This is where we left off… I talked about the soda blasting process and how I deconstructed this chair, in this previous post. I was so happy with the chair and how it was looking, all deconstructed! It was still a little too yellowy for my taste and I wanted to give it more of a “bleached“ look. I tried bleaching it but that didn’t take out the yellow, so I was searching for a way that I could make it lighter and still have the wood character pop.
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Before I started working on the frame, I cut the foam for the seat and attached it because I thought that I was going to keep the word frame the way it was. A meat carving tool works great for this!
To lighten the frame, I started by adding a white wax. I knew I probably wouldn’t stop at the white wax because I wanted it to be more of a warm tone. You can see in the photo below, the left side has the white wax applied and the right side does not.
The white wax was a little too cool in color for me, so I added a color “light” wax on top of it. That warmed it up a tad, just enough so that it wasn’t as white looking.
I loved the fabric that I had added to the seat cushion. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t use it on an upholstery project again because it’s a thinner fabric and I am guessing that it probably won’t hold up as well to stains and such. It’s an inexpensive fabric that is usually used for the inside of a chair. My plan was to use this fabric to hold down the seat cushion/foam and then get a different fabric to put over that. I loved the feel of this fabric so much and how it was looking with the chair that I decided to chance it. I’m still kind of regretting it before I even test it out on there, haha.
You might be able to notice on the right backside strip of the chair, below, I added the “light” wax over the white wax. That gives an idea of the subtle difference that using the light wax did for the chair.
To finish the top of the word frame, I started off by stapling a piece of my doubled up fabric. I made sure to add a lot of staples down the center part so that it would hold it down and look more flush on the backside. I used my air stapler for this part, because all of these staples were going to be hidden.
My air stapler connects to my air compressor. It’s great for upholstery projects! I use it a lot for the inside parts that aren’t going to show in the end.
After I added the initial piece of fabric to the back, it was a little see-through when the light was showing through, so I knew that that would be an issue when I added the webbing for support. I decided to add another piece of fabric that was thicker on top of the initial piece of fabric. I could still see the light a little through it, so I knew the webbing would show through on the back side. I added a piece of cotton batting, and that’s exactly what I needed! It was thicker and worked great to hide what would have been the shadowing of the webbing, had I not used it.
And then you can see how I wove each piece in horizontally after that. I made too sure to pull as tight as I could before stapling. There are tools that can be used for a tight pull, but since this was the backing of a chair I wasn’t that concerned about it and it worked really well.
Now for the final step… I used tack nails for this part since they were going to show when the chair was finished. this process takes a lot of time since each nail is hand pounded in with a tack hammer, but I love the look of all of those tack nails showing! I added a lot of tack nails this time because I wanted the top part as flush as I could get it. You can see in this other upholstery project, I added a lot less tack nails and it still holds up very well.
I pulled each part taut, making sure it was tight, before adding each nail. The nails can be easily removed if needed to make it tighter in places that don’t look as good in the end.
Let’s take another look at the “before”…
It’s a whole different chair and I love it! I love the exposed wood and even how the sides are without upholstery!
I love how the back turned out as well! I’m so glad I kept that middle post showing.
I’m pretty sure the birds are happy too! I love how the detail shows so much better now that the wood is lightened up!
A few of you said that the faces were scary when I was sharing it on Instagram stories, haha. I actually love the faces and the character that they give!
The curved sides look so good all deconstructed, without the fabric.
Again, a little nervous about the fabric that I used, but worst case scenario, I will just have to change the top piece of fabric that I used. I’ll let you know how it holds up to stains and such but this won’t be a high traffic chair so I’m not too worried about it…or I guess maybe I am.
Love al of the details and curves on the legs too!
This area was a little difficult to get all those nails pounded into since it’s in this little spot with a piece of wood on top of it, but I got it to work.
I just can’t get enough of that detail!
I would use this technique that I used on the wood frame again. I almost wish the arms on the chair were a little bit darker. The wood on the backing of the chair was a little different than the sides/arms, but it still looks great!
Have you ever done a DIY upholstery project? Is it something that you would ever want to try? It’s definitely a long process, but the end result is amazing! I love my new/old chair!