Thursday, May 22, 2014

French Chair Upholstery

I am sure a professional upholsterer is appalled that I am self taught and DIY but yet saying I upholster (it's probably more just recovering) but it's amazing what you can learn from the internet, books and experimentation.

Lilyfield Life french chair upholstery tutorial

It's also amazing what you can learn by paying close attention when you pull something apart. Take notes and photos of how it was put together and replicate it with new materials.

Steven found my blog from googling "Keeping chickens in Lilyfield" as he is contemplating some backyard chickens. When he realised I also restore furniture he asked me to revamp this french upholstered chair.

Lilyfield Life french chair upholstery tutorial

It looks okay but the springs and webbing were hanging down and broken and the fabric was very worn and smelly. The timber of the frame was also scratched and needing a new finish.  I stripped all the old fabric off which is very tedious with all the old staples. I use a tack claw which is a god send.

Lilyfield Life french chair upholstery tutorial

I repaired the webbing underneath with new jute and then painted the frame in a couple of coats of ASCP Graphite, and finishing the clear wax and a light distressing.  I then upholstered the chair using cardboard, foam, new fabric and gimp braid. If you are interested in a detailed tutorial for doing this yourself please read my post here.

Lilyfield Life french chair upholstery tutorial

Here is the chair without the gimp braid. It finishes it off very nicely and is quicker than making piping.

Lilyfield Life french chair upholstery tutorial

When using a patterned fabric such as this jacquard make sure you line everything up nicely and centre the damask. A nice even tension is one of the most important things when upholstering so you don't get crimps and puckers.


Lilyfield Life french chair upholstery tutorial

My trusty little helper keeping me company as I work. I love my dog so much. I really understood the attraction of dogs and the whole Man's best friend until we got Charlie but I certainly do now. 

Lilyfield Life french chair upholstery tutorial

Steven was very happy with the chair now. 
Me too, I think it's lovely and dramatic. All refreshed for another lifetime of use.

Do you like it?

Fiona xx



sharing at 
Miss Mustard Seed

13 comments:

  1. what a difference- it's such a striking piece now!

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    1. thanks Cassie, i love using graphite on chair frames.

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  2. You did an amazing job for this! Great choices for the paint colour and fabric.

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    1. thank you very much Jane, the client wanted something bold and dramatic for their bedroom.

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  3. Hi Fiona - it is gorgeous. I am about to take on the same project and really appreciate your post on how to do it. Thanks!

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    1. good luck with your piece Suzanne, looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
      cheers Fiona

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  4. OMG I LOVE THIS!!! You did an amazing job!!!!

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  5. Stunning piece...thanks for sharing, saw it on MMS...Coreen

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  6. nice chair and good way to modify old chairs way of your modifying chairs is unique this trick is amazing do you know how i can modify my old
    chair to like New one

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