to pay a few pound postage as I bought online. Ticking is usually very wide, so you get more for your money. This one was 1.5 meters wide and I think that is definitely good value for money!

I used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the chair, which was extremely fiddly because on this particular chair the back of it is upholstered as well so I had to get my hand and the staple gun underneath the fabric whilst still holding it taught as I didn’t want any unsightly staples showing. For your first attempt it is much easier to find a chair that only has seat fabric and a wooden back that way you can fudge it a bit and no one will see staples unless they are lying on the floor! Working with patterns can also be tricky, to do it properly the pattern needs to line up. Make sure you leave enough material to tuck under for a hem at the edges, and try to pull the fabric firmly before stapling without distorting the material. Remember the material needs to give when someone sits in it, if it’s too tight it will come undone or rip your material. When you go into the fabric store always ask for the upholstery section, the wrong material will not last five minutes!

This is the chair half way through the project:

I am in love, it’s a shame no-one is allowed to sit in the chair… And I seriously have to keep the kids off it with their dirty mits!

Try it for yourself, this chair I got for free but I have bought similar ones in the past for £10, and the paint and fabric is pretty cheap although the sense of achievement is immense, and think of all that money you are saving by Doing It Yourself! Plus you can design the look of your chair to match your room and none of your friends will have the same.

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