Give an old piece of furniture new life with these tips on refinishing and re-upholstering.
To start fresh, we would always suggest removing all paint and stain. For ornate chairs, this means applying a liquid stripper.
Eco: Strippers can be highly toxic, so choose something that is eco-friendly. These paint strippers have evolved and take all forms. We have found aerosol spray cans, liquid strippers, and gel options.
Prep: To prep the surface, be sure to wipe it down and remove any dirt or grease from the surface.
Application: Follow the instructions on the product you choose. We took ours outside into a well ventilated area and used a paint-on version.
Clean Up: Once the product has had a chance to strip the paint or stain, you will need to scrape the excess with metal pallet knife and/or heavy duty rag. We opted to leave the raw wood, but from here you can stain the wood any colour you like.
When it comes to re-upholstering, we opted to push the envelope with printed fabric.
As far as the subject matter, when printing on fabric, you can choose just about anything. We opted for vintage maps that were sourced from a local University archive.
If that doesn't suit your taste, then you can purchase images from a stock photography site. We wouldn't recommend using your own photography unless you fancy yourself a superb photographer — at home photography can begin to just look elementary.
Cotton/Canvas: Cotton or canvas has a thicker heavy duty feel to it, but in fact is more delicate than a synthetic option. If this piece is in a low traffic room or gets minimal use, then cotton is a fantastic option. It has more tooth to it and is more structured than the synthetic option, but the natural cotton will be tougher to clean and maintain.
Polyester: This is very durable, in fact it is used for a number of outdoor flags. There are matte and sheen sides to it, so any number of style options are available. We opted for the matte side to keep with the casual elegance of the piece.