There really aren’t any pretty pictures in this post, sorry! I picked up this sad little chair for $40 at the Habitat Restore a few weeks ago. The 90’s fabric was HORRIBLE but the wood frame was sturdy and a charming shape, and I thought I could update it and have a fun experiment with upholstering without risking too much $$$.


Chris thought I was crazy when I brought it home. He also hates the caning, but I like it. The caning can be removed at some point if it tears without detracting too much from the chair, but for now I’m going to leave it.


I spent a couple of hours on Saturday pulling the chair to pieces and seeing what of the upholstery I could salvage.

Chris helped me with some of the muscle work. I hurt my back last week and pulling a gazillion staples out wasn’t going to help!


Under the layers of hideous 90’s fabric I found older 70’s velvet fabric, so this chair is older than it first appeared. Which totally makes sense. I had thought it strange that the chair’s style was older, and that it was so well-made…it didn’t seem like 90’s furniture.

The professional reupholstery job that had been done on this chair was a little TOO good. It was extremely difficult to pull off the literally thousands of staples, tacks, and upholstery thread. But the good thing is that the cushions and webbing were in excellent shape so I can reuse them. This is kind of as far as we got…


I’m planning to use this fabric…

dwell studio vintage blossom

It’s Dwell Studio Vintage Blossom in Jade.

I’ve always liked this fabric. Although I think more contemporary birds are a cliche on its way out, I like the vintage look of this bird/blossom fabric that makes it more classic and more suitable to the style of the chair.

Also, it didn’t hurt that I found it at Home Fabrics (a discount fabric store) for $7.99 a yard. Yup, that pretty much clinched it.

So now, I still need to remove the padding on the arms and then I’m planning to stain the pecan wood darker with a Poly + Stain product. This will hopefully also cover up some of the dog teeth marks on the lower legs =p. Fortunately the wood was pretty hard so it’s not too chewed up.

I’m excited! This is the first “real” upholstery project I’ve attempted. I don’t count recovering the dining room chairs or the upholstered headboard, cause those were pretty much just pulling and stapling. Hopefully it turns out well. I’ll keep you updated!

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