Okay, you got me…I’m guilty of seeing potential in things that, quite frankly, don’t have a lot of potential; luckily I’m willing to put in the hours. My latest project was a sad and lonely rattan woven chair, spotted in a little shop called ‘Allsorts’ – the name fits, I also picked up an unusual gold chain from there.
I bartered the price down to a tenner plus the change in my purse (£11.50 in total), it took a while for enough free hours to come clear but when the day came I managed to give it a new lease of life with the help of some good old elbow grease, a couple of cans of spray paint, some spare fabric and a staple gun…
1. Separate the chair into as many pieces as possible (while still being able to reassemble), this will help to achieve the neatest finish. Unfortunately, I could only get down to two in this instance.
2. Again, to get the neatest finish, I try to strip the chair down to the bare minimum and give it a good scrub down with some soapy water before allowing it to dry thoroughly. In this instance it simply meant stripping off the fabric and cushion stuffing (usually I would try to re-use this but it was particularly dusty and deflated so it got scrapped).
3. As with most things, the ‘stripping’ was not as straight forward as it first seemed. I failed to notice just how sorry the feet on this chair were, which incidentally meant I had to think on my own feet…I made the brave decision to strip them down with the help of a hammer, some pliers and a lot of brute force – if in doubt, strip it down!
4. Once striped and cleaned the world is most definitely your oyster, as my head-turning colour choice confirms. Unfortunately, due to several bad paint jobs prior to falling into my hands I opted to simply spray paint the bulk of the chair – which not only covers a multitude of sins but also gets into the tricky areas created by the design of the chair. I covered the wooden cushion base in foam, which I cut to size and rounded the edges of with a pair of kitchen scissors, before using some bargain fabric (99p a meter – I knew it would come in use one day!) and a staple gun to cover. The orange dimples/covered buttons were added last to (in theory) bring the design together. Using some adjustable contact adhesive and cotton twine I bound the feet (twice to give the best finish) and added some felt pads to protect my flooring.
5. I had the bolster cushion lying around which I knocked up a new cover for…et viola!
As I mentioned several times above, when re-upholstering I always try to strip the furniture down to a bare minimum to give the best finish. However, the previous owner(s) clearly didn’t have the same work ethic. I found seven layers of fabric when stripping the cushion down – naturally I washed the best unworn pieces and added them to my collection!
I love the idea of altering furniture to make it fit for purpose as opposed to chucking it in land-fill and shelling out for an other. My re-fit gives this chair its eighth life, I wonder what its ninth life will look like?…