I’m going to miss Summer. Despite the crazy heat and humidity there hasn’t been a single day when I haven’t been outside puttering over something or another.
Building, refinishing, sorta-gardening, watering, swimming – it’s been fantastic!
You, on the other hand, will probably be glad to see me back indoors in late Fall so you won’t have to witness anymore refinished pieces (like today’s office chair makeover). My neighbours will probably be grateful for the silence from the sander and saws, not to mention NOT seeing my sweaty, scruffy butt in my open garage.
But not today folks – today you have to scroll through yet another piece of gloriously refinished furniture!
This wood waiting room or office chair was my friend Kate’s, however she recently decided to buy a herman miller embody chair for her office. Her loss is my gain!!
Sure it had some scuffs and gouges and the vinyl upholstering screamed 70’s chic – but it had straight lines and was solid wood – which means anything is possible!
Office chair makeover!
I sanded the frame down to bare wood with my Dewalt random orbit sander, which removed varnish, stain and all of those little nicks and scratches you see.
I used Minwax Special Walnut as the stain – 1. because I had some leftover and 2. because it’s a favourite shade of mine for warmth and richness.
Two coats of triple-thick varnish – with 320 grit sanding in between and the chair frame was perfect!
BUT, and with any upholstered project, the seat and seat back had that ‘aged’ smell, and when I removed the staples from the back and seat bottom you can see why:
Despite the vinyl covering, the foam cushion had still managed to pick up scents of time and had deteriorated to become fairly flat. I picked up 1.5″ foam at the fabric store, which ran at $27/metre (just over a yard) – this is the most expensive part of reupholstering anything.
I traced the old foam onto the new one and cut it out just slightly larger than the outline with scissors.
My upholstery fabric was on sale for $6/metre, so it was a steal – I centred the pattern on the front of the seat back and seat bottom, pulled it taught over the foam and then stapled into place around the back.
I’ve found the best way to get a taught finish with no wrinkles, is to staple the centre of opposite sides first. From there, I stapled the outer corners into place and then placed staples by pulling tight and stapling in between – splitting the difference over and over until the side was adhered well. Repeat on the opposite edge and then start again at the centre points of the sides of the chair.
The back of this office chair also shows, so I needed to upholster the back, but keep the seams hidden. To do this, I cut a piece of material just larger than the opening that needed covering and then stapled it in place slightly below the screw holes that attach the back to the chair. I folded the edges in to give a nice finish. You won’t need as many staples for the back – just enough for a smooth finish with all of the staples falling within the stripes the cross-braces of the chair will cover.
Your office chair makeover will go from smelly, drab and flat…
To fluffed, fresh and fabulous!
This little side-table was another curb-find – the leg was loose and the finish was destroyed. I don’t have any before photos to show you the difference, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s pretty spectacular now.
And goes perfectly with the new office chair!
Total time spent (on both pieces, not including drying time) = 3 hours
Just think – 3 hours of work and not only will you have two beautiful pieces for your office, but you will have saved needless waste from the landfill. Refurbs are fantastic but if you’re more interested in a cheap office chair check out office chairs under 200.
SO worth it!
Have a great one!