Once upon a time…
in a faraway land lived a fair maiden named Danielle. She had five daughters, one husband and multiple children in her home daycare. Each day the children would gather around her kitchen table to make art projects and eat lunch, all whilst perched upon her six hardworking chairs.
The state of her chairs was no reflection on her housekeeping abilities, but more of a reflection of the activities that took place in her home, like this…
This chocolate milk is one small bump and a short straw ride away from hitting the cushion. Danielle didn’t want to run her household chasing after children with damp cloths and yelling at them for every little accident, but the state of her chairs was fraying her nerves, so she called me.
I had seen her chairs several times in passing and never stopped to inspect their condition, but once I took a good look I agreed that something had to be done.
First I removed the cushions from the chairs by loosening the screws under the wood.
Next I used a crowbar, slotted screwdriver and pliers (in various orders) to rip the fabric and remove the staples. Once I had them down to just a bare piece of wood and raw cushion, I then cut out material, ironed it, placed it under the cushion and wrapped it. I first wrapped the four sides and then went back to do the four corners.
I don’t know if you noticed, but Step 3 has clear plastic vinyl wrapped over the fabric. The picture is misleading, but I merged my pictures together for simplicity sake. In reality I covered the cushion with fabric and then did the same 3 steps with clear vinyl to allow for easy wipe-downs and a spotless look.
The hardest part of putting the vinyl over the fabric is that I had to pull it equally as tight or else the fabric would wrinkle and bunch under the vinyl, which would not be very attractive. Also, typically if you are going to recover a cushion, you would also want to cut another piece of fabric to place over the wood part that is showing on the bottom. When another piece of fabric is laid over the wood and stapled down uniformly, it really gives the whole chair a polished feel (even though people rarely look under their seats.) I didn’t avoid this step out of sheer laziness, it really would have gotten in the way of function. You see, the chair had just fabric on it before, so the chair was built to have a very thin layer between the wood and the cushion. But when I added the vinyl (especially at the corners) it created more bulk than the chair was designed for and it really put a strain on the screws and the thin wood that was holding the screws. The LAST thing the chairs needed was another layer of fabric to put even more pressure on the wood that wasn’t designed for it. So, at the end of the day I had to sacrifice a little bit of esthetic appeal to ensure the screws wouldn’t pull out of the wood over time. I think I made the right choice.
After I covered the chairs I gave them a quick scrub with a damp towel and wiped them dry. I also put on a light coat of Restor-A-Finish wood restorer just to make them shine. Once the wood restorer dried (it only takes about 10-15 minutes) I screwed the cushions back on and returned them to Danielle’s enchanted daycare.
Together the chairs worked and helped make art projects in harmony.