Monday, August 11, 2014

Chairs, chairs, everywheres: Painted Rattan Chair Makeover

There's a pawn shop around the corner from my work.  And at the beginning of the summer, they put out some chairs.  I am sure I almost caused several accidents as I slowed down every day to take a look at these three babies hanging out in the sun, hoping for a home.  One day, I took a coworker with me (because ladies don't just roll up in pawn shops solo), and for more money than I probably should have paid ($15 per chair), they found a home.

All three are in major need of repair.  The wrapping is coming off in several corners, the seats are a mess, and the sisters on the left were coming apart where the back meets the seat.  You say trash, I say CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

The sisters were finally finished this weekend and they look fab.

First order of business was to repair that pesky wrapping.  Rattan chairs have what I learned is called "binding cane" to hide ugly joints.  On my chairs, it was missing or coming off or just real ugly.  I ordered some, left it to soak over night and fixed where it was missing using small upholstery nails  It was tricky, but with some patience, it came out just fine.

Sadly, the wood was in terrible shape.  I decided making them bright and fun was the best option, and Fioli Garden Pool (part of Valspar's National Trust for Historic Preservation favorite!), seemed like a good fit.  Chad went out of town for a weekend, so it was a good time to (make a complete and total mess in our kitchen) mix up some of my DIY Chalk Paint and get to work.  This time, I used a wet rag to cover the open container of paint and I was able to take my time and get two good coats on the sisters without any problems or "setting up" of the paint.

The seat covers were not as smooth a project as I had hoped.  I'm an okay seamstress...maybe not the best, but I do like and know how to sew.  I figured a seat cover is just a matter of deconstructing the existing and cutting out a new one.  I picked up a $5 drop cloth from Lowes and decided to use that.  Turns out when you do this, you should cut in a GOOD seam allowance.  I'm thinking mine wasn't all that spot on and as such, I didn't have a great fit.  It took some tucking and stretching and ultimately, I will likely have to redo one side of one of the chairs.  But every failure is a learning opportunity!

I took the old, crusty cushions apart outside and I'm so glad.  There was probably 50 years of funk under those covers.

And no proper seat cover.  I decided to use a layer of batting to help keep it all together (that probably also cause the cushion fit issues).

I laid them out the best as possible for a template...I have to say, I got pretty close to having them fit perfectly.  But again, try to give yourself some extra room just in case!

I was able to reuse the old piping and create a contrast out of some pretty peacock fabric I've had laying around.  I do really love the end result.

I learned a lot.  I'm excited to tackle the last of those three pawn shop chairs, but for now, I'm going to look for a place for the sisters to live.