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Topic: Reupholstered Recliner - a first try jump off the deep end *Pic Obese*  (Read 7009 times)
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« on: August 19, 2008 12:27:56 PM »

So, a few years ago we rescued a Barcalounger abandoned by lazy college students by the side of the road.  I never liked the thing, but it was in decent condition, free and the bf liked it.  Fine.  Then we moved across the country, had a hell of a time moving it and it got all nicked up with paint marks and further uglified.  And it sat in our living room near a window, with the ugly bumpy-striped fabric fading for 3 years.  Eventually, the springs in the seat completely gave out (I didn't know this for months and the bf just suffered in silence because 'he's a dude' - I was told).  It needed to go. 

This was right around the time of the seating re-craft challenge.  So I decided instead that I would make this chair happy again.  That was several months ago.  Reupholstering a recliner (granted this is a wood-sided one) is a bit of a process.  But I finally finished after a mega blitz this week. 

This is my first attempt at reupholstering.  And there is a lot going on in a recliner...

The entire seat back is sewed in one piece with something like 26 pieces.  I would never design construction like this - the Barcalounger people must be a little crazy. 

The 'wrinkles' on the back and headrest are darts that are part of the design (and the lines on the seat are from my vacuum). There's also a surprising number of fiddly bits and extra nonsense on the 'inside' of the recliner - I don't know who is expected to see these, my cat?

I was only willing to purchase new fabric (medium blue brushed cotton) and one small piece of foam to stuff behind the headrest (which had apparently fallen through the frame and was not offering any support).  Everything else was recycled including zipper, nail strips, and cardboard backing. 

I did not want to deal with the springs giving out again, so I instead covered the seat with 1/4 inch plywood cut to size at home depot - and it is quite comfortable.

Also, as it turned out, not only was this my first attempt at upholstery, and making a cushion, but somehow I had never inserted a zipper before - I suppose I have used every other type of closure...Well I didn't realize that the zipper shouldn't be the last thing you sew, but I came up with a backwards solution. 

I also sanded the paint chips off the wood, took the patina down on the rest of the wood to match, and oiled all the wood.

detail of part of crazy seat back construction

(please excuse the crafting blitz clutter)

I have to say, it was a scary moment when it was all lying in pieces in my kitchen, when it didn't look like I would be able to screw it all back together again.  But I am very pleased with the final product.  The chair is comfortable now, and the fabric does not bother me - and all my work on it has made me rather protective of what I once hated.  Its like a new chair.  The bf keeps looking at it in shock.  And I now know how exactly recliners work...hooray!

Thanks for reading my novel of a post!

« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008 12:41:24 PM »

FANTASTIC job.  I think that chair is from the "This End UP" furniture line, btw. Grin
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008 12:45:12 PM »

You have given me hope! I am about to undergo re-upholstering a recliner and I'm terrified. But I think I can do it now that I know I'm not alone! You did a wonderful job on yours it it so nice!
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008 01:07:07 PM »

What a feat!! You did a fanatastic job and should be proud - kudos to you!

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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2008 01:23:04 PM »

 Grin You rock! This not only looks professional, but totally usable! Kiss

Come check out my etsy shop - vintage, eco-friendly and all kinds of crafty goodness Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008 02:01:38 PM »

Nice job - I really admire people who can take on project like these! I have tons of upholstering material but haven't had the guts to try.  Looks nice!

« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2008 02:12:06 PM »

Awesome!  You should be really proud!

Life is too short to finish boring WIPs.
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2008 08:25:57 PM »

When you said 26 pieces, I thought you were joking. Then I scrolled down. I would have gotten to that point, seen all those pieces, cried, and bought a new chair. You should be so incredibly proud!

I love the picture with the blue fabric and the reclining mechanics hanging out. They look like legs or something.

« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2008 10:12:12 AM »

Thanks!  Grin

I don't think it would have been possible without having a digital camera and a sharpie.  I took a butt-load of photos as I dismantled the chair and made registration marks on everything.  Otherwise the chair would have died a very sad death...

« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2008 09:36:52 PM »

amazing! that is totally one of those projects where you look at all of the pieces and you want to run away. I am amazed by your perseverance. super-styling 'new' chair!
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