The Chairs

One of the projects that’s been on my to-do list since we got married has been to paint our dining room table (given to us by my husband’s wonderful parents), and reupholster the chairs.

Here’s the before:

photo 1

The paint, chipped. The fabric, faded. The foam, crushed. Nobody likes sitting on soft boards with staples sticking through, right?

Months ago my mother-in-law helped me buy the foam and the fabric, but this weekend I finally pulled it out and got started. The first thing I did was take all of the cushions off so that I could paint the chairs. You can’t really tell from this picture, but they were stained with a very dark brown until I painted them.

Next, I removed all of the fabric and cushions from the seats by prying all of the staples off using a flathead screwdriver and needle-nose pliers.

The messiest part came next: cutting the foam. I just used the wooden base (which you can see in the picture coming up) to mark the places to cut the foam, which just came in one long sheet. I ended up using a scissors to cut the foam out, which I’m not sure if I would recommend, because it made the sides of the seats a little bumpy (now that they’re finished though, you can’t really tell).

photo 3

As you can see, it took up my whole living room. I basically just cut a square of fabric around the seat cushion and used a staple gun to secure the fabric. Up until this point everything was fairly straightforward and easy. There were several challenging parts about this part of the process, though:

  1. Squishing down the foam while trying to operate a staple gun, and
  2. Maintaining the same tension in the fabric all the way around so that it doesn’t end up looking bubbly.
  3. The corners.
  4. Making sure the fabric was squared up so that the pattern wasn’t crooked.

I wish I had a picture of how I ended up doing it. I really do. For your pleasure, I wish I could show you how awkward I must of looked, or explain to you how my legs burned after each cushion. I ended up just standing on the seat – squatting to pull the fabric tight and trying to man the staple gun at the same time as keeping my balance. It was a good workout, let me tell you. Here’s the final result though!


I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out so far. I’m excited to finish the last two chairs and paint the table! I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out.


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