I found this stool with stow-away steps discarded on the curbside. It was black and rusty metal with orange upholstery that carried a lovely bouquet of mildew. I was drawn to it immediately because my grandmother had one just like it and seeing this one brought back a rush of nostalgia in me. I knew I had to rehabilitate it.
To re-upholster a chair or stool like this, you need:
The first step was to sand off the rust on the metal and then paint with a white enamel. I painted it on with a brush (2 coats) because that’s what I had (I’m a big fan of working with what I’ve got), but using a spray can (like this
) would be better.
And then, there’s my dog. The hair! Oh, the hair. She gets a little over excited sometimes. And clumsy. She knocked over the whole thing (wet paint) while in hot pursuit of a rogue ally cat.
So, since I had no turpentine I had to let the enamel dry completely, then I decided to sand it down and leave it with a distressed look. Better than a hairy look.
I pulled the upholstery off the seat and scrubbed off the mildew. I used a homemade disinfectant spray that is non toxic and works like a charm. I let it dry in full sunlight.
Disinfectant Spray Recipe
1 part white vinegar
1 part rubbing alcohol
1 part water
I traced the seat on a piece of foam and placed it on the wooden seat, then flipped both together upside down on a double layer of vinyl tablecloth. If you have a higher quality vinyl (like this
) than what I had, a single layer may suffice.
I pulled the vinyl over the edges to the back, and stapled them, taking care to cut away the bulk at the corners.
I gently pulled the upholstery tacks out of the back rest, and saved them.
The back rest was now in two pieces. I covered each piece with spray glue
and placed them on the vinyl. I wrapped the vinyl around the pieces and stapled them in place on the one side, and only glue on the other (because it was too thin for staples).
I put the pieces back together and replaced the upholstery tacks. I put all the pieces back in their respective places and I have a brand-new-to-me chair.
All-in-all, a pretty easy project, especially if you do not need to repaint the metal.
This particular chair is great for use with my standing desk (for when I don’t feel like standing). We also use it for hair cuts. I’m not a hairdresser, but I cut my family’s hair, and this chair is a great height for that. It’s also the reason why I wanted a wipe-able fabric.
Have you had any re-upholstering adventures? Link to them in the comments.