A Blank Canvas

Except it's a love seat.  Here's what our curb-side find looked like a couple of weeks ago:
This is, of course, after Anthony fixed the back legs.  After we had jumped over that hurdle, I then felt confident enough in the probable success of this crazy endeavour to move on and start peeling away fabric.  I started with the seat back.  Off came the first piece of old, ivory fabric when what to my wondering eyes appeared?  A WHOLE 'NOTHER LAYER OF EVEN OLDER, GRODY, RASPBERRY COLORED, VELVET FABRIC.  I almost fainted.  Painstakingly prying and pulling out staples isn't my idea of a fun time people!
But, like a good little DIYer, I took a deep breath, said a few Lord-Help-Me's, and kept on truckin' until I had this:

Before I went after the velvet on the seat back though, I decided to get the rest of the ivory fabric off.  So 'apeeling', prying, and ripping I went.
Ha!  Lucky for me, there was no ugly raspberry velvet to be found!  Oh, by the way, to remove the fabric from the seat, I had to remove staples from the back of the love seat.  I had been wondering all along how all of this upholstery was attached and how I'd get it off because it looked a little daunting.  But, I found that the more fabric I removed, the more I learned about how it was attached, how I needed to get it off, and how I need to eventually get it back on. 
 Side note:  Do you see the other two crazy fabrics (the green and pink) peeping out from behind?  Those were two of the five different fabrics goin' on on this thing.  Lucky for me (and a huge relief when I realized), three of the fabrics were remnants sewn to the bottom of the raspberry velvet to extend it's length...not more layers of fabric. 

So anyway, after ripping out staples and giving the fabric a little tug from the front, it slipped right off and left me with a nice clean seat.  The foam is even is such great condition (albeit 'orangey' with age) that I won't even have to replace it!  Score one for the bank account!  :)

Well, last but not least came the old velvet.  It was actually attached to the love seat with old upholstery nails which means it's probably original to the piece...and just plain dirty with age.  I mean dirty.  With every nail pulled out, a cloud of dust flew into the air.  And I must mention that me + dust = lots of sneezing and watery eyes as I'm allergic to the stuff.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  But, I'm dedicated to this inanimate piece of furniture and I blindly sneezed my way through did it.  :)

Almost done peeling!  The fabric was gone but the old padding, with all of it's button-hole craters, had to go.  Before I started this whole process, I read online that horse hair was often used in padding furniture in the old days.  I was hoping they were talking about every other piece of furniture but the one I had.  But, I was wrong.  Embedded in the padding were lots of short strands of horse hair.  I tried not to think about how grossed out I was...I mean, at least it wasn't human hair, right?  Anyway, let's move on.  Finally, here's my blank canvas:
And, since I have had no time to work on little love seat in the past week, this is exactly what she looks like as I sit writing this post.  We're hoping to work on her some more this weekend.  We've actually gotten to another hurdle in the whole process that we need to get over.  :(  She's a little more broken in necessary-for-proper-support areas than we originally thought (or didn't want to think about) so we're trying to brainstorm some ideas on getting that reinforcement back.  It turns out the intricately carved, curving wood on the seat back sides really do contribute to holding the whole thing together and right now, one side looks like this:
Ummm...yeah...that's exactly what I was thinking...YIKES!  But, we'll get through it.  It might take a few more screws, some wood filler, and a little more glue than we had planned, but we can do this!  :)  It's going to be the most imperfect, perfect, character-filled, made-with-love love seat in the world!  And when we're done, we'll be singing the G version of "Baby Got Back" while doing the happy dance.  Until then, I've got fresh angel food cake cooling on our oven to sweeten us up before this love seat tempts our kindness.   :)  Have a lovely weekend and a fun-filled Independence Day!  

1 comment

  1. Oh my goodness, Sheena! What an undertaking! But you will love it, I'm sure, when you are finished and it will look beautiful! Happy Fourth of July to you! Hope we all take some time this weekend to remember the men and women serving our country......
    Aunt Sue