Monday, September 13, 2010

the bench.

ALERT: Please excuse these HORRIBLE images... I used my iPhone because it was available & convenient... like always. :)

I have always loved the shape of this bench, but was never so much a fan of the fabric. It always seemed a bit drab looking to me... so, while the other two chairs are getting professionally upholstered, I decided to save some dough & try my hand at reupholstering... what's the harm in trying, right? I tried to take some pics a long the way, but bare with me, I got very focused & lacked images in some areas.

I first began by intricately observing the bench to see the details & taking pictures to help me remember what I needed to replicate. I then removed the legs, careful to label them so that I could line them up again properly. Next, I found the piece of fabric that should obviously come off first: { usually the back or bottom.} In my case, it was the bottom cover liner. I carefully removed the stables with priers and a flathead screwdriver... careful not to rip the fabric so that I could recut my new fabric to the exact sizes needed. Then just go step by step in what seem to be be the easiest and most effective to come off next. The dissembling part is the longest and most tedious... I ended up with blisters on my hands 5 hrs. later. IMPORTANT: Again, TAKE NOTE of EVERY contruction detail... and take pictures of each section along the way so you won't forget.
The sides of my bench were the most tedious and difficult, but it varies, obviously, from piece to piece.
Then, basically, I just started carefully stapling the fabric back in place exactly like I took it off... making sure to keep it taut, and in my case, (with the stripes) straight. I covered the bottom cushion first, then moved the the arms... the only trick is just making sure your staples stay hidden and secure along the way. (Make sure you are stapling into the wood, and not the batting.
Bottom before the finish out fabric.
side arm.
bottom cushion completed.
Again, while working on the arms, just make sure your folds are pulled taut and you have secured everything properly with staples. The staple gun will be your best friend... and your worst enemy.
Below, I had to cover and clean up the side of the arms because there was a gap in the structure. You can make things look really clean with thick cardboard pieces cut to size and stapled in with batting then placed over it. It gives the side a cleaner finish and covers up your flaws.
I finally had to re-nail all the studding back in... I was really careful in removing it so that I could reuse them and not have to buy more. You can always just plunk them out and replace, but I took the longer route to save me a trip to the store and some cash. (This would definitely be an area you could cut down on time, if you choose.) Once you pull out the studding, take some pliers and straighten the nail shaft back to a 90 degree angle. (Sweet Ry did this part for me while watching football... ) I then carefully measured my spacing with new quantity of nail heads (after loosing a few), marked the placement of each with a a marker, and started nailing them in, again. You can use a rubber mallet to protect the nail heads, but I just used a good ol' BU rally rag and duck tape to cover the hammer and add some padded protection so I wouldn't scratch, dent, or knick the heads.
I then just screwed back in the legs and bought some 3" nails for reinforced support, and drilled them into the base.
See before: (sorry, its my only before image I have)
And after:

This little beaut has a whole new lease on life... and she only cost me the fabric and some cents on the dollar for the reinforcement screws.

Happy Monday!


andrea said...

Wow! That looks great!

Anonymous said...

holy crap. you're good

Emily Nickson said...

Wow! That's really amazing! Is there anything you can't do? Thanks for my card you sent in the mail today. U always have a way of putting a huge smile on my face!

katie said...

looks amazing!! great job!

NGJagers said...

Good Job Mel! Congrats