I had a great, comfy couch in the basement but I also wanted a chair for people to sit in. I’ve loved the barrel chairs that other people have made over so when I saw one at a local antique store I had to have it (Vogue Vintage Too in Ferndale for you Detroiters). For less than $50, this chair came home with me.
I started by removing the old fabric, making sure to keep it as intact as I could so that I could use the old fabric as a pattern for my new fabric. The fabric on the back of the chair was stapled directly to the wood so I had to carefully pull up the staples and remove the fabric and buttons. Fabric was also stapled to the backside of the chair so I removed it as well before moving onto the seat. The seat was screwed onto the chair frame with four screws that I easily removed. Then it was just a matter of removing the fabric from the cushion.
I knew I wanted to paint the chair white and I wanted a white/black fabric for the cushions. What I didn’t expect was the difficulty in finding a fabric I liked. I searched through local fabric stores (Fabric Warehouse in Warren, JoAnns, and Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak) without any success. During a random trip to Pier 1 I noticed gorgeous linen lined curtain panels that were 20% off. I immediately bought the following curtain panel for roughly $32.
Using this panel gave me more fabric for my money, allowing me to make two pillows for the room. But, back to the chair! I cut out pieces that matched the shape and size of the old fabric from the chair and then ironed the fabric to remove any wrinkles.
Before attaching the new seat fabric to the cushion I had to determine if I would reuse the existing cushion. Since the cushion was in good shape I simply filled the holes from the tufting with batting and then wrapped two layers of new batting over the cushion. I did the same for the back support for the chair.
Next, I needed to paint the chair so I could attach the cushions. I sanded, primed and spray painted the chair with Rustoleum’s Semi-Gloss White. The first piece of fabric to attach was on the backside of the chair. I simply stapled the fabric directly to the chair frame and then trimmed any extra fabric.
Then I placed the chair back’s cushion on the chair and stapled the new fabric directly to the chair frame, holding the cushion in place. This was the hardest part of the entire process since I made the back a little thicker than it previously was and it was hard to get the stapler into a good position to staple the fabric.
The chair originally had corded fabric edging this cushion but I wanted to glam it up a bit so I opted to use nail head trim. You can buy strands of trim at any craft store – I bought mine at JoAnns for $15. You simply place the strand where you want it attached and then gently hammer in a brad every third hole using a rubber mallet (so you don’t break the trim). Using pliers, I easily cut the other end of the trim after wrapping the trim along the back cushion.
I then covered the chair seat cushion with the fabric and stapled it using the same technique I used for my Craigslist folding chairs. I screwed the chair cushion back into place and added nail head trim to the front of the cushion. That was it!