I got these cool chairs given to me so I decided to give restoration a go. They're from the 1930s and were made by my great grandmother's brothers.
Pic is from before I adopted them. Yellow vinyl!
Surprise #1 - they were stuffed with horse hair and hay. This wasn't a surprise to anyone I told (depression, perfectly normal etc. etc.) but certainly was to me.
I started by pulling the old vinyl off and keeping it to make patterns. It turns out that I threw them away because I was using foam for the stuffing and the old pieces didn't fit over that anyway. I ended up just cutting bits that were bigger than I needed and fitting them to the chair as I went. I did re-use the plastic tube from inside the piping at the front.
Surprise #2 - I knew they had been reupholstered once along with some other chairs in the 1960s. I didn't know they had used a million nails or that they had left the nails in from the previous upholstering. I removed all of them. It took forever!
Surprise #3 - the hardwood is too hard for staples. Upholstery tacks and a hammer it is!
Then I sanded, stained and satin varnished the wood to make it all pretty.
Next, I replaced all the old hessian and strapping and purchased high density foam (100mm) for the seat and medium density foam (75mm) for the back. Cut to size with an electric carving knife. I also retied the springs in place.
Finally, I upholstered the chair in reverse order with a few decorative tacks for style. The fabric is a fun texture with a tough felt/fleece looking backing to make it suitable for upholstery.
I'm going to make some cushions and move them to a nice corner of the lounge. Pics when I've organised my loungeroom furniture.
My first upholstery project done!