Fast forward eight years, two more kids (who can't avoid using my chair, it seems), and lots of abuse later, and it was a sorry mess. Still in great shape structurally, but stained and the blue was, well, not "doing" anymore. I tried slipcovering, but it always bunched, shifted and came off. Time to devise plan B.
Having seen some tutorials on how to recover similar chairs, I finally knew how to get around that plastic "piping" and other troublesome spots that I thought would prohibit me from making this a manageable DIY project.
The fabric store down the street has a fantastic remnant/clearance room with lots of upholstery-grade fabrics. What I walked away with was $3/yard, 54" wide, unbleached cotton duck and an idea of something like the French-printed burlap furniture and accessories trend. Surely the duck would be a better choice than burlap for something one was actually going to sit on daily, and often in shorts.
Draping the fabric on the chair, I figured out how wide and deep each piece had to be and cut them out as rectangles as opposed to matching the seat/back shapes. I'd be stapling these underneath and could cut off the excess after, so following the shape wasn't important.
I found a graphic I liked on Graphics Fairy's blog. Fantastically, she'd already made it available the right size and in reverse, saving me the effort of doing it in photo editing software.
I used HP's inkjet transfer paper purchased some time ago for another project, positioned it on the piece for the back, forgetting to cut off the excess transfer. Using a hot iron and lots of pressure, I slowly applied the transfer. After it cooled a bit, I removed the paper and found it wasn't applied quite as well as it could be, so I laid the paper back down and continued to press. And I repeated this for what seemed like forever in an effort to lessen the floating, rubbery effect of the transfer paper. I finally reached a point where I decided it wasn't going to get better and it would certainly do; let's move on.
I then centered the fabric on the back piece, flipped the chair over with the back on the floor so I could apply pressure with my staple gun, initially stapling top/bottom and sides enough to hold the fabric in place and taut while I worked on the rest. I just covered over what was already there instead of deconstructing things further. Then I stapled around the perimeter and trimmed the excess fabric. Popped the back plate on again in reverse process of how I took it off.
|Inside, I found the names of those who originally upholstered|
it at Steelcase. It took three people to do it,
but only one to redo it.
Then I tackled the seat the same way. Sprayed it all with some Scotchguard for some safeguarding against those kids. Voila! Done.
I was rather disappointed in the "wet" look where the excess transfer paper was. Although I goofed in not trimming closer to the graphic (they recommend leaving a quarter-inch around the graphic), I would not have been able to remove all the excess and I still would have the discoloration wherever the excess was still intact. It may look less odd/messy as a rectangle; I don't know. I do know I'd prefer not to have the slightly "wet" coloring of the fabric.
I'll be testing the Citrasolv/Orange Glo/paint thinner method before tackling the next one, I think, to see if that comes out with a better "printed" look and less "transfer" look. I'll let you know!
Total project was less than $5. Woot!