Furniture Befores and Afters

With the Hope Christmas Show and all our own Christmas preparations behind us,  we thought we’d share  some of the furniture pieces we made over for the show.

I found this chair at a yard sale this summer.


What caught my eye was the concentric circle design on the sides.  It was a sturdy chair and the upholstery was in good shape (not lumpy or smelly) and at $5 the price was right.

This was my first attempt at real upholstery so I removed the fabric and cording pieces carefully to use as my templates later.


I took pictures as I went so I would know how to reassemble it with the new fabric pieces.


Once the upholstery was removed, I sanded and primed the wood parts of the chair.  I decided to go bold with  Rustoleum regal red.  Normally we stick to neutrals for our furniture pieces.  This piece, however, seemed to demand attention.

The key to upholstery is a pneumatic upholstery gun.  I purchased a Porter + Cable gun for about $90 and it worked great.  After stapling on the fabric pieces, I applied my double welt corded edge with hot glue.  This is a must for covering up all the staples.  I followed this tutorial to make the double welt cording.   The seat cushion was in good shape so I simply sewed a slipcover for the seat.  And here’s the after:

Isn’t she sweet?   A young red head purchased the chair for her Manhattan apartment.  We thought she was a perfect fit for it!  And her mom bought the Ethan Allen table in the background that also received a makeover.



In my haste to get started on it, I forgot to take a before photo.  It was a very 70s looking piece, done in a medium color pine.  I sanded the top down to bare wood and then applied Minwax dark walnut stain and a couple coats of polyacrylic for a durable finish.  The legs were primed and then painted with Sherwin Williams “creamy”.  I used coarse sand paper to distress the legs and then applied the same dark walnut stain to the distressed areas.


We found this pair of  armchairs along the roadside.  They were in great shape – sturdy and the caning was perfect.


We made them over using the same Sherwin Williams creamy paint used on the table, then distressed with coarse sand paper and  finished with the dark walnut stain on the distressed areas.  I waxed the chairs with Butcher’s Bowling Alley wax for a low luster, smooth finish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe upholstered the chair seats using burlap that we washed and dried several times.  Our process is to wash the burlap on the gentle cycle with hot water and then put it in the dryer on low heat.  We repeat this 4 or 5 times  – until the loose fibers are gone and the weave is nice and tight.  We love how it changes the look and feel of the burlap – resulting in fabric that resembles coarse linen that isn’t at all prickly to sit on.



This bench got the same treatment as the pair of chairs – sand, prime, paint with “creamy”, distress and stain.





We upholstered the seat in washed burlap.


For this pair of spool leg chairs we went classic with black satin paint and black and cream ticking fabric on the seats.





These would look great in a foyer, paired with a small table like this:


Hope you all can enjoy the slower pace of these days following Christmas!


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