Showing posts with label Reupholstery. Show all posts


No more staples!  I've got nicks and scrapes all over my hands (I got smart and put on my gardening gloves only after I was 75% finished) and my trusty, little flat head screw driver used to pry up those babies up isn't so flat anymore but staple pulling is over!  To give you an idea of how many staples were in this thing, I took a picture of a three-inch section.
Yeah, there were loads.  I'd say somewhere around 500, maybe more.  Some of them came out with the fabric as I ripped it away, but most of them felt the mighty tug and grip of my mini flat head and needle-nose pliers.

So now that that's done, next up is fixing and filling.  While I was pulling staples the other night, Anthony went to work with Liquid Nails, filling in cracks and reinforcing not-so-sturdy dowels (apparently 'unsturdy' isn't a word).  However, now that all of the staples are out of the way, we can go back over and glue anything we missed or couldn't get due to staples being in our way.  Then we'll get to work filling in small cracks and holes with wood filler.  Pictures of the whole gluing and filling process to come later.

We also are going to reinforce the back of the loveseat with burlap straps, just to make sure she's extra sturdy.  I was a little worried about finding burlap straps but as I was traipsing around fabric stores this week on a hunt for it, I found it at JoAnn Fabrics...who knew?  Not me!  I thought it was going to be the kind of thing I wouldn't be able to find anywhere, therefore having to end up buying it from some specialty place online.  
To add to my joy of finding it so easily, I got to JoAnn's cutting station and found out it was only 79 cents a yard...AND I had a 50% off coupon.  So, I walked out of that place with 10 yards for about $4.  I was happy considering my thought had been, "It's a specialty item and it'll probably run me back a good $20".

So anyway, that brings me to the best part of this whole post.  I get to start looking for fabric!  I've had a few ideas swirling around in my head the past few weeks...or since we pulled the loveseat off the curb.  I want something simple; something I can dress up with decor pillows.  Also, since she's going to be in our living room where we've got an aqua-colored sectional, I want something that will complement but not be overpowering.  The sectional is the main piece of furniture.  Plus, my intention is to one day (in a future house) move the loveseat to either a home office or our future little girl's room.  I think it'd be the sweetest sight with some pretty pink pillows and a curly haired little girl perched on it.  :)

But, back to reality, here are some pictures I ransacked the internet for pictures that show what's going on in my head as far as fabric goes:

 This is the color I'm thinking of going for, in a simple upholstery fabric.  It would probably be the cheapest and easiest to find option.

This is just a snazzier version of the same fabric in the color palette I'm looking for.  I'd love a good geometric pattern.

 Speaking of good geometric patterns, this one is my fave.  However, this particular fabric is pricey ( and I don't know if I could find a similar, much less expensive version.

 I couldn't find a good picture of a swatch of thick-striped fabric and the best picture I could find is this one.  So, picture this fabric, only with white and taupe stripes on our loveseat.  Stripes get me every time!

And last but not least:
My ultimate favorite but very possibly hard-to-find-for-cheap fabric!  I love the big medallions and would love to see this fabric on the loveseat and matching pillows on the sectional (and on a future homemade ottoman for the sectional?) just to tie everything together.

So there you have it.  You've been inside my head.  You should also know that we're (I'll paint, Anthony will watch and cheer me on) planning on painting the wood of the loveseat white.  We thought about other colors but decided she'd fit into any room we put her in if we just went with (my favorite color) white.  What do you think?  Which fabric would you choose?  One of the ones I've come up with or a completely different one altogether?  :)
  Assuming I find the perfect fabric that fits the budget ($50), our goal is to have this curb-side "Over-Achiever" sittin' pretty by the first week in September (we have a busy summer otherwise it'd be sooner).  But, we'll get the straps on next week and get her ready to be painted so stay tuned!  Have a great weekend and upcoming week everyone!

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P.S.  So I just found out I've been spelling 'loveseat' l-o-v-e-space-s-e-a-t.  The perfectionist in me really, really, really wants to go through every post I've written about this project and change each 'love seat' but I'm not going to because I don't have the time and it'll do me some good to just let it go.  But, I just wanted to get that out in case you think I'm crazy for spelling it two different ways (even though you probably didn't even notice).  There, now I feel better.  :)

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!  


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 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.  :)


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!

The 'Over-Achiever' Loveseat

That's what I'm gonna call it.  The idea of finding a gorgeous loveseat on a curb, taking it home, and turning it into a to-die-for piece of furniture with not a lot of money is grandiose, but then the work began...and let me tell you, it is WORK!  I thought I could probably get this baby from broken and battered to luxe and lovely  in a week (maybe two) if I worked on it a little everyday.  Nope, not gonna happen.  I have a great hard-working, "I can do it" attitude but this loveseat will test even me.  I will push through though and someday (the keyword being someday), we will have a beautiful, antique loveseat enhancing our living room.  The good thing is that Anthony is, as I write, taking the exam for which he's been studying for for the past couple of weeks so once that's done, he'll be able to help me.  Anyway, here's what I've done so far:

The first step (I'm no a matter of fact, I'm a beginner doing what should be a professional's job...but that's never stopped me before) was to remove all the trim bordering the existing upholstery.
This was and will be the easiest part of the whole process.  The trim was simply glued over the staples holding the fabric onto the chair so all I had to do was pull.  At this point I was thinking to myself, "Wow!  This is going to be a cake walk".  Boy was my head in the clouds.

Here's what the 'over-achiever' looked like minus the trim:

Next up was removing staples - TONS of staples!  I decided to work on the back of the chair first so I could get to those buttons to remove them before I started on the front.  I started by just pulling on the fabric at it's edges to rip it and the staples attaching it to the loveseat up.  But, it wasn't going to be that easy.  The pesky glue that held the trim on made me question over and over again "Why am I doing this again?".  I switched back and forth between pulling fabric, yanking and pulling with pliers, picking off glue, and questioning why I was doing this to myself.  Well, I finally got all the fabric off.  Oh yeah, when I first started pulling off fabric I noticed the fluffy, crumbly stuffing underneath and I panicked.  My first thought was "Asbestos!".  I freaked out, envisioning myself or Anthony having to call one of those lawyer hot lines on t.v. that advertise their "Have you or one of your loved ones been exposed to asbestos?" schemes, and immediately stopped working.  I literally ran to the computer and researched asbestos and whether or not it was used as padding in antique furniture.  Lucky for me (not so lucky for those lawyers...ha), it was never used in furniture.  Cancer-free, I went back to the staples.  After pulling off all the fabric and ripping out the padding, here's what I had to work with (sorry for the blurry picture):

And here's the evidence of my hard work:
I'm saving the fabric to use as a template when cutting the new fabric, which I don't have yet.  I want to make sure Anthony can, for sure, get those back legs on and in working order before I put money into fabric.  The trim and fake asbestos will go to our lovely trash can.  Should I also mention that I had battle wounds from working on this crazy loveseat?  Yep, the inside of my hand was bruised for almost a week from death-gripping the pliers.  Some women endure pain for physical beauty.  Me?  I'm a different breed.  :) 
So, that's just the beginning.  It's back to the loveseat for me - as I type it's upside-down on two sawhorses and I'm working on the bottom so Anthony can get those legs on when he's done.  :)  More progress updates later!  I hope you have a Happy Memorial Day!  Say a few prayers for our troops and for God's peace to rule this crazy world!