Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DIY: Bergere Chair Makeover

I finally finished my second chair! It took me three weeks, but I finally put the finishing touches on it last night and I am SO glad I'm done.


Remember when I told you how I found this Bergere chair on Craigslist? So, I eventually picked the fabric I wanted to use and ordered it and I finally got around to giving this big ol' chair a new look. This is what I used:


Supplies:
  • Around 6 yards of fabric (I ordered 10 yards and have a lot left)
  • A bottle of Sander/Deglosser
  • Primer in a spray can
  • Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo in Linen White
  • Floetrol (a latex paint conditioner)
  • Polyurethane in a spray can 
  • Foam brush and roller
  • Pneumatic upholstery stapler
  • Air compressor
  • Glue gun and lots of glue sticks

First thing's first: the deconstruction. Much unlike Eloise, this chair was a little easier to deconstruct. I was able to pull the old fabric off the chair without ripping it. This was important because I use the old fabric as my pattern to cut out the new fabric. Tugging the old fabric from the frame was also helpful because it loosened many of the staples. However, many of the staples were so deep into the frame that no matter how much I digged with my flat-nose screwdriver or tugged with my needle-nose pliers, they wouldn't budge. So I had to leave many staples in the wood.

Once I had all the fabric off, I took the frame out into the garage to begin the painting process. As with Eloise, I left the foam and much of the batting on the chair during the painting process. I wasn't too concerned about getting paint on the batting because no one will ever know.

First I used a sander/deglosser on the wood of the frame. I had reason to believe that the old finish was an oil based paint and I would be using a latex paint. Sanding with a traditional sanding block would have been pretty tedious in all the grooves of the wood, so I opted to use the chemical method. Once the sander/deglosser had done it's magic, I spray primed the wood and let it dry overnight.

Originally, I had planned to use a paint gun to paint the chair but no matter what I did to thin the paint, the stupid paint gun was not working right. So I gave up that idea and used a foam brush and foam roller to paint the chair a nice creamy white color. IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to reduce the brush strokes and leave a smooth finish, I added Floetrol to my paint. It's a latex paint conditioner you can find at just about any hardware store. It works wonders!

Anyway, after about three coats of paint (leaving it to dry overnight after each coat) I opted not to do the antiqued finish on this chair as I had done on Eloise. Why? I don't really know. I may or may not regret that decision later. After all my paint was dry, I sprayed a protective polyurethane finish over the paint and let it dry.

Meanwhile, while all this paint drying is going on, I'm back in the house laying out my fabric and cutting out my pattern. After the chair had completely dried, I pulled it back into the house and started the reupolstery process.



The hardest part of reupholstering this chair was sewing all the pieces of fabric that make up the bottom part of the chair. I got it done, but it definitely was not perfect. I thought about tearing it up and re-doing it, but that thought quickly passed. I figured since the bottom of the seat would be covered by the seat cushion, it didn't have to be perfect. (Like my little labels to myself? It helped me keep track of all the small pieces and put them together like a puzzle.)


Oh, and remember how the arms of the chair had been eaten by a dog? Yeah, I had no desire to replace the chewed up foam, so I just cut a couple of pieces of batting and stapled them over the mangled foam to make the arms smooth and dog-bite free.


At this point, I just had a party with the staple gun. Remember when you're stapling the fabric back on, try to stay as close to the original staple marks as possible. Once you've stapled your fabric back on, trim all the excess fabric as close to the staple line as you can. And don't be like me and staple the back panel on the chair before you've pulled the front panel through...yeah, that was fun. I had to undo all the bottom staples on the back panel, trying not to ruin my new fabric, just so I could pull the front panel through and staple it all back on. I cursed like a sailor the whole time. Lobster left the room early on to avoid my wrath. He is a smart man.

Anyhoo, once I got all the panels stapled onto the frame, I sewed the cushion panels together. That was fun, too. I'm just going to say that I enjoy sewing t-cushions about as much as I enjoy going to the dentist. Which is not much. At all.


Cushion done (thank you, baby Jesus) and it was on to making the piping. With Eloise, I only did single piping, but this chair originally had double piping and I decided to stick with it. So I cut out 2.5 inch strips of fabric and sewed two or three strips together at the ends to make really long strips. After measuring my cording against the old piping that I ripped off the chair, I laid the cording on one end of the long fabric strip and sewed it closed.



Then I laid the second length of cording right next to the first, now encased, length and folded it over. I then sewed along the same stitch line, making sure to keep the second length of cord pressed tightly against the first length. Once both cords were sewed in, I cut the excess fabric right up against the stitch line. The rough edge of the double piping (where you just cut the fabric away) is the back of the double piping and will be glued to the chair.


With that done, I started getting busy with my glue gun, carefully gluing all the double cording in place. Be careful, I burned my fingers several times.


And this is what she looks like today! Much better, I think. I think I'm going to name this one Big Bertha. She's big and beautiful and very comfy. I'm not real sure how Bertha = comfy, but I'm going with it.




How do you like her?

I'm linking to:






















The DIY Show Off










41 comments:

Robin @ Happily Home, After said...

Joy,

I think Big Bertha is a lovely, classy & modern girl. Excellent job ... I don't know that I would have the patience required to actually finish this kind of project, but you sure have inspired me to consider it! There's an ottoman I could start with ... definitely easier than your chair ... oh, but your chair is wonderful! I hopped over here from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, and I'm sure glad I did. I'll be back when I have more time to linger over your posts.

Thanks for sharing,
Robin
happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com

SueBee said...

Wow! You did a beautiful job.

*uncorked said...

Bertha is quite lovely. Lovelier than her name would imply.

Twice Nice said...

Wow! I'm mad jealous of your upholstery skills. Love the chair!
Deb

Deborah March said...

Be still my envious heart...FABULOUS re-do, and thank you SO MUCH for your very detailed instructions. Your piping looks almost do-able!

Deborah (happily visiting from
http://upcyclingmylife.blogspot.com)

{Hope you can drop by sometime...}

Rinni's Playground said...

Holy smokes that chair is gorgeous! I love the fabric you picked out, classic. ;) You did an amazing job! One day I will work myself into doing a chair, thanks for the inspiration to try!!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

OMG it looks GREAT!

InteriorGroupie said...

wow, phenomenal transformation! That looks like it took a LOT of time and patience. You did a really great job.

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

WOW- that is one heck of a beautiful chair! love love love the ticking on it, and the beautiful wood frame's details... it is fabulous!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Awesome job, Joy. Your chair looks incredible, and comfortable. Love it.

Wiste said...

I picked up an upholstered chair like this that someone had set out beside the dumpster. I wasn't able to get out all of the spots on the fabric and now I'm inspired to try to recover it. My biggest worry has been the stapling, though. What kind of staple gun do you use? I don't have an air compressor and I'm worried the hand held ones wouldn't drive the staples in to the wood well.

Joy said...

Thanks, guys!!!

@Wiste--Unfortunately, a regular hand held stapler won't get the job done. I invested in a upholstery staple gun and an air compressor and it really does make the job so much easier. I got my compressor from Sears (it's a very small compressor and cost about $75) and I ordered my upholstery stapler on Amazon.com and it cost about $80. Good luck with your chair!

Michele @ {Primp} said...

Beautiful--great job! I love the blue ticking and the double cording is perfect! If you have time I would love it if you would stop by and share this at my linky party this week.

Joy said...

@Michele--thanks so much! I'd be happy to share on your link party!

Kaye said...

WOW you rocked this chair!!! Unbelievably beautiful!!!!

Kara said...

So.very.lovely. I adore that ticking stripe. Great job.

Chris said...

I am SO impressed! This is a stunning transformation, and it does NOT look easy! I filed it away for some tutorial help in the future! Thanks so much for sharing it at Show and Share Day!

shouldhavezagged said...

This reupholstery job you did is ridiculously awesome. WOW.

Deborah March said...

LIKE her? Are you KIDDING? Your re-do is absolutely positively perfectly SPECTACULAR!! WOW!! Your instructions are so clear too...although I'd NEVER try a project this complicated Bertha's just GORGEOUS!!

Deborah ♥♥♥ (visiting happily from http://upcyclingmylife.blogspot.com/
...hope you can stop by some time...)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

So gorgeous! I'm in love with this chair. :) You did a fabulous job on it. Came by from Cassie's. :)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous makeover! And the pillow! Where did that come from? I want one!

Decor & Harmony @ 4290 said...

Bertha is a beauty! Thanks for sharing such a lovely transformation.

Joy said...

@Anonymous--Thanks! I got the pillow at the Pottery Barn outlet in San Marcos about a year ago. I love it!

Lauren Anslee said...

LOVE THIS!!!

Good Time Charlie said...

Great work! It looks totally professional, and that is hard to make stripes look so good. I have a thing for Berger Chairs. I did one over myself several years ago, but we gave it away because it just didn't work in the space we had it. Yours is so lovely!

Good Time Charlie said...

PS visiting from "Primp" :)

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love the fabric you chose- this chair turned out wonderful!! Would love for you to come share at Feathered Nest Friday sometime! :)

Meg said...

Oh my!! LOVE!!! Well done!

Pamma said...

Wow...super professional job...every detail is beautiful!
Well done.
~Pam
pamspaintparlor.typepad.com

Inspired by you said...

Beautiful! Great work!

boo said...

Great Job!

Gustaviana said...

oooooo hij is werkelijk geweldig geworden.. wat heerlijk als je je kunt vergrijpen aan zo een stoel .. het is toch een heerlijk beroep.. geweldig ik ben er gek op groetjes Viana

Alaina said...

Wow this chair looks great. I really like how you did not use the blue ticking fully under the seat cushion, I am going to borrow that idea. Thanks for showing how you did the double welting.

The DIY Show Off said...

Joy, this is stunning! I love the new look. You did a fantastic job! Love it!

TheVirginiaHouse said...

LOVE how it turned out! I can appreciate this since I just finished sewing my first slicover. Yours turned out much better;-)

Grace said...

Wonderful job on the chair..SOOO professional...Did you know that kilz primer will cover oil based & you can use latex over it..in case you didn't want to use the sander deglosser. ALso there's a nifty upholstery staple remover that really takes a lot of the hand work on removing staples. Found it AFTER I did a whole couch ( and recouped from blisters)
Keep up the fabulous work!!

.mabchesq said...

your patience paid it all off! fantastic job. :) beautiful armchair.

Slipcover Chic said...

Beautiful work....absolutly beautiful. I have two chairs similiar to this..painting done, getting ready to glaze, then spray varnish, I dread putting it back together. Did your chair have cardboard in the back of it or straps? Also didn't know you could use glue gun, i was going to do fabric glue. Do you like the glue gun better. and if so was it the cool glue gun? Thanks...for the inspiration.Gina

Joy said...

@Slipcover Chic - thank you so much! My chair had straps covered by old upholstery...I think the old upholstery was being used in the role that a piece of cardboard would have been used, if that makes sense. I just used my regular old glue gun and it seemed to work very well, although I did burn my fingers more times than I care to admit. Good luck with your two chairs!

RabidGlow said...

I drool every time I look at this chair. I'm in love. After months of searching for a bergere on Craiglist I found one yesterday. I can't wait!! Thank you for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I found two! Lucky me! And merry Christmas! I have to travel to get it but it's worth the trip!

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