Club Chair Reupholstery

Last year I picked up a set of club chairs for $40. They were in nice shape (and comfortable!) but I didn’t love the navy, orange and gold fabric. I figured they would be a great introduction to furniture reupholstery. After sitting around the house for a year and a half, I finally got around to reupholstering one of the chairs. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 18 months to finish the second.

chair before and after

The refinishing and reupholstery process was really straightforward. I first removed the cushions from the wooden frame. They were attached by screws at the bottom. I then removed the cording that was stapled to the frame. The wooden frame was a little scuffed up so I gave it a good scrub with murphy’s oil soap. Followed by a light sanding with fine sand paper. I removed the sanding dust with a microfiber cloth and then used Restore-a-Finish in Walnut over the entire frame. Finishing it all up with my favorite product: Howard Feed-n-Wax.

Once the frame was done I tackled the cushions. Un-upholstering was the worst part of the process. Staples haunted my dreams for a couple nights. I removed the cording first, and then the fabric, finally pulling out any remaining staples with a flathead screwdriver and needle nose pliers.

The original foam was in amazing shape so I did not replace it. The upholstery job was really simple. Basically pulling the fabric tight and stapling. And my fabric choice…canvas drop cloth! What else would I use? I love the texture and color of drop cloth and the fact that it is durable and cheap is just the icing on the cake.

Once the cushions were upholstered I screwed them back into the frame. I chose not to finish the chair with cording yet. I don’t mind the way it looks without it, but adding cording will make it look perfectly finished. The cushions are really easy to remove so I can always add the cording at a later time – when I get the courage to sew it.

reupholstered club chair

reupholstered club chair

reupholstered club chair

The new fabric makes the chairs light and fresh. Now I have to decide if I want to keep them in the office or place them in the living room as pictured above. Decisions, decisions…


A Dresser Grows Up

This is a tale of how a dresser matured from rough and tumble pine beginnings to a sleek mahogany end. The blocky little dresser started life in glamorous 1980s Texas. After decades of abuse he found his final place in our beautiful home. Alas, he was not appreciated the way a solid pine dresser with so much life experience should be. He needed a makeover and I was the one to do it, being that I could not stare at the blocky orange dresser any longer.


The makeover started with a light sanding to prepare for some stain. I first tried Minwax in Dark Walnut on an inconspicuous area. Parts of the pine sucked it right up while others didn’t take at all giving a nice orange and black tiger effect. Needless to say… dark walnut was out. I then tried General Finishes gel stain in Brown Mahogany. I had heard great things about GF gel stain and I’m so glad I tried it. It’s thick, like pudding, and doesn’t suck into the soft wood immediately. It kind of floats on the surface giving everything nice even color. I applied it lightly with a rag, and did 2 coats letting each coat dry for a day. Brown mahogany is nice warm medium brown, but the underlying orange oiled pine made it come out a little more red than I would have liked, but still pretty.

Onto the drawers: after removing the old wood block handles the wood underneath had never been oiled so it was raw and much lighter color. I figured I would have to paint the drawers because of this, but wanted to see if they could be stained. I filled the holes with wood putty and gave them all a good sanding. I tried two light coats of stain but there was still an obvious mark where the handle once lived.

So I pulled out the primer and white paint. Three coats later and some new knobs and the makeover was complete and the dresser lived happily ever after.

The end.



Dresser: CARGO furniture circa 1980

Stain: General Finishes Gel Stain in Brown Mahogany

Paint: Benjamin Moore Advance in Super White

Blue glass pulls (on large drawers): Anthropologie (discontinued)

Porcelain pulls (on small drawers): Hobby Lobby