Time to tackle Chloe's chair! First step was to remove all the old fabric and those hundreds of nail tacks. Beneath the fabric, there was foam on the seat, back, front, and arms, which I'll be reusing. The seat of the chair was made of some leather straping over a muslin fabric. The back of the chair was made of two pieces of foam with a piece of cardboard sandwiched between them. Though the muslin is stained and a bit loose, the straping is still fairly taut and the cardboard is still nice and hard so I'm planning to just leave them all in place rather than remove and replace. So it looks like I can reuse everything; the only new parts will be the fabrics.
As I posted before, the part I was most worried about was how to do the actual tacking of the nails. Katie had a great suggestion for me - use flexible tacking strip instead. Flexgrip, also known as curvease or ply-grip, is a flexible strip with little metal teeth that grip onto the fabric. It makes finishing edges and working around curves very easy. I found mine at the Mississauga Fabricland location which carries upholstery supplies.
With the chair stripped bare, (and this youtube video to guide me) I decided to test drive the flexgrip and see if I could do it myself. I cut a piece the length of the front of the seat. Using the original nail tacks, I nailed the strip, following the curve of the front. You can see I wasn't that precise with this test and some of the metal overhung the edge.
Once the metal was in place, I folded the back of the metal strip forward leaving a 1/4" gap. Then I put the foam back in place and wrapped the old fabric on top. Using a screwdriver, I tucked the edge of the fabric into the gap all along the strip. Finally, I used a rubber mallet to lightly tap the flexgrip down and close the gap.
And tada - here's how the flexgrip test turned out:
Not bad :) For the real thing, I'll have to install the flexgrip back from the wood edge and bring the foam and fabric forward so that I get a nice curved cushion and no metal parts pinching baby bums! We've put a coat of primer on the chair and should have all the paint and reupholstery done in the next few days. The colour we ended up choosing is so yummy I could eat the chair up!