From "Fugly" to Fabulous: Tufted Arm Chair

Today I donated some stuff to the Salvation Army.

Today I also brought stuff home from the Salvation Army.

Oops; that wasn't supposed to be how this worked.....

But I can definitely say it was worth it. This chair turned out so incredibly well; after 7 hours, a lot of cursing, a couple of tired hands (so many staples to pull out), some blood (ow), and a few intense fights (the chair always lost), this bad boy looks fabulous.

First things first- I decided on a paint color and a fabric to recover the chair. Luckily, the choices were easily made with Allie & Hannah to help. Ultimately I chose to go back to what I know best, and grab the leftover Divine Buck paint from the original dresser makeover from last year. It matched the fabric I had purchased earlier in the day for another project, and I had more than enough.

Then I removed the seat and the supporting bar so I could get to removing the back. What a nightmare this became.

I knew there would be staples to remove, but the amount of staples I had to remove just to get the front piece off was insane. I'd guess overall, I probably pulled out 400 staples with my needle-nose pliers last night. This was definitely the longest part of those 7 hours.

There were so....


...layers of staples to make it through.

Once I got the final layer of fabric off (and smacked my knuckle on the frame a little too hard, causing one of the most uncomfortable bloody scrapes ever), I used the old pieces of fabric as templates to cut the new pieces.

I painted the chair with a few coats, and started replacing the fabric. I know that a lot of people will shudder at the thought of painting over wood. But this was pressed wood (this chair maybe weighs 5 pounds soaking wet), so I don't feel bad.

I stapled the back piece on so that the pattern faced outward, and replaced the batting & cardboard. The batting makes the back softer, and the cardboard helps it retain the curved shape.

I thought I was in the home stretch, but this was where the cursing and fighting came in. Tip for other rookies out there- start your stapling for the front fabric piece at the top so that you can staple from the inside and hide your staples & brads.

I fought with this beast for probably close to 2 hours trying to get the back finished because I started at the bottom and had to figure out how to manage to hide my staples while also trying to maneuver around the foam piece and the small space I had to work with on the wood.

But it was all worth it because....

This chair turned out way better than I could have expected. For my first in-depth upholstery project, I think it turned out fairly well, all things considered.

I learned a few things along the way, the piece turned out super well, and now we have another beautifully thrifted piece in the house.

This project also got me started on a huge furniture haul I'll be working on this winter. A lot of pieces are coming our way this weekend to get me through the season, and I can't wait to start on them!

I'll be replacing a few pieces in our house over the next few months, and adding some new pieces in. Before we know it, I'll have more furniture than I know what do with :)

I'll be posting pictures on the Facebook page soon of the new pieces, so keep your eyes peeled!


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