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Furniture Restoration #13: Finished Chairs

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Blog entry by Paul posted 2476 days ago 661 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Seat Part 13 of Furniture Restoration series Part 14: Settee Finished and into the Homestretch »

I had planned to get all three pieces of furniture to the same stage (the upholstery on) before applying the “gimp” which is a decorative flat braided trim that hides the nail heads. But I decided I needed the sense of accomplishment today that comes with “finished.” So naive as ever, I thought I would just whip out finishing the chairs and then move back to the settee – expecting to still make significant progress on the settee.

Gimp goes on with hot glue and small round head brass nails. (I learned after studying my books again.) As usual, click the pics for a larger view.

Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.comFree Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com

Originally, when they came to me, the chairs had the larger round head decorative brass upholstery tacks all around the perimeter on top of the gimp as well – spaced maybe 1/8” apart. But I like it like this. If the customer wants the tacks all around on top of this, I’ll apply them. But I think it’s more attractive like this. I think those tacks probably end up getting applied on pieces down the road when somebody catches the trim and pulls it loose or it starts to loosen from age and use.

Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com

Lightly sanded and touched up with Rosewood stain a couple of spots on the chairs. I finished off the bottoms of both chairs as well, covering the burlap with black synthetic fabric. (Read trip to Wal-mart for black fabric.) Done!

Welll now, with a sense of accomplishment boosting my spirits, I can move back to the settee. But wait, dern it, I need to have buttons covered in the upholstery fabric for the pleated back. Check the internet. I can send some fabric off and have new buttons made. But I want to get something done today. My books telll me the professionals have some kind of button machine but the only upholsterer I know of in town recently moved and I don’t know where. So, my oldest instruction book shows me how to cover the buttoms myself – the “old fashioned way.”

Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com I find a large washer, trace and cut out thirty-two fabric disks. (The washer in the picture was too small.)

Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com I weave thread around the perimeter of the disk so I can create a tiny cinch bag.

Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.comFree Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com Put the old button in with the old uphostery still on it.

Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.comFree Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com Pull the tread and close the bag. New button!

Hmmmm. 5 or 6 minutes per buttom x 32 buttons = 1.5 hours later I’m done! I even moved to the den so I could watch TV while recovering buttons. Oh my goodness, the small details I have no idea would take so long!

Okay, I used the old upholstery as the pattern and cut out the new pieces in the new upholstery. Copied the lay out lines and transfered them with pencil to the new pieces. I’ve situated the pile of old stuffing on top of the tablesaw and it’s now nine and half hours later – with short breaks for lunch, supper, Wal-mart and transferring loads of family laundry (while the rest of the family is out of town). I laid the new uphostery on one half of the back, put in a few tacks to delineate the pleats – begin to stuff – but I’m tired, so I stop. After a breakfast meeting and some early Saturday “chores,” started at 11:00 a.n. – stop at 8:30 p.m. Appreciate your local upholsterer! They earn every penny they make!

-- Paul, Texas



5 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2561 days


#1 posted 2476 days ago

Good work, Paul. Hang in, you’re on the home stretch.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2759 days


#2 posted 2476 days ago

wow… patience and determination!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2691 days


#3 posted 2471 days ago

Half of the back rest on the Settee is done. Man, the “tufted” back of the Settee is much much harder than a smooth seat or back (like the chairs) – which was hard enough. I hope to have most of Saturday (tomorrow) to work on it. I’m not EVEN going forecast finishing tomorrow though.

-- Paul, Texas

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2759 days


#4 posted 2471 days ago

“much much harder”.. yikes!!!
best of luck with your next step.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2691 days


#5 posted 2469 days ago

Looooong day of work (and a bit of frustration) with the Settee yesterday. But done (as best I can do). I’ll post a new blog entry with pics later this evening.

-- Paul, Texas

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