Furniture Makeover

Vanity Fair Chair

As most makeup addicts do, I aspired to have a beautiful  bright feminine “office” or “makeup room”.  Today I got one step closer to completing that room!! My vanity chair is finished!!

I came across this ditty a number of months ago, while browsing The Salvation Army Thrift Store on my dinner break.  It was big, heavy and had great detail.  I still can’t decide if it’s actually vintage or pretending to be. Either way it was $30 and fit in my CRV.

When I finally got around to it months later,   I unscrewed the seat cushion from underneath the chair. It would surprise you how simply some furniture is constructed; five screws and I removed the cushion and lay it aside for re-upholstery later.

I lightly sanded as much of the chairs wooden surface as I could.  Because I was using a high adhesion primer, I didn’t need to sand to raw wood.   The primer was Benjamin Moore “Stix” and I still haven’t decided if I like it or not.  It doesn’t have a lot of coverage, so I applied two coats letting it dry in between.

Back in the day, mom and I would normally open all the windows and use an oil-based Melamine paint on furniture. That stuff never chipped!! But it smelled terrible and apparently wasn’t good for the environment…or our health. Since oil paint is becoming a thing of the past, Benjamin Moore released a line of paint called “Advance” that is perfect for furniture.  I applied two more coats to get a really opaque finish, since I was covering a dark brown stain with a white paint.  I lightly sanded between coats to help the paint adhere even better.

Now for the seat: Since the original cushion and fabric were in great shape, I decided to only removed the piping trim (that I won’t be replacing this time around) and cover the old fabric with new.

The upper left hand picture is the underside of the seat with the piping removed.  I turned on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and sat there with a flat top screwdriver and set of pliers and plucked out every staple that kept that piping attached.  The upper right hand picture is all the staples that were keeping the piping attached. I’m thinking overkill is an understatement.

Warning: If you can pawn this job off on a passerby, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, your shoulder will feel it the next day.

IMG_2967I laid the seat on the new fabric and cut out a piece a few inches larger on each side (you can trim the excess later).

Using a plain old $12 staple gun, I stapled the fabric to the underside of the seat, pulling the fabric tight as I started to make my way around.  I turned the seat over every now and again to check that the fabric is tight enough and since I was using a patterned fabric, that the pattern isn’t being distorted. Trimming the excess fabric I re-attached the seat to the chair frame.   Chris sat on the seat while I lay underneath the chair fearing for my life and securing the five screws. Voila!!


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