Thursday, April 28, 2011

Project Cane Chair - Demolition

I know what you are thinking - Calli, you had a five day weekend, surely you accomplished more than just painting your bathroom?

Naturally, with five days off, I had a list in my head of a million things I wanted to accomplish and I barely made a dent. Isn't it amazing how quickly vacation time flies by? I was able to catch a couple Easter dinners and sleep in late a few days before Tuesday popped up and I realized that I was headed back to work the next day. 

In between the first and second coats of paint I escaped the fumes in the bathroom to start work on my cane chairs (finally!). Before I can buy great fabric and start the upholstery I need to remove the old fabric and paint them so that's just what I did.

A little warning, other people's dirt really gives me the heebie-jeebies,  and these chairs were in bad shape. I used my steamer on the cushions to try and get rid of the smell of cigarettes but there was also a wad of gum under one arm and all kinds of remnants between the cushions - I was not impressed. 

The upholstery consists of three pieces. First, I removed the seat (there are normally screws on the underside that attach it to the frame) and set it aside to wait for some great fabric. 

The back consists of two pieces (the front and back of the back? It is confusing I appologize.) I had to remove the cording that edged the back piece first so I could access the staples that hold the fabric in place. This was a great excuse to get a little angry. 

After the cording was removed and the staples revealed I used a small flat blade screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers to rip out each staple. Unfortunately the wood is a little soft and the prying motion of the screwdriver to lift the staples made a few little indentations but I am sure I can cover them up with a little light sanding. 

After I removed most of the staples (some just wouldn't budge) and the front piece of back fabric I took out the foam padding (which will most likely be replaced with something a little more plush) and kept it aside as a pattern. Normally I would keep the fabric as a pattern for the new upholstery but it was gross and I wanted it gone pronto. 

After the foam and front piece of back fabric were gone I could access the back piece of fabric. This is the piece that shows from the backside of the chair (that I plant to do in a second complementary fabric). Again I pried out the staples, as many as possible, and got rid of that nasty fabric.

Now my chairs (well one at least) sit bare. Next, I am going to make some minor repairs to the caning, give them a light sand and dusting, and then coat them with fresh new white paint.


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