Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hollywood Regency Chair: Reupholstered

Hello All.

It is the post we've all been waiting for, or perhaps only I have been waiting for it.  If you missed my first post, explaining this chairs' history, I blogged about it here.   Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, the chair.
          Before                                  After
And as you can see, Joe is very excited to have his favorite chair back after 6 long weeks without it.
At this point, I have to apologize.  During the class that I was taking, I got so excited about what I was doing that I did not stop and take pictures very often.  So because of that, the picture editorial I have is a little spotty with some big jumps.  I will try to explain the basics, but I'll try to keep it short.
         First off I ripped off the fabric, starting at the back, then removing the seat and tearing that down.  I basically ended up with this frame, plus a frame that fits into the seat and supports the cushion.  I then sanded down the frame with my Dad's orbital sander (Thanks, Dad!) and hand sanded any places that were not easy to get to with the orbital, (this is also my parent's garage, in case you were wondering.  Thanks, Mom & Dad).

This is my arsenal of products for the frame:


The picture 2 above shows the beginning of the priming.  I first primed it with Kilz Original oil based primer, both for a longer-lasting adhesion to the wood and to knock some funky smells out of some of the wood.  This stuff is great for covering any kind of odor.  I should note that I did commit a paint-crime and to get into all the caning on the side, I used some white spray paint.  I really should have used primer, since I was painting over it with latex. But I didn't have any so I cheated.  I would not recommend this at all.  The only oil based product that should be topped with latex is primer.  Do as I say, not as I do.  But for me, it seems to be working just fine!

Once I had it all primed, I headed to my paint.  I found these three little mistint sample jars in similar colors at Home Depot for $0.50 each, so I jumped on that bandwagon and paid $1.50 for my paint (If you're looking for a popular color, check out the clearance rack in the paint section, there's usually some great stuff for cheap).  I painted the whole frame by brush which worked well but there are some brush strokes that I can see.  I should have thinned down the paint just a bit with some water; it tends to go on smoother, though it requires more coats. After that was dry, I used Rustoleum's Painter's Touch clear gloss (water based) for a top coat.  This gives it shine and protection. I am not sold on this product yet--jury's still out.  I have used Minwax Polycrylic and have loved it, but it's about twice the price as the Rustoleum product.  However, I have yet to find a clear sealing product besides Polycrylic that dries truly clear.  Most dry a bit yellow, so be careful when painting on top of white.  Anyone else found a truly clear sealer?  Please let me know.   Below, the painted frame:
I chose an off-white color that would match the creamy colored dots on my fabric.  I am very into the "clean" look right now, hence the white.

Next the upholstery.  I searched for about a week for the right fabric, and finally settled on this blue, cream, yellow, green fabric that I found at  I'm happy with my choice.

I had thrown out the cushion it came with because it was in bad shape, and I replaced it with a piece of 4" foam and some Dacron batting (Similar to polyester quilt batting).  I sewed the fabric for the cushion based on the chair's measurements and the instructor's directions.  And I did cording for the first time, which was exciting.  For those who don't know, cording is that stuff the runs along the edges of chairs and couches, a little circular piece of trim.  Both the "before" and "after" pictures have it.

I then upholstered the piece that goes below the seat cushion.  I padded it with natural cotton batting, which is an amazing product.  It's specifically for upholstery, about 1" thick, really tactile and pulls apart very easily.  If you have any questions on these things, you can ask me more specifically about them.  I then covered it with fabric, wrapped the fabric under to the backside and staple, staple, stapled.

Okay, now the back:  This is it at the beginning stage:

The fabric is stapled, good side facing out the back, to the inside edge of the chair.  Next, I laid the chair on its back, covered it with a layer of cotton batting, then cut a piece of 1" thick high density foam to fit it.  Next, I stapled the edge of the foam onto the foam (curling the upper edge down and stapling it, to create a curved edge).  And lastly, I put fabric over it and stapled that into place, trimming off the excess.
Here you can see the back completed, but without the cording trim.  You see the dark line that goes around the edge?  That's where all the staples are for the fabric.  Next I simply made cording and glued it into the gap with hot glue.  Ta Da!  Now, I just have to find an ottoman for it...

Again, I'm missing a lot of pictures and I'm sorry about that.  I will try to do better, but I am so excited about this chair!  Love. It.  

Today's Question:  If you could reupholster a piece of furniture in your house/apartment, what would it be? 

I'm linking this post up to:



  1. Becky this is awesome!! You are wonderful with this!!

  2. Love Love LOVE this chair!! You did an awesome job! Can you please sell your items on a website?

  3. Thanks, Rach. I'm currently not selling online--too much shipping! But if you're dying for something, I could hold it back for the right price, huh? Good to hear from you!

  4. oh, this is a fabulous chair redo! I know I just invited you to Trash 2 Treasure Tuesdays on Kammy's Korner but I'd love for you to share this also if you come over and whatever other "treasures" you have! I'm going back to your blog now. :)

  5. Just a tip- use greyhound package express. You drop off the piece at your nearest greyhound station and the buyer picks it up at their nearest station. They just need to give a phone number where they can be reached and then greyhound calls them when it arrives. Takes about 1-8 days and very modestly priced for our buyers.

    I think your stuff is worth sellin'!


I love to read your comments and questions!