The Evolution of a Chair

I am doing something I have wanted to do for a VERY long time… I’m taking an upholstery class… I’m very excited to learn how to upholster the “proper” way!

This is the chair I decided to update first… Lots of tufting should give me plenty of practice!


Check out the cool arms on this chair!

I removed all of the old fabric and saved it to use as a template for the new fabric. I then sanded down some of the rough areas on the chair and stained those areas in order to have continuity once I distressed it.


I painted a base coat of ASCP French Linen then a quick coat of a custom mix of Old Ochre and Country Grey (1:3), which turned out to be a very pretty “bone” color… if bones can be called pretty…

I lightly distressed it to reveal both the French Linen and the stained wood, waxed it with Minwax paste wax then buffed it with a combination 0000 steel wool and a soft cloth.

I made like a million buttons (ok, so it was only 35) but I used their button maker and WOW is all I can say!! If I ever get to the point where I am making a lot of buttons I will want one of these! It took me less than 30 minutes to make all of the buttons and they are ALL perfect! If you have ever made buttons with the cheap little set you get at the store you will understand how fast that is!

Here’s a picture of my button maker!

This is a picture of the back of the chair… my first tufting job EVER! I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out…

It took me the entire class (3 hours) to complete the tufting on the seat cushion and partially attach it to the chair seat, but I’m very happy with the results so far… my teacher is a great (and thankfully) very patient man Laughing out loud

It really takes a lot of time to regulate the folds and learning how to staple the fabric to the frame appropriately has been a little challenging for me, but I am improving…

I hot glued the piping on after I trimmed all of the excess fabric… and she’s all done!


I was planning on selling it… but not now… she’s all mine!!! Yay!


The seat came out better than the back, but I’m very happy with the overall final look of the whole chair!


It now has a permanent residence in our bedroom… where I get to admire it everyday!


If you are ever interested in trying to do this yourself I’m sure there is a class in your area and I would highly recommend taking it… They provided all of the materials (except for the fabric) and the class size was kept pretty small.

Thanks for stopping by…

Until next time!

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Between Naps on the Porch, Coastal Charm, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, The Dedicated House, A Stroll Thru Life, Elizabeth & Co., Primitive & Proper, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Domestically Speaking, Savvy Southern Style, Miss Mustard Seed

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  1. It’s amazing Susan! I would keep it too! Have been thinking about doing a course in upholstery… I have a lovely chair in the garage that needs a major overhaul… I’d also love to do a tufted headboard. I love the arms on yours! Did you get the script fabric at Joanns?


  2. O this is awesome …you did a great job, I have a fellow vendor who does UpH…all the time…we swapped he got a great vintage bronze and I will get to learn to do more UpH…..I have done some,but I have a chair I love, my sit and draw and talk to my Dad chair…so I want it in my Living room….you inspired me


  3. Good Afternoon Susan, Do you know upholstery is something I have always wanted to try my hand at, but have never got around to it, but after seeing what you have achieved, I think I will give this a try. I thought your chair was pretty unique before you started, but seeing it now, well, I can understand why you wanted to keep it. I just love the circles on the arms, really different. Could I ask you the name of the fabric, I’m not sure if it will be available here in England, but I will try to source it. I have enjoyed reading your blog and have visited you via The Dedicated House and I am a new follower. Lovely to meet you. Best Wishes Daphne


    1. Daphne,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and a special thanks for being a new follower! I hope you do get out and take a class, you will love it! I bought my fabric local, but it also can be purchased through Ballard Designs, they call it Document Brown… I hope you can find it in the UK!


  4. Hello Susan, your chair is lovely, love the shape of the arms. The color and upholstery are perfect. I would keep it too. I found you through The Dedicated House, and will be following you. Would love for you to follow us @ the Have a great day. Jeannie


  5. The chair is amazing, gorgeous, beautiful….it’s a perfect creation. I love the fabric you picked and the paint, they go perfect together. I would keep it too.


  6. You did an amazing job. I would love to find a class like that near me. I have to see if there is such a thing. You picked a tough project with all of the tufting, but the end result is stunning. Stopping by from Marty’s party.


  7. Stopping by from Table Top Tuesday to admire your upholstery handiwork. That is an awesome job and there is no way I could sell it after working so hard on it! I have two slipper style chairs that I am slowly taking apart to reupholster but it is a little scary. I don’t think I will be putting the tufting back on them because that looks hard. I really liked the paint/distressing you did to the frame. Awesome!


  8. Your chair is fabulous. I REALLY, REALLY want to take an upholstery class but I live in a rural area and there aren’t any that I can find in a 60 mile radius. So whatever tips you care to share with us would be greatly appreciated! I have a tufted chair that I want to tackle. Your pictures gave me a little insight on how I might do it. Thanks! Enjoy that lovely chair!


    1. You are so sweet Kim, thanks so much! You could also try to get someone who does upholstery to teach you… also when you tear a chair down take lots of pictures, even notes, to try and remember how it went together… Also get a GOOD stapler… Very important! Good luck!


  9. I would have kept it as well! Gorgeous! You will be one of the features at Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House. Swing by and pick up a feature button. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


  10. I absolutely love this chair and you did a wonderful job, it being your first project!!!!!. I am going to look around for a class in upholstery. Could you tell me where you found that marvelous material? It sets the style so perfectly. Kathy


  11. I know this comment is 1 1/2 years late, but I just found your blog and wanted to tell you I have the exact same chair. I found it in a thrift store in Yakima WA in July 2013. Mine doesn’t have a tufted seat, in fact mine has a loose cushion. I haven’t been sure what I wanted to do with it, but I will definitely keep it, too. What a small world.


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