Chair Undone

Before Christmas, I decided that it would be nice to have more than one non-dining room chair in my apartment, so I picked up this wooden chair at a thrift store.

I loved the shape and the intricacy of the back, but it definitely needed some work.  It doesn’t look too bad in the picture, but the seat was very sunken and probably wouldn’t have held for much longer.  Here’s what it looked like when I took the bottom covering off.

You can see that the webbing is in pretty poor shape.  But before I got to that, I had to get the top fabric and all the foam/padding off.  After I pried up some of the fabric in the front, I could see the rest of the layers.

The foam and padding were practically disintegrating as I touched them, but unfortunately the glue, staples, and nails that were holding them held quite strong!  There were two different types of staples and I think three types of nails. Removing all the staples and nails probably took me around 4 hours total.

After all of that, here’s how it looks now.

Now I just have to figure out how to redo it all!  I’ve seen tons of tutorials on reupholstering chairs with wooden seats, but none with chair webbing like this one.  Any tips?  I also need to figure out if there’s anything I can do to make the wood finish look nicer – its pretty scratched in some places, but not badly enough that the whole finish needs to be redone.  It just needs some touchups, so any ideas for that would be much appreciated as well!

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18 responses to “Chair Undone

  1. That’s a beautiful chair. I love the back design. No idea how to do the webbing, but I bet you can find a tutorial online. Try You Tube too. Lots on people are putting video tutorials on there.

  2. That is a beautiful chair – love the shape and detail! No clue on the webbing though 😦 wish I could be of more help.

  3. beautiful chair, I know nothing about redoing chairs, but do you have to use the webbing again? could you cut a piece of plywood to fit and sit on top? Can’t wait to see it when it’s finished!

  4. I love the lines of that chair! It’s beautiful. I don’t have any ideas on how to do the webbing, but do you know anyone who could cut you out a wooden seat? Just a thought.

  5. I admire you for all of the work you put into this chair and I think it is well worth it. It’s a beautiful chair. Let me know how you redo it…I have no idea how to help you but would love to learn…


  6. That is a beautiful chair and kudos to you for removing all of the covers. As I see it, you have a couple of options. You could replace the webbing and put foam back in, or you could replace the webbing and then add springs. This is a little more involved for a beginner, however; not impossible. You can contact me through my website if you’d like more info.

  7. I wonder if you could cut out a plywood base, and then pad and staple fabric to the base, and then fasten the whole thing on the bottom on the chair with a few screws? And then when you want to replace the base, you just have to unscrew it and start again….

    Maybe Sharpies to touch up the wood? I like chairs that have “beaten up” wood, so nicks are kind of nice. Good luck! 🙂

  8. The easiest thing to do would be to make a paper pattern of the chair bottom (the part you sit on) and take it to home depot or Lowes and see if they can cut a bottom out of plywood. Then all you need to do is upolster it. Just like Gillian said. As to refinishing…you could just strip the whole thing and start over or find a stain to cover the bad spots. It’s old but I don’t think it’s old enough to be an antique so you don’t need to worry about original finish. If you’re willing to wait you could also send Grandpa a pattern and he could cut it for you.

  9. I agree with a piece of plywood, then batting,
    foam, and fabric. For the wood finish use 0000
    steel wool and Howard’s Restor-a-finish in the
    wood color that is closest to the wood color. No
    stripping, sanding, etc. and you will love how it looks! Good luck.

  10. Yep…do the plywood, foam, and fabric route. It will look great!

  11. Thanks for all your advice everyone! My concern with the plywood base is that the old fabric was stapled down around the sides of the chair, so there’s about half an inch of unfinished wood full of holes that would still show if I put a plywood piece on top. You can see it if you look closely at the last picture. So I’m not sure what to do about that if I use plywood. Ideas?

  12. I would reweb it following the pattern it was originally in when you took it apart. You can get new webbing at JoAnns. I have done projects similar to this – I ended up buying a re-upholstery book. You have to make sure the webbing is pulled tight before you staple or tack it. Good luck, I found it to be relaxing work. Pulling out all of the old stuff is the hardest part.

  13. I liked the chair the way it was. I don’t think you should have redone anything. It was very Markus-esque. But good luck.

  14. I love that chair! I have done lots of chairs. I would reweb it too. You can get the same webbing at JoAnn’s or Walmart. Just follow the same pattern from before and staple it into the bottom. Then get some nice 3 or 4 inch foam (use at coupon at JoAnn’s to get 40% off, because it’s spendy!) Then put some batting over the top of it. Then put your fabric down on top and staple. It looks like you’ll have to put some trim on it. Done.

    OR – you could make a case for the cushion.

    Home Depot sells touch up stain pens that you can buy for a few dollars. That would work on the scratches.

  15. Love the chair. Can’t wait to see how you finish it.

    Thanks for joining “Get your Craft on Thurs.” Please join me next week for another great party.


  16. That chair will be beautiful when you finish. It has such great detail! What a lot of work though pulling out all the nails!

    Thanks so much for linking up to Make it Yours day! I look forward to seeing how this project turns out!

  17. Very pretty chair. Oh, that seat was in sad shape, though. You can either replace the layers of webbing, foam, and padding, or you can put a piece of wood to make a new seat. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  18. Pingback: Chair Transformation « A Creative Amateur

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