A Bergère Chair With Some Serious Attitude | The Interior Frugalista: A Bergère Chair With Some Serious Attitude
A Bergère Chair With Some Serious Attitude | The Interior Frugalista

January 21, 2016

A Bergère Chair With Some Serious Attitude

It's the first Themed Furniture Makeover Day of 2016 and this month's theme is Shades of White.

A very fitting theme considering this Bergère Chair With Some Serious Attitude had me in shades of white,


...and every shade of black.

Bergere Chair Makeover After

Looks pretty innocent, doesn't it...

Bergere Chair Before Makeover

Perhaps I jinxed it when I told Mr. Frugalista how this was going to be a quick and easy makeover.

Bergere Chair with coordinated fabric back

We've had this chair for a few years and I remember the day I bought it like it was yesterday.  A colleague and I were shopping for home décor and furniture for a client whose home we were staging.  We both fell in love with the chair and wanted it for ourselves.  I was thrilled when it landed in the back of my vehicle!

When we gave our living room a makeover last year, the chair no longer worked and so it went downstairs in the workshop queue for a makeover.  My vision was to paint the wood white and reupholster the chair in a neutral fabric, so you can imagine my delight when I saw this month's theme.

Bergere Chair After a Makeover

And so the makeover from hell began, starting with removing thousands of staples.  This chair had staples one after the other, with no spaces in between.  That's where the first shade of red came in. Let's just say, thank goodness I had bandaids in the shop!

After removing all those staples, I noticed one of the legs was loose and wobbly.  That's when I learned how poor the quality of this chair was.  You know the old saying, you get what you paid for. Once glued and screwed back together again and clamped overnight, all was good.

...until the following morning when I noticed every strand of elastic webbing had so much slack that I'm surprised people's butt's didn't touch the floor when they sat down in this chair!

Bergere Chair with new upholstered back

So after the webbing got tightened it was time for the fun part, painting the frame.  This is where the shades of white came in, literally and figuratively.

First I lightly sanded the wood, as I always do. No surprise, the tannins in the wood caused bleed through the first coat of white paint.  Nothing that a coat of shellac won't solve.

While applying the second coat of white, the paint started bubbling and coming off in patches. This has never happened before in the three years that I've been refinishing furniture!

The second coat of shellac and two days later, the beast finally got painted.  Then silly me decided I wanted some distressing.  BIG mistake, the paint was coming off in chunks.

What finally worked after fixing the paint mishap was applying a coat of clear wax to protect the finish and leaving it dry over night before distressing.

Bergere Chair painted white and distressed

The fabric for this chair was leftover from our Ottoman Makeover where we ended up using a different fabric.

We had the chair upholstered within a couple of hours and it looked great!

Bergere Chair after reupholstering

The following day I got to work sewing piping.

Bergere Chair piping being sewed

I should start off by telling you that the fabric was a heavier upholstery fabric and it frayed a lot.

Bergere Chair piping

Hot glue gun in hand I got to the task of attaching the piping to the chair.  I've done piping before and it's not terribly difficult.

Ha!  Despite trimming the seam allowance as close as I could to the seam, the piping would not sit nice and flat on the chair and kept fraying as I worked around the chair.

Here is where the shades of black come in...

It looked awful.  As I sat back with a glass of wine and stared at it, the more and more I didn't like how the piping looked.

Using a heat gun on the lowest setting, we proceeded to remove my handy work. Frustrated as all heck, we got it done and that's when Mr. Frugalista noticed something.

Bergere Chair upholstery with burn mark

The heat gun burned the upholstery!!!

At this point, I was DONE.  I felt totally defeated and ready to throw the chair out the window and call it a day.  That was on Monday night OF THIS WEEK.

After a lot of colorful words were exchanged back and forth and we decompressed with another glass of wine, we decided to reupholster the seat.  In our fit of frustration or that second glass of wine, we cut the fabric too short.

We had one piece left and thankfully it JUST fit.  Exhausted at this point and having shed a few tears (mine) we started reupholstering the seat.  By this point, we couldn't get the corners (that we had no problem doing on Sunday) to lay nice and flat so we decided to call it a day.  It was 11:30 pm and did I mention that I started working on the chair 3 pm!

Bergere Chair upholstering the seat

As we were cleaning up the mess Mr. Frugalista noticed one of the arms on the chair had come apart. I think the neighbors may have heard the colorful words emanating from our basement!

We reglued the dowel and let it dry overnight.

Bergere Chair repairs to a loose arm

On Tuesday night, after a good night's sleep and with clearer heads, we finish the seat in a jiffy and moved onto Plan B.

Instead of piping (we had no more fabric), I hot glued gimp upholstery trim around the chair.

Bergere Chair with Gimp Upholstery Trim

...and we got it done.

Bergerre Chair after makeover

...and we both jumped for joy.

...and did the happy dance.

Bergere Chair new upholstered back

And now we are scared to sit in for fear of scratching the paint.

Or staining the upholstery.

Or having a Goldilocks moment.

Bergere Chair Makever Before and After

So instead, we'll just admire it and applaud our determination and hard work.

And perhaps I'll make a pillow with the scraps of leftover fabric and I'll embroider the words, "FOR LOOKS ONLY".

Now that you've read my saga of A Bergère Chair With Some Serious Attitude, let's head over and see what the other DIY Furniture Girls in the Themed Furniture Makeover Day Challenge created for their Shades Of White piece.

Furniture Girls Themed Furniture Makeover Day

Press the links below to see their makeovers but please pin directly from their blog rather than the links.

I'm sharing this project at these fabulous LINK PARTIES

Thanks a bunch to the following for featuring this project:

     Friday's Furniture Fix     
Show Comments: OR