...and black and blue.
Doesn't it look so pretty and innocent sitting in front of our living room window? Perhaps I jinxed it when I told Mr. Frugalista how it was going to be a quick and easy makeover.
Pictured below is how it used to look. 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 a client's home that we were staging and we both fell in love with the chair, wanting it for our own homes. I was thrilled when it landed in the back of my vehicle.
The armchair worked well in our living room with our former earth tones but now that we've whitened and brightened this space, so too needed the chair.
The Armchair Makeover From Hell
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 that this month's theme was Shades of White.
After removing all the staples I noticed one of the legs was wobbly and I soon learned the poor quality of this chair. The adage, you get what you paid for stands true.
Once glued and screwed back together and clamped to dry overnight, all was solid again.
...or so I thought.
Every strap of webbing on the seat had so much slack that I'm surprised people's butts didn't touch the floor when they sat down.
After tightening the webbing 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, and no surprise that the tannin's in the wood bled through the first coat of 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 chair was finally painted.
Then silly me decided I wanted a distressed look. BIG mistake, the paint was coming off in chunks.
What finally worked, after fixing the paint mishap was applying a coat of clear wax and letting it cure first before distressing.
Onto the upholstery part of this makeover, starting with the fabric on the back. We used a pretty sage green that I already had in my fabric stash.
The fabric for the rest of the chair was intended for our Ottoman Makeover but we ended up using a different fabric for that project. I was happy to find a new purpose for the fabric because it wasn't cheap.
Thankfully, we had the chair upholstered within a couple of hours and it looked great.
The following day I got to work sewing the piping.
I should start off by telling you that the fabric was a heavier upholstery fabric and it frayed a lot.
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 a difficult process. Spoke too soon.
Despite trimming the seam allowance close to the seam the piping would not sit flat on the chair and kept fraying as I worked.
Here is where the shades of black come in...
It looked awful and as I sat back with a glass of wine, the more I looked at the piping the more I didn't like how it 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.
The heat gun burned the upholstery!
At this point, I was DONE. Feeling completely defeated and ready to throw the chair out the window, I called it a day. That was on Monday night OF THIS WEEK.
After a lot of colorful words were exchanged and we decompressed with another glass of wine, it was decided we had to replace the fabric. In our fit of frustration, or that second glass of wine, we cut the new fabric and it was TOO SHORT.
We had one piece of fabric left. Exhausted by this point and having shed a few tears (mine) we had just enough fabric left to reupholster 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 at 3 o'clock.
As we were cleaning the mess Mr. Frugalista noticed one of the arms on the chair had come apart. I think the entire neighborhood could hear the expletives coming from our basement.
Now 11:45 pm, we re-glued the dowel and bid that dam chair goodnight.
On Tuesday night, after a good night's sleep and with clearer heads, we finished the seat and moved onto Plan B.
Instead of piping (we had no more fabric), I hot glued gimp upholstery trim around the chair (pictured below).
...and declared the chair DONE.
We both jumped for joy.
Did the happy dance.
And scared to sit in the chair.
For fear of scratching the paint.
Or staining the upholstery.
Or having a Goldilocks moment.
So instead, we'll admire the armchair from afar and applaud our determination and hard work.
And perhaps I'll make a pillow with the small scraps of leftover fabric and I'll embroider the words, "For Looks Only".
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.