(Closed) Fixing up Old ratty kitchen chairs?

posted 8 years ago in Home
Post # 3
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Pictures of the chairs in question would really help …

Post # 4
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I love re-doing old furniture.  Its my post wedding hobby!! Haha I was going crazy with nothing to do after the wedding.  Check out these sites which might help you http://www.remodelaholic.com/ or http://www.younghouselove.com/how-to/ they have some seriously awesome furniture redo projects.  If I were you what I would do its buy peices of 3/4 inch think plywood, and 2inch or 3inch high density foam (can be found at any good fabric store, hancocks, joannes etc) and a fabric you like.  Then what you will do is spray adhesive the foam to the plywood, then staple the fabric on top of that.  Then I would nail/screw this new “base” onto the existing chair.  You could even try to use a jigsaw to cut out the old bottom the chair.  As for the plywood you can get it at home depot/lowes and ask them to cut it to the right size for you.  If you post a pic of the chairs I can see if I can help more.  Or PM me with specific questions. Seriously tho check out remodelaholic, its amazing!

Post # 5
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I have my grandparents dining set – a very nice mohagany table that had chairs with an awful pattern.  I used a good, durable upholstery quality fabric that I believe I bought from fabrics.com.  As far as the sagging, I’m not too sure – are the bottoms a thin sheet of board that can just be replaced or fixed up?

Post # 6
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

We got some great cheap chairs from ikea.  They are comfortable and sturdy and about $35 each.  

Post # 8
46590 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If the wood that forms the base of the chair is cracked then it needs to be replaced.

Unscrew the old seat.

Remove the fabric and any padding.

Use the old wood as a pattern to cut new wood bases- plywood is strong.

As said above ,use spray adhesive to affix new foam.

Buy a remnant of upholstery fabric , cut into into pieces large enough to overlap the wood base by about 4 inches on all sides.

Lay the base, foam side down onto the back side of the fabric. Staple the fabric to the base on the middle of one side. Pull the fabric taut and staple in the middle of the opposite side.

Do the same for the remaining sides.

Then, work your way from the center of each side to the corners, stapling as you go. Be sure to keep the fabric square.

Whe you get to the corners take the time to fold and pleat the fabric to make the top side smooth and minimize bulk at the corners.

When you are finished stapling, trim the excesss fabric close to the staples(but not so close that it will fray and pull loose).

Fold the edges of a piece of  thin fabric under and staple a cover over the bottom of the seat to give a finished look.

Screw the replacement seat onto your chairs.

It sounds complicated but it is really very simple and will extend the life of solid wood chairs forever.

ps if you decide that you would like more chairs at some future time, you can always buy mismatched wooden chairs and cover the seats wit the same fabric. You would need to buy some spare fabric now, or replace the fabric again.

Another nice look is to spray paint the mismatched chairs and the table white.. This works for all sorts of wood furniture pieces like dressers, end tables etc.It gives a unified look to solid wood furniture that you can buy at a reasonable price or even get free off craigslist.

Post # 9
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

julies1949 gave the exact instructions I would follow, you will want fairly thin plywood, with a decent amount of padding.

Other hints:

Patterns look nice, but you have to take extra steps to make sure the print is straight and even, and when you pull the fabric taught across the seat it can skew the print a bit.

I put a thin layer of quilt batting (using spray adhesive) onto the fabric, leaving the area where you will staple clean, it helps to smooth out the edges where the fabric wraps over the plywood.

I use anti-fray on the trimmed edges of the fabric, and then I fold and iron hem tape onto the fabric to cover the unfinished underside of the chair … alternatively, use a piece of trim, and glue it over the staples and cut edges of the fabric to finish the bottom (if you will use a piece of trim, then I usually will finish the plywood with stain and polyurethane). This will give the chairs a professionally finished look.

Post # 11
46590 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Measue the length and width of the seat at their widest points. Add 8 inches to the length and width. If you don’t want to pull off the old fabric till you are ready to recover the chairs, You could make a paper pattern with the above measurements.

Take that with you to the fabric stor.

Fabric is always folded in half lengthwise so when you place your pattern on the fabric you are actually cutting material to cover 2 seats.

My chairs are the same shape as yours. The actual measurements are 16″x20″.Adding 8 inches gives me 24″x28″.

Upholstery fabric is often 150 inches wide-folded in half=75 inches.

I could easily fit 2 patterns crosswise(3×24) on the 75 inches which would cover 6 seats

with just under a yard- 30 inches would be ample. You don’t want to buy only the exact

28 inches that you need because you need to allow extra to straighten the ends to be on grain.

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