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Chloe's Chair: Get a Grip

by - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

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!

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  1. Very nice! Where did you find that fabulous chair?

    P.S. How did you get all of your links to be on the left side of the page instead of the right side??

  2. So glad you found a DIY solution (I may have missed a post earlier on this ;) not too sure). Looking forward to the reveal of the finished chair :)

  3. wow. CANNOT wait to see the final product!! that Chloe isn't going to know what to do with herself!

  4. Your blog is so full of helpful ideas and tips - I really enjoy seeing what you're up to next! I've always wondered about reupholstering a chair - I'm going to save this post for future reference in the event that I feel very brave and try to tackle this myself. Can't wait to see the end result!

  5. I have two bergere chairs waiting in my basement that I was hoping to re-do myself. This is extremely helpful. You are the BEST!

  6. Can't wait to see the fabric you chose! Great job so far!

    I wanted to know how to move the links to the left too.

  7. What a great idea those that flexible tacking is just what I need for my love seat! I also really like your new blogroll-some really good ideas on there.

  8. Lovely Little Nest, Londen - I found the chair at a garage sale for $20! For the links, the blogger template I use (Minima Lefty Stretch) has them preset on the left side.

    Kerry - I'm glad I can DIY it too and not have to send it to a professional reupholsterer (not that I'm expecting my job to look professional in any way, haha!)

    Confessions - I'm just hoping to have it done before Chloe outgrows the chair ;)

    Last Minute Mel - thanks! If I can do it, anyone can.

    Tara - ooh, I love Bergere chairs! Can't wait to see what you do.

    kitliz - suspense or baby-dependent-schedule (which means this may take weeks to complete?) ;)

    sivab - glad I could help!

  9. 1. Where did you get the tack strip?
    2. Do you have a picture of how you got the material in there? I kind of get it, but don't, you know?
    3. I'm hoping to get up the courage you had to try it here!!

  10. Merci beaucoup. What a helpful post. I will be trying this in the near future.

  11. Wow! The chair is going to be amazing. Thanks for the how-to!

    -Cara @ Live the Home Life

  12. Since you've taken the chair apart, I think you should reconsider using the foam. The stuff degrades and holds odours. You're going through all that trouble to give it a face lift and it'd be a shame to not go that extra step.

    I am jealous of the fabric you found for the chair because it looks like what I've been searching for for my RV makeover! Love the colours!


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