Well Happy 2016 to you all! Over at our home we had a very busy Christmas Holiday with our normal household of 3 humans and 2 dogs increasing to 9 humans and 4 dogs!!! It was crazy and lots of fun, but I’m glad we’re back to normal capacity now! Believe it or not I did get the Thonet chairs finished by Thanksgiving and I would have posted about them earlier, but with all of the blogosphere hyper focused on Christmas decorating I felt like this little post might get lost in the shuffle and I totally think it’s worth checking out… just saying
So you may remember that I started off with this set (plus a couple more I picked up later) of Thonet chairs. (If not you can check out the post I wrote on the refinishing process here) Man have I forgotten how ugly these were to begin with!!
This is where I left off while I moved on to refinishing the farmhouse table, see I wasn’t 100%sure how I wanted them finished so they sat here empty for a couple of weeks as I thought on it…
I had initially thought I wanted to use faux leather on the seats to help with the inevitable cleanup, but after looking at several (let say 10 or so) samples I couldn’t find one that I liked enough… they were either too shiny, too fake looking or just not the right shade. So I ended up finding this very extremely soft grey crocodile embossed velvet.
Of course this fabric was the most expensive fabric I looked at (isn’t that how it always goes!), at $28.00 a yard, but I only needed 3 yards. The cost breakdown of the chairs is: $80/set of 8 chairs + fabric $92 + paint $25 + $10 repair product = $207 or $26 per chair, which is pretty freaking awesome don’t you think!?
To reupholster the seat cushions I just cut the fabric off, using a sharp knife and cutting as close to the staples as possible. There were a ton of staples and honestly I just didn’t want to remove them, had I been upholstering these for someone else I would have probably started with a new wood seat and foam as that would have been less time consuming than removing all of the staples.
I chose to leave the original bottoms (less the previous owners address stickers) and stapled the fabric right near the old staples, it worked like a charm and only took me about an hour to do all 8 seats. Having said that though I should mention that I do have an electric stapler that uses very fine staples, I would never have been able to recover them so quickly with a manual staple gun, you know the old saying about using the right tools for the job!!
Look at that gorgeous velvet!
Originally I was thinking I would paint the chairs grey (which is why I used a grey primer) but once I found my fabric I decided to paint the chairs Benjamin Moore’s Linen White in Advance Satin. I sprayed about 4 light coats on each of the chairs, which would have been less had I primed them with white primer instead of gray but oh well!
I tried to get a good picture of an area that I repaired, I will say that the repairs are about 99.9% invisible! I think they look like they were built this way originally and I’m pretty proud of the job I did…
I’m really digging the different shades of “white” I used, it helps make the table feel like it is less of a set and more of a collection… if that makes sense?!
Now that I have all 8 chairs in they really are a little snug around the table, but one day I will be able to used both ends of the table and it will be the perfect amount of chairs! I love the finished look of the chairs and I am so happy I took the time to update them. I hope this post may inspire you one day to take on a project like this, it really was pretty simple!
Thanks as always for stopping by! By the way I’d love to hear what you think about this project!
Hi Susan – I love the fabric it is my kind of style – they look beautiful 🙂 I would admit that one chair either end of the table would look ‘less crowded’, but if you haven’t the space to do that, then needs must – hey 🙂 but, as you say when you can place them at each end, then you will 😉
Thanks so much Denise and I totally agree with the crowding, I would usually only have 3 on each side due to make space restrictions, but I’d rather have them sitting there instead of my storage area which is in desperate need of a purge!!! I just couldn’t resist buying all 8 chairs…
Hi Susan, love the chairs as my favorite is gray and white. Sue
Thanks Sue! Clearly that combination is one of my favorites as well!!
Love the transformation! Very airy and clean looking. Awesome job!
I love your talent!
Hi Susan, what prep did you use on the frame to clean off the varnish or did you use a paint or stain blocker??
I used Formula 409 to clean the chairs, I did a light sand on them and then primed them with Bin Zinsser primer before painting them.