Lucinda Diack gives a modern twist to her dining chairs
How to re-cover and revarnish your dining room chairs
With our old dining chairs leaving a lot to be desired, I searched Trade Me and second hand stores for something new. What I found was a selection of old dark stained wooden chairs that simply needed some TLC. The key thing for me was ensuring the new chairs had removable seats so that I could re-cover them with a gorgeous yellow splashed fabric I had found. Re-covering chairs can be as simple or as complex as you like. As this set of chairs cost less than $25, I made the decision to recover them myself, rather than use a professional upholsterer.
By taking the seat out of the chair, tightly folding the fabric over the base, ensuring it was smooth and wrinkle free, I used a staple gun on the underside of the seat to hold the fabric in place. You will need to fold the corner of the seat tightly, like you are folding wrapping paper. Then using scissors I trimmed the excess fabric and ensured the underside was neat and tidy, before slotting it back into place.
To then bring the base of the chair inline with their light filled setting, I stripped them back, removing the old dark stain to reveal a much lighter, natural wooden look.
When using paint stripper it is important you follow the instructions on the tin and are wearing heavy-duty gloves, as it will burn if it comes into contact with your skin.
Using an old paint-brush, apply thick coats of paint stripper to areas covered with paint or old varnish. Once it has bubbled, using a paint scraper you should be able to easily remove the paint and varnish off the wood. Depending on how old the paint and varnish is, you may need to repeat this several times.
Once you are happy with how much has been stripped off, wipe the surface down with a damp cloth removing any left over residue.
When dry, sand the area until you have a smooth surface ready for varnishing.
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