In a recent post, I bemoaned the fact that my existing office chair was un-reupholsterable. The plastic backing would not snap or screw or come off. So the conclusion was I’d wait till I was able to replace it.
Half an hour after I published that post, I’d got myself a new old office chair off eBay! Gotta love bargain Buy It Now! A mere $10. That means I can spend a bit more on the makeover.
This time I made sure it was something I’d be able to reupholster. I asked for photos of the undercarriage, the sides and the back before I purchased. I even find the cast iron base of the chair where it meets the wooden frame beautifully elegant. It isn’t just funtional (have you peeked at the undercarriage of your office chair?). The castors were well used but still in very good nick so I had thought to spray paint them gloss black with Rust-o-leum®.
With old furniture like this, often you find that the screws need replacing. There were a few that were already badly ground down so that I wasn’t able to do anything to remove it. My builder brother in law to help me remove them with an awesome drill bit that screws into screws to create new threads to unscrew the screw. It was so very cool. I also needed a friend’s large file to re-thread the wind-up mechanism to this chair as the threads had been destroyed by someone’s pliers.
I knew what colour I wanted to paint the frame. Yellow. Happy yellow. And I knew what fabric I was dying to try out: a vintage upholstery fabric from a thrift store a few years ago. It’s colourful, with chinoserie-esque scenes from China, France, Thailand and I think Hawaii. What great luck that the seating and backrest were in very good condition, with no need to replace the foam.
After the screws to the seat and back were removed, it was a matter of stapling the new fabric onto the seat and back. I took my time with this as I wanted as good as professional job with this as possible. I paid a lot of attention with the folds of fabric at the corners, making sure they were pulled as taut as possible, as neat as possible, without changing the shape of the seat.
Tip: Take a picture of the base of the chair so there’s no trouble putting it back:
After carefully removing and storing the screws and sanding back the frame just a little, I applied three coats of Haymes Tulip Yellow to the wooden frame.
(In retrospect, I should have taken a sander with a fine grit to the arms, which were worn at the ends. It would have made it much smoother. I should have also used a foam roller rather than a brush.)
Then I sprayed the base of the chair with two coats of Rust-Oleum’s Sun Yellow.
I’m so happy with it now. A fitting mate for my beautiful desk!
I love swivel chairs. I love comfy chairs. I love yellow.