19th Century Chair Restoration DIY – Part 2

19th century chair restoration black shiny 1800s furniture antique

Read Part 1 here.

Not sure if I can call this a restoration, I mean, I have no idea what I am doing at this point.

I finally got some much needed time off from work during the holidays, and decided to use it to finish refurbishing the chair I stared working on in august.

I painted it shiny black, and I LOVE the result.

For the seat cushion I ended up using a pillow and mix up its stuffing with some fabric rags. I always collect rags for the purpose of using it for stuffing (aaand I pobably just won the Cheap Award 2013 for that statement) and have used it in several projects before. The rags made the seat cushion much more sturdy and hopefully it will keep its shape for a long time.

seat cushion antique chair

I had to almost mold it to the shape of the chair by sewing around the edges, I also had to add more cuhsioned parts to it as I went along. It turned out looking like Frankenstein’s seat cushion. I wanted to get the right shape before adding the seat fabric, and even though it turned out looking ugly, it worked really well.

I decided to use a heavy velvet fabric for the cover. And LOOK at my new shiny black shoes! I bought them as part of my New Year’s resolution – Wear high heels more often and not give a crap that I get really tall with them on!

patent leather high heels

The fabric is fastened with nails, and if you did not guess it by looking at the pics, it is quite tricky to try and smoothen out the fabric and keep it that way and hammer the nails at the same time. A third arm would have been great here.

chair seat cover velvet antique furniture black victorian rococo

It all went well until I was supposed to fasten the last bits of fabric around this area:

fail chair

Yeah, so I didn’t think of the fact that there would be a lot of spare fabric left there. I have no idea how you are supposed to do this part, but I am suspecting you need to fit the cover by cutting and sewing BEFORE you start adding it to the chair. I did not do this, so I had to free-style this area completely. I am just going to go ahead and pretend that it is supposed to look like this. If anyone comments on it I will just tell them that they are wong and I am the one with the History degree so I am always right in everything forever and ever and always! Yes.

But I am happy with the result anyway, at least it looks better than it did before. Now I am realising I am going to need some better living space to use this chair. It is way too nice for the ghetto :/

Part 3 will consist of me trying to add a trim around the edges to hide the nail heads. I haven’t found the perfect trim yet so part 3 will probably take another 6 months. Hah.


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