Wednesday, August 11, 2010


~Old Fabric Removed~
(left click pics to enlarge/copy)

Today I will be taking you through Part III of transforming most any chair with an upholstered seat.  If you have missed my previous How-To posts of the Shabby Cottage Chic Chair Tutorial you can find them here:  PART I and PART II.

Tomorrow I will be showing you how to make a sweet linen chair flounce and/or skirt!  It is truly the perfect final touch to most any Shabby Cottage Chic Chair!

Today I will be picking up where I left off yesterday...

Are you ready?  Good!

17.  Wood Finishing.  The easiest Finish (and the one I love best) for shabby cottage chic furniture is plain old Furniture Wax.  It is inexpensive and can be found at your local hardware store.  I use this almost exclusively and it comes in many forms...from Formby's to even store brands.  It is easy to apply with a soft cloth and can be buffed out.  Waxing will add a soft finish to your chair and keep it from becoming dry looking.

18.  Another choice is Delta's Faux Finish Glaze Base found at most hobby stores.  I simply mix 1 part Glaze and one part Chair Paint and apply it with a soft cloth by hand.  This technique will soften the distressed edges of your chair and lighten up any 'shabbying'.  Finishing Glaze will add a light transparent topcoat look to your project!
~Cutting New Fabric For Cushions~

19.  I removed the old fabric covering my cushions and used it as a pattern and cut out new ones from a fabulous creamy white Damask (or Jacquard).  Since my chairs were manufactured in 1992 (see the date stamp on top) the foam was still in wonderful condition and I saw no reason to replace it.  However, on the chairs I made-over in my breakfast room the padding was the original from the 1940' was that old cotton batting stuff and it needed to GO (hand-cleaning over this type of cotton will result in spotted cushions).

20.  If your cushion needs new foam I suggest you skip the rubbery stuff and try and one of the dense Polyfill Cushion Fibre.  I used this product on the antique James Reilly chairs you see below and was very, very pleased with the results.  It is sold at most traditional fabric stores (like Hancock's, JoAnn's, etc.).  It comes in pre-cut sizes and is also sold by the yard.  It goes ON SALE all the time, too!
~Sweet Vintage Chairs~

21.  For years I used a hand-stapler before I finally got smart and invested in a high-powered one.  I simply stapled the new cover in place being careful NOT to square off the fabric around the edges and/or corners.  Just hand-gather in tiny pleats and staple in place!  Trim back extra fabric but not too close.  If you ever need to remove the fabric you'll want to be able to reattach it without too much trouble.
~Staple New Fabric In Place~
~Sooo Sweet!~
~Save Old Cover~

22.  Reattach your cushion and you are almost ready to go!  Don't toss out that old fabric covering just yet though!  It will be used as a 'rough template' for making the Chair Cover/Flounce I'll be showing you tomorrow!

Can't wait to show you the last part of the Tutorial!  Shabby Cottage Chic RULES! :)

 Blessings for a wonderful Wednesday!

Love to you~


Unknown said...

Looks great, beautiful fabric!!!

Mari said...




Anonymous said...

So pretty, Rebecca! You are the greatest at making pretty.
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Lisa said...


Kim B said...

Those look great! Happy Wednesday.

VM Creation Atelier said...

Hi,dear,dear Rebecca!-)*
You amazed me alsways with you new creative,just wonderful talented work!


Olivia said...

Oh my sweets this is just absolutely beautiful! I love the transformation and the fabric is oh so sweet! I like to use the staple gun, but I cannot find mine admist all the clutter in my always an excellent job!

Lore♥ said...

Hola Rebecca!!
maravillosa silla!!
me encanta linda femenina y delicada, eres increible el paso a paso que haces
me encanta el estilo shabby!..
muy chic gracias amiga
voy a hacer unos arreglos en mis sillas

Pat @ My Tattered Elegance said...

Your chair is looking beautiful!! Can't wait to see the grand finish. Thank you so much for taking the time to show all your techniques. I like to learn all I can from everyone.
Hugs, Pat

Rita said...

What a beautiful chair it turned into. It is amazing how a little paint and a little fabric can make something look sooooo much better. Good job, girl!

Theresa said...

Yikes, gorgeous! Great job Rebecca! Love it!

Ginger said...

Thanks for all the good instruction, cant wait to see the skirt you will show us. The chair turned out beautifully (of course). I can hear peace in your writings now. So glad you are more relaxed.

Tanza said...

Hi my ~r~,
WoWsers sweets, these truly turned out fabulous !! Now, once again, you make this look sooo easy !! LoVe to watch your Rebecca transformations !! Can't wait to see their pretty matching skirts .. You know me, and my love of ruffles and lace !! Thanks for all your useful tips, BUT, I Will wait and get my pretties from you !!

Hope all is well, after the moving week-end .. Is her room getting fixed up still .. Can't wait to see when you share .. Noo rest for the weary my friend .. hahaha .. Have a happy evening and save some time to just sit and do nothing at all ~ xo
Huggers ~TeA~

Dolores said...

Rebecca..... you do everything to perfection! The chairs are so pretty......
Someday..... maybe I'll be creative again..... but.... right now, I sure enjoy looking and dreaming of what you're doing!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Looking good so far!~Hugs, Patti

Oklahoma Granny said...

I just continue to be amazed as the transformation progresses.

Tara said...

How fabulous are you for sharing all the tricks of the trade! Your tutorials will be very helpful with all mt furniture painting. I am just finishing up a bedframe and a dresser/desk. Thanks for the helpful hints Rebecca!

Diane said...

HI Rebecca
I have been meaning to tell you that I have tons of that Laura Ashley fabric pictured on your chairs. The pretty rose one. If you are interested in buying all of it from me let me know. I bought it thinking I would use it in our new bedroom but changed my mind along the way. Magine that! Anyway let me know or if you know anyone else that wants it.
Wonderful tutorial.

Cathy said...


What a great job on the chair covers. This is one project I never look forward to. Although when I finally put my mind to it and actually tackle one, it comes out pretty good.

Enjoy my hydrangeas all you like and have a wonderful summer weekend.

xo Cath

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

Hi Rebecca, what a wonderful job you did on the chair covers, thier just beautiful! I've covered some before but they didn't look nearly that pretty! Thanks for the tutorial!!! hugs~~~ Daphne

Blog Archive