Retooled Vintage Chairs

old chairs
The old and new chair seats.

At the local antique store, I found a set of tall, swivel chairs for my kitchen island for $12.50 each. They were previously recovered in a ’60s oilcloth print of roosters, trees and farm scenes. It was a stained and discolored, so I decided to reupholster it with an oilcloth print fragment that I purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics in the leftover bin for $3. I sliced the fabric into a large circle, stretched it over a thin piece of polyester batting, and used a staple gun to hold it in place, pulling each side taut as I stapled around the edge. When finished stapling, I cut off extra fabric and reattached the chair backs.

For a professional finish, you can use a round of cardboard that laps over the fabric edge and nail it down with upholstery tacks. This finish offers a nice hand feel, if you’ll be touching your recovered surface often and need to minimize sharp edges. Store co-owner Robin said to polish the chrome up with that stuff you rub onto your hubcaps to buff the imperfections and get back the metal’s sheen. I still haven’t done this, since it wasn’t available at our small-town grocer. I plan to pick some up on my next trip to Kansas City.

The entire reupholstery project took me about 45 minutes to complete, and now I have two cute stools at my breakfast nook for $28.
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