I recently posted a photo of an chair that my mom gave me a couple of months ago. Its such a cool chair but looked very dated. It was brown with dark green velvet...this color combo was not letting this chair live up to its full potential. I wanted to redo it, but had never attempted anything remotely like, reupholstering..plus..its TUFTED! But, I figured.."what do I have to lose?". It ended up being a lot harder than I ever imagined. The hardest part of all was the tufting. Ahhhhhh!!!!.."TUFTING"...the word sends terror through me! Here is step-by-step my reupolstering/tufting project.
First I began ripping off the original fabric.
When I stripped off the back fabric I found batting that was in very good shape so I decided to keep it for my new chair. I also kept the foam from the top since it was also in good shape and already had the diamond tufting pattern that I needed. I decided to use new foam for the "seat" part because I wanted it smooth and not tufted as the previous person had done. There was also a heavy duty cardboard that had the diamond tufting pattern already in it (holes poked through) so I kept that attached.
Once I got all the foam pulled off (which was easy because there was only a bit of spray adhesive holding it in place) I used a product called "Klean Strip Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser" instead of taking all the time to try to sand this glossy paint job off. I applied it by using the liquid sander and putting it on a towel. I began rubbing the product into the brown painted part in a circular motion. Let it dry for a few hours.
I then came back and sprayed a flat white primer all over. I did this 3 times and then did 2 coats of the paint color I wanted ( a satin off white)...After that was dry I rubbed off some of the edges with sandpaper to give it a distressed look. I let that sit for a couple of hours and then applied furniture wax all over. Doing this will seal down the distressed paint.
I bought muted turquoise linen upholstery fabric for the front and seat of my chair. Can I just say...I love my fabric!!!!
So, between coats of paint I covered my buttons. I found this nifty button covering tool at Michaels on clearance. I thought I would give it a try since the button covering kit I had bought just not working for this hefty fabric. It was pretty easy to use and you can see the process above.
Just cut your piece of fabric put that into the button maker and pop the front of the button on top of that. I then cut around the edges to make it fit. I tucked in the excess and pushed down with the lever. I then popped the back of the button in and pressed down with the lever again. Voila..a button!
I used the "seat" part of the fabric as my foam pattern. It wasnt as rounded as the original but once I pull the fabric over it, it should be fine. I then secured the top foam with a spray adhesive.
I doubled up the thread on my buttons so that I when I pull them through, I can pull harder to make them tight during the tufting. I cut a piece of fabric WAAAAY bigger for the top part of the chair. This allowed me to tuck and pull on the fabric and I would still have enough to fit to the edges of the chair frame.
Ok...I do not have a great photo of the tufting portion. I can explain it somewhat though. So, I dont think this is correct but I started on the end of the first row and poked the fabric into the hole in the foam. Once I poked the fabric into the hole, the natural pleats began to form. This made it easier for me to see where they should be. (Plus, the person who upholstered this before had cut lines in the foam to show me exactly where my creases should be).
This is IMPORTANT!****---The folds all need to be going downward! That is how you get the tufting. Once I got my folds into place, I used a LONG drapery thread to pull my button into the hole. Once through the back, I pulled tight and used my heavy duty staple gun to staple the threads to the cardboard backing.
I continued working my way down and eventually ended up having all the buttons pulled through. I pulled tight on the threads in the back again and stapled them even tighter. then I cut around the edges of the fabric to fit into the frame of the chair. I then stapled around all the edges and pulled the bottom part of the fabric to the back of the chair, where I stapled it.
I then put the foam that I had cut on the bottom "seat" portion of the chair and cut a large piece of fabric to fit over the entire seat and began to pull and staple it down. I then cut the excess fabric off around the edges the chair.
I decided to use a different, printed, velvety type fabric for the back. I did the same thing as I had done for the seat. Cut a huge piece of fabric..cut off the excess and stapled around the edges. I pulled the bottom
part of the fabric underneath towards the front of the chair, folded it and stapled it under.
I then used a hot glue gun to glue my trim to the edges. I did this all around the chair. around the tufted part, the legs..everything. I had to go around the back a few times with the cord to cover the previously stapled part. I wish i would have had larger trim to do the back, but it looks ok...