Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gumption and How to Strip a Chair

I'm venturing into You Can Upholster! this week, which is ambitious, I admit. I copied this quote from the book to keep me going:

"Most challenges tend
to shrink with gumption."
You Can Upholster! page 11

This chair will no longer be:
  • Too short
  • Too dark
  • Too dirty
  • Too lumpy

I've gotten the chair down to its bones, but oh my gosh! The dirt and crumbs! Completely gross. I kept telling myself that the grime was ours. I don't know if I could dig into a thrift store chair without wearing a hazmat suit.

The book suggested two methods for figuring out fabric amounts.
  1. Measure all areas of the chair and add 2 in.
  2. Strip it and measure.

I chose No. 2 because I don't have a 72–in. cloth tape measure, and I'm impatient. The book also suggests  using work gloves and a drop cloth along with countless tools to make the stripping job easier. Again, I'm impatient. I made do with two flat head screwdrivers, a hammer, and a needle–nose pliers.

The whole secret to stripping a chair is to start at the back of the chair, keep track of the order you take pieces off, and label everything. I used a piece of chalk to mark everything the moment it came off the chair.

I'm now dealing with the fabric issue. This chair is massive. It needs almost as much fabric as a couch. I do not want to fight with stripes of any kind, and I do not want to spend an arm and leg on fabric just to fret about cutting into it and screwing up. Upholstery fabric is really limited here, so I'm investigating drop cloths as my fabric. I have one in the bleach bath right now following Miss Mustard Seed's directions.

I think picking the dang fabric has been more stressful than ripping apart the chair!


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