Introduction: Re-Upholster Bar Stool
Hello, my name is Thomas Pauli. I went to WyoTech to study automotive upholstery 14 years ago. After joining the service, I used those skills to help other members with uniform alterations and I have used those skills to branch out to help myself save money on various projects. I will be going over a common design problem people have in their home or office, which is having furniture coverings that do not match the rest of your home. So instead of getting rid of the piece and spending $100 or more looking for furniture with a design that fits the décor of your home or office, you can spend about $10 on materials and have a whole new look to that old piece. You can also use this on old ratty pieces you pick up at a thrift store or flea market. With just a few tools around the house and the fabric design of your choice, you can have a unique and personalized piece of furniture for a fraction of the cost of store bought.
Screwdrivers (Flat and Phillips)
Upholstery Staple Remover (Not Required)
Tack remover (If Needed)
Needle Nose Pliers
Tack Hammer (If Needed)
Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive (If Applicable)
Pneumatic/Electric or Manual Upholstery Stapler
Step 1: REMOVE UPHOLSTERED SECTION FROM STOOL.
If required, remove the upholstered section of the stool from the base. Most upholstered sections will be attached by screws, clips, tacks, staples or glue. Do not try and pry things a part as it may damage the piece, but a little force may be necessary if it is tacked, stapled or glued in to place.
Step 2: REMOVING THE STAPLES/TACKS
Once the upholstered section is removed from the stool, flip the piece over and remove the cover. Coverings can be attached by staples, tacks or glued in place. Use the staple remover/flat headed screwdriver, or tack remover to remove all the staples or tacks attaching the cover to the base. If some of the staples are being stubborn, you may need to use a pair of pliers to help pull them out. This specific stool has a covering to clean up the look of the underside and there are more staples underneath attaching the actual cover.
Step 3: REMOVING THE COVER
Once everything that is attaching the cover is removed, the covering should either come right off or it is lightly glued in to place. If the fabric is attached to the underlying foam, make sure to carefully remove the covering as to not damage the foam. if you happen to take a small chunk of the foam off, all you need to do is use some spray adhesive on both pieces. Once both pieces have dried where it is tacky to the touch, press the two pieces together.
Step 4: TRACE AND CUT OUT NEW FABRIC
Take the fabric cover and lay it on top of the fabric you have chosen to replace it. Take your chalk and trace the old cover, adding a couple inches on all sides to give you more material to work with when covering. Use your upholstery scissors to cut out the pattern. If your old cover did not come with a bottom piece to cover up the "mess" from wrapping the cover around, take the base, trace it on another piece of fabric, and then cut it out. You will use this piece after you have trimmed the excess in a later step. In my opinion it give the overall piece a cleaner look and gives you more freedom with the underlying fabric to be a bit messy.
Step 5: ATTACH FABRIC TO FOAM USING FABRIC ADHESIVE
Now that your fabric is cut out, prep the cushion with some light multi-purpose spray adhesive (Skip to step 6 if not attaching the fabric to the foam). If you want the material to have less movement while working with it, spray a coat of adhesive on to the cushion. Make sure you allow the adhesive to dry to a tack before attaching the fabric, or you may have glue bleed through on the finished product if it is still too wet. Read the instructions on your spray adhesive as each brand and type have different wait times.
Step 6: STAPLE NEW FABRIC TO CUSHION BASE
Lay the fabric on your work table and the base face down on top of the fabric (If fabric is attached to the cushion, lay all face down as one piece). This is where the most care will need to be taken, since this is what the final product will look like. Watch the attached video to see how to get a smooth look throughout as well as some pointers on how to correct mistakes. If there are any portions of the fabric you are not happy with, simply remove the staples in the affected area and re-position and re-staple. The added material in Step 4, will give you more freedom to correct and re-position.
Step 7: TRIM EXCESS MATERIAL AND ADD BOTTOM COVER
Once you have completed attaching the fabric to the base, and you are satisfied with the outcome, trim off the excess material. Be sure not the cut too close to the staples, or you may have issues with the fabric tearing off later under use. After the excess has been trimmed off, take the cover you made to cover the bottom and staple that in to place to cover up the "mess" from stapling the cover on. This is where you want to be a little neater in your stapling, as this will be the finished look.
Step 8: RE-INSTALL AND FINISH PROJECT
Re-install the cushion on the stool with the hardware you took off in Step 1. After it is all attached step back and enjoy the look of your updated piece of furniture. With only a hour or two on a weekend, you will be able to update the look of your home and have something to show off for years to come. When it's time to update again, just redo the steps and keep the furniture going.
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