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Arm Chair Redo

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Recovering an Arm Chair

Woohoo!  Finally finished one of the projects on my  “almost done” list! 

This is the arm chair I bought at the antique show a couple of weeks ago.  It was in good shape, but it needed a paint redo to freshen it up and it definitely new fabric.   

Chair before

New fabric

It took me five fabric stores before I found the perfect fabric.  It’s hard to shop for something you can only see in your head!  ha!

Cream chalk paint

I bought a quart of Annie Sloan chalk paint.  I have been hearing and reading about it a lot lately.  It’s suppose to cover furniture without prep work.  That’s all I needed to hear!   

Distressed paint

After two coats of paint (and it dries really fast!)  I sanded the edges a bit for a distressed finish.  I’m a novice at this, so I’m just winging it here.  The paint calls for a wax finish.  I wanted to buy clear wax but after searching the world over (a little exaggeration), I settled for a light “natural” wax.  It worked, but I would have preferred clear.  I looked up instructions for using Annie Sloan chalk paint and chuckled at the very easy and straight to the point directions…

The steps in brief
“Paint, paint, wax, wipe. Sand then wax then wipe (dark wax at this point with the clear wax).  Finally polish the piece the next day for a mellow sheen.”  How’s that for simple???  Ha!

covering old fabrics

Before I started recovering the chair, I had to take off the double weld trim.  (Not shown, it’s in the garbage.)  It was done in the same material as the rest of the chair.  I didn’t take the original fabric off the chair before recovering because it’s attached with a million staples.  After pulling off the trim, I had enough of pliers!  I used the original fabric as a guide for doing the corners and rounded edges. 

Getting there!

I used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the chair.  Some places I used a little hot glue when I ran out of hands to hold everything.

Double cording

Here is how the double weld cording looks on the chair.  I looked at quite a few fabric stores for ready-made trim to use around the edges.  It never occurred to me to put double weld cording back on the chair.  I didn’t know how and it looked complicated.  NOT SO!  Oh my gosh!  It was so easy and soooo cheap to do.  I had left over fabric and spend $10.00 on the cord.  Ready made trim would have cost me around $30.00.  I went to google for directions and this is the blog I used for directions… Centsational Girl.

Gluing trim


The back of the chair just had fabric on it.  It was pushed up into the frame of the chair.  I folded over the edge of the fabric and glued it on.  I used  a spatula to stuff it in the frame.  Spatulas aren’t just for cooking, ya know!


Ta Da!  It’s finished.  Not too bad for a fly by the seat of your pants kind of girl!


18 responses »

  1. As usual – you did good

  2. Carol Patterson


    The finished chair is absolutely gorgeous. You did an amazing job. Perfection.

  3. Wow!! It turned out fantastic! I’ve got two chairs that are going to need something in the near future. Thanks for the inspiration! I have it in the back of my head that redoing the upholstering is beyond what I can do and make it look good. Hopefully mine will turn out as well as yours 🙂

  4. Glad you finally found the perfect fabric…it was fun shopping! The chair looks amazing…you are a rock star! Just another “notch” to add to your beautiful butterfly wings. 😉

  5. Wow! It is beautiful! I am in the process of recovering my very first chair, and this is so inspiring! Thanks!

  6. Oh, I love the new fabric you chose! It looks great!

  7. Looks awesome!

  8. You are amazing – the chair turned out great! 🙂

  9. Hi -found your blog by accident. I think u are right next to my blog on blogger. Great job on the chair – its gorgeous!


    • Thank you. I’m glad you stopped by! Good luck with WordPress. I don’t have any Blogger knowledge, but WordPress has been easy to learn and work with.

  10. I just love your tutorial. I’m learning how to do this upholstery thing well and you’ve helped! Thanks also for visiting my blog. So glad we have found each other

  11. Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating

    This chair looks amazing. I purchased a somewhat similar style of chair at Goodwill for $3 or $4. I’ve never done any chair reupholstering more extensive than simply putting new fabric on a seat, but I have a really nice pneumatic upholstery stapler and I’m itching to use it. My only intimidation is the box (is that what you call it?) cushion.

    Your double-welt cord looks awesome, BTW. I’ve seen Centsational Girl’s tutorial before, but glad to have the reminder.

    • There are so many great tutorials out there! You could find a “how to” on just about everything. You should just go for it on the upholstering!


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