I sell most of the furniture I make-over, so I don't typically share the price I originally bought it for. Some pieces I net a fat profit, and some I barely break even. I don't want my buyers to see what I paid for the piece and think "Hey, I'm paying 5 times that! I got ripped off!" There are other materials and LOTS of labor to consider. Some pieces require a LOT of labor. These chairs happen to fall into that category.
I will happily share that I picked them up for $5 each. Solid bentwood chairs for $5! I found a church that was clearing out a storage unit. They had literally, dozens of this and a different style chair. The other style is a high-back, dining chair. I picked up a set of 6 to pair with a table in my garage. (You can see them in the background)
They were in almost perfect condition. Just in need of a serious update! I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
First, I removed the cushions, cleaned the frame and lightly sanded the wood. The frames then received several coats of black lacquer, giving them a smooth, high gloss finish. I then taped off the feet and brushed on 4 or 5 coats of metallic gold paint, giving them a "dipped" look. The whole frames where then sprayed with 3 coats of gloss lacquer.
Time to upholster the cushions.
I'll skip reupholstering the seat cushion. I think everyone has at least seen that done before. Its pretty straight forward.
Once both seats were done, it was time to tackle the backs. I've upholstered chair backs before. You can see how I did a one here. Thinking this would go quickly, I saved this step for the night before I was to deliver my furniture to the doomed boutique. I chose poorly.
I started by busting out a cheap flat-head screwdriver, and shoving it in the seam between the welt (upholstery name for piping) and the fabric.
I wiggled them apart revealing my new worst enemy, flexible tack strip. It definitely has a purpose in the upholstery realm, but it is covered in nasty, sharp (probably tetanus covered) teeth and is a pain in the rump.
Remember when I said I thought this process would be easy? Well, I didn't realize that the guy who put these backs together had a major love affair with staples, and obviously doesn't want his work screwed with. Admittedly, if I had a real staple remover and not just a dull screwdriver, the task wouldn't have been as bad.
I stripped off each layer (removing copious amounts of staples holding each), down to the wood frame and making sure to save the
evil crap tack strip.
At that point, the back frames got the same paint treatment as the rest of the body and allowed to dry.
Using the original fabric pieces as a pattern, I cut out my new upholstery from some cool black and white fabric I picked up from Joann's on sale.
Next, I started to put everything back together. I followed the same steps I took to disassemble it, only in reverse. This is when things became stressful (explaining the lack of photos at this point).
I did replace the foam for the seat backs. The foam was in okay shape, but due to the ridiculous amount of staples holding it down, it got a little maimed on the way out. That wasn't the hard part.
The hard part was when it was 11 PM, I'm exhausted and it was time to reattach the metal tack strip. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I hate my electric staple gun. I really do. I won't even bother to mention the brand at this time. Its bulky and powerless.
You see those little holes? Well, you are supposed to fire at least one staple through each hole, anchoring it down to the wood below. Ready for your mind to be blown? Hardwood... is hard (I know, who would have guessed?). So, when you have a crappy, powerless, staple gun and you can't see the hole you are supposed to be lined up with, it causes difficulty to say the least.
In fact, I had a 6" bruise on my shoulder for a week where I repeatedly pressed against the stupid staple gun, putting pressure on the back and begging it to fire. Hours later, I called it "good enough".
The next morning, I drug myself out of bed and put everything together. Here's what they ended up looking like.
I actually love the way they turned out. My favorite part is the gold paint dipped feet.
The welt around the backs is a little wonky in a couple spots. It was either the welt or my fingertips. My fingertips won. Its not so bad. Most people would never notice. Though being a perfectionist, I don't like looking at this photo.
In general, I'm really proud with how they turned out. I love the whole look.
Now the really sad part.
Oh, well. They looked really pretty at my booth before the rain, and I get to share them with you fine people!