Surgery

Our once pretty, clean living room has (once again) become a workshop, in this case, a furniture workshop.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  Our once pretty, clean living room has become a furniture operating room.  Let me show you what I mean (be prepared for lots of pictures..."surgeries" of this magnitude and depth are very, very detailed).  
We realized that before we continued ripping off fabric and pulling out anymore staples from the "over-acheiver" love seat, we needed to get the back legs fixed.  If they couldn't be fixed, there was no point in putting anymore manpower/womanpower (yep, that's right...womanpower) into pulling and removing, right?  So, out came the sawhorses and upsy-daisy she went.
 As you can see, the left back leg is comfortably dangling while the right leg was completely pulled out with a tiny tug.  Thankfully, both legs were in great condition and, God-willing, could hopefully be used and re-attached.  At this point though, we realized that the only way the legs could be fixed was by removing all of the fabric and obstacles around each. 
Covering the entire bottom was a thin black sheeting which needed to be removed first.
It was ripped in some places already so all I did was tear the rest off, thinking I'd just buy new sheeting to replace it.
Here's what I found underneath...
...bands of strong burlap holding the seat springs in place with another layer of even thinner black sheeting underneath.
Up close, here's what the left back leg looked like:
And the right (minus said leg):
So, I got to work...tedious, I-need-to-reuse-all-of-this, operating room work.
(During this entire process I took tons of pictures for reference so that I put everything back in the exact order it was in - a very helpful, very important step for a beginner like me.)  As I was prying off burlap straps, I realized how old this love seat really was.  The pieces of fabric I had ripped off so far had been attached with staples, but these straps had been attached with old, rusting upholstery nails which told me the love seat had probably already been re-upholstered before. 
I LOVE history so it was really cool to think about the history that belongs to this love seat - where it's been, who made it, how old it was...
But anyway, history aside, strap by old strap I peeled away until I was left with two gaping holes on either side of the back of the love seat.

And man was it dirty and dusty inside the bottom of the love seat, again showing it's age!
 I even stuck our camera inside one of the holes to get an even better...er...disgusting perspective.
A little eerie, huh?  Don't worry though, most of it got sucked up with the handy shop-vac...thank goodness because I'm allergic to dust!

The next part of the process is/was the most critical and also where Anthony comes in.  Up until this point, I'd been single-handedly operating.  I'm the prep nurse and he's the doctor; we make a good team.  So I say, "Doctor, I have everything all prepared.  What is your plan of action?  What do you need?"  And he says, "It looks like the legs can be saved which is great news!  You've done incredible prep work nurse but now it's time to get these legs back on and standing.  I'm going to need twelve three-inch screws, my drill, and two strong pieces of pre-cut wood for reinforcement".  Okay, okay, you get the point.  I'll get my head out of the clouds now and tell you what actually happened, doctors and nurses aside.  :)

First, we removed the casters from both legs by simply unscrewing them and pulling them out.  Since the front left leg is unable to have a caster (it was apparently ripped out, taking half of one side of the leg with it...but the leg still works), we're not going to use any casters at all.  Next, using a piece of wood we already had, Anthony cut two pieces to fit into the love seat right behind each leg and glued them into place.  They will serve as reinforcement.  Gluing them in was just an extra, optional but pre-cautionary step. 
Then he drilled six holes and screwed the pieces of wood to the frame using the three-inch screws like so:
Since they're on the outside of the frame and can be seen, he used a counter-sink drill bit to embed the screw heads, making sure they're flush so that they can later be covered up with wood filler and then disappear.  :)
Here's what "fixed" looked like after each leg was screwed on:

Next comes the clean-up.  Surgery is over.  It's time to put the patient back together, strap by strap.  It was at this point that I whipped out our new staple gun!  We've always just borrowed one when we've needed to but since this is kind-of a big, time consuming job, not to mention that we'll need one in the future for upcoming projects, I went out and found one on sale from Lowe's.  :)
A-stapling we went, Anthony actually doing the stapling while I firmly held the burlap straps in place, making sure we put everything back the way it was.  After all of the straps were re-attached, here's what the underside looked like:
Nice and put together!  We weren't done yet though.  We still had to put some sort of backing over the burlap straps.  I ended up finding and using a heavy duty, Pellon brand backing from JoAnn Fabrics.  It was white (they didn't have black) but I didn't think it would be a big deal since 1) it won't be seen unless you're hiding out under the love seat and 2) I'm planning on painting the love seat a lighter color anyway.
So, I laid the backing across the bottom of the love seat and cut a rough template just so that I wouldn't have bunches of fabric everywhere.  Then I got to stapling.
After it was all stapled on and secured, I simply cut around the edges to reveal a perfectly fitting backing and one great looking undercarriage.

Next...THE MOMENT OF TRUTH - WILL SHE STAND WHEN TURNED OVER OR WILL SURGERY HAVE BEEN A FLOP?  At least, that what I was thinking.  If you would've asked Anthony that question regarding the success of his workmanship, he would've said "Of course it's gonna stand!"  Gotta love his confidence.  :)

So...

Taa-Daa!
She went through surgery like a champ and is on her way to making a full recovery!  I even sat on her and she felt as solid as a rock!  I envisioned future naps, children jumping (and me yelling not to), movie nights...the whole nine yards!  Oh yeah, you've probably noticed all of those little dots of stuffing are gone too!
(See 'em?)

Those, as you might've guessed, were the strings and stuffing attaching the upholstery buttons.  I sawed them all out with a razor blade while Anthony was doing his magic with the drill.  There were 64 buttons in the couch!  64!  Well, they're gone for good now...adios, adieu, and hasta la vista!  And, speaking of goodbyes, I really should be getting back to making the valances I mentioned earlier this morning so ta-ta for now!  You can be sure I'll be back with more on the love seat later!  Have an awesome weekend!

1 comment

  1. I am seriously excited to see what becomes of this loveseat. Your blog is inspiring. <3

    ReplyDelete

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