hunted interior

REINVENTING THE BERGERE: TUTORIAL


As you saw from my Inspiration post I wanted something a little different for my Craigslist Beauty.  So here is my little adventure in Chair Reupholstering...

The Before Shot:
Perfectly fine.  Red/Burgundy Paint with a Gold Glaze.  Traditional Upholstery.  Not hating on it at all... it's just not my style. 


SO I RIPPED IT UP!!!

I secretly love this part of a project, because there is no going back now!  **But do take note of the way the layers are assembled while ripping.  That way you can reassemble them the same way later.**


After ripping carefully removing the upholstery (trying to keep as much of it intact as possible...you'll appreciate it later) I shoved all of the fabric, foam & fluff into a garbage bag to reuse later.  It was all in good condition, which is not always the case.  If your filling is not in good shape, simply go out & replace the foam &/or the batting.  A lot of times, a new roll of batting will solve most issues.

The hardest part of this whole project was attempting to remove ALL of the staples.  I gave myself blisters doing this.  Blood, sweat & tears right?  Try & remove as many as you can.  There were definitely some stubborn ones that remained where they were.  The best tools I found for this was a skinny pair of needle nose pliers, a flat head screw driver & a pair of wire cutters.

I didn't take pictures of the painting process, but it was pretty standard: Sand, Prime, Sand, Paint, Sand, Paint, Wax, Buff... Admire.  Yes, it is a lengthy process & completely worth it in the end.  I used my favorite Sherwin Williams ProClassic Paint which provides an enamel like finish.  LOVE this stuff.

Time to pull out the trash bag'o'fluff.  Find your original fabric scrap of the chair back & seat & use them as templates on your new fabric.  


Recognize my Schumacher Chaing Mai fabric?  These were pillows in my living room... well now pillow.  It was the perfect fabric for what I was going for... so I ripped carefully took apart my pillow - that I had made - & stapled it to the back of the chair. 


Pretty huh?  You don't have to be perfect when using a staple gun.  This will all be covered in the end.  Just make sure you pull your fabric TIGHT!  I found that when stapling the seat I would end up removing a lot some staples to be able to get a tighter seat with no wrinkles or bunches.


The most difficult area was where the fabric met the curved front legs.  This involved a little pleating, which I didn't feel to bad about, because the original had the same thing.  I used Waverly's Seeing Spots in Noir for the inside seat & back.  Ikat polka dots?  Yes please.


My little inspector was making sure I had done a stellar job.  


After you have in all your staples go around & trim off your excess.


Now comes the trim.  You can use any kind of trim you would like.  Flat gimp cording is commonly used, but I wanted a double welt made from the same upholstery fabric.  There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to make it, but as you may remember from my 2012 Goals post, one of my goals is to LEARN how to use my 1941 Singer Sewing Machine.  A goal that has not been touched yet.  So I called my local upholsterers & asked if they would make it for me.  They said "Yes, that will be $10."  umm... $10?!?  I couldn't make it for that (having to buy the foot & the cording) SOLD!  


Simply hot glue on your trim.  Covering up your lovely staples. I did have to remove a staple or two that would have poked out from behind the trim.  Just being honest here!  The whole upholstery process took about three naptimes.  But could all be easily completed in 1 1/2 - 2 hours without interruption.




I am LOVING my polka dot chair.  Is it perfectly perfect? No.  Is it pretty darn close? Why yes it is!  Plus my total investment was less than $70.  


By the way... Honey & Fitz has created an amazing yardage cheat sheet.  This little tool is a graphic display of virtually every style of upholstered seating.  I highly recommend going over & either downloading it or pinning it, like I did!
{ Honey & Fitz }



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52 comments:

  1. Amazing! I love the fabric selection it look great. I have 2 bergere chairs that I'm dying to recover this will be a great resource for me. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! Just wear gloves while removing those staples :)

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  2. I love it and I want one! The Chain Mai on the back was the perfect addition. I've considered buying the Spot fabric for some drapes but can't make up my mind. Love it on the chair! I'm about to start my first chair upholstery project, so this is great encouragement. Super, fabulous job!!!

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    1. Send me pics or a link when it is done! I can't wait!!

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  3. Fantastic, beautiful and you make it look doable. I have a Bergere sitting in my garage, waiting for me...Janell

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    1. Beyond flattered! I am such a fan of all of your work. Thank you Janell.

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  4. Found you on pinterest and will be a follower for life!! This was beautiful!! Love the fabric!! & Thank you, thank you, for such a great post!! Easy to read and follow along with great pics!! I have a client I need to take cane out and do this on the seats and honestly feel like I can do it now!! Thank you!!

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    1. Welcome Lori! You can totally do this. It was much easier than I was anticipating. Honestly!

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  5. Just bought a chair like this at Goodwill for $15! Glad to find a tutorial because I was clueless about how to do it!

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  6. Love the beautiful fabric selection you made. I make slipcovers but have two of these chairs. I have finished painting them and getting ready to add the fabric back on. My chairs had a curved cardboard type piece between the front and back pieces. Do you think it is necessary for me to add this back in? What do ou have between your front and back pieces?

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    1. Good question... I have a thin piece of batting, a dense piece of foam, 2 more layers of batting & the top fabric. If your chair scale is similar I think you would be fine as long as you pull tight. If you have a larger chair I would keep the cardboard in for added support.

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  7. Yes, it is perfectly perfect. LOVE your fabric choices!

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  8. Love it, from the chair itself to the fabric choice, to the double welt trim. And I'm so glad to know I could ask an upholstery shop to make the trim for me. I purchased an ugly old chair from Goodwill for $4 and it's been awaiting a fix-up!

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    1. You may have to call around, but most will do it for you. Good luck!

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  9. wow! thanks for sharing .. i am in the process of thrifting to find a fun funky chair that will for sure be in need of some tlc - will totally be using this post as a reference once i find it!! :)

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    1. Good luck Morgan! Send pics of the finished product.

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  10. So pretty! I really love that beautiful contrasting fabric, too.

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  11. Kristin, this is a fantastic transformation! Love the new fabric you chose. If you could please add a link back to my party as well, I would appreciate it. Thank you!

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    1. It's added! Sorry about the delay. It's so easy to link up on the iPad, just not link back. Thanks again Amanda!

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  12. Featuring you today...LOVE this chair! You did great! XO, Aimee

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  13. Ooooooooooh my goodness this is ah-mazing.

    Seriously, one of my favorite chair redos I've ever seen in cyberspace.

    I love it!

    And I would LOVE it if you would link this up at Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL!

    http://www.fivedaysfiveways.com/2012/03/feature-friday-free-for-all-13-fashion.html

    Hope to see you soon!

    ~Abbie

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  14. Great choice of Fabric! Love the chair!

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  15. Gorgeous! I love your choice of sleek white and bold black and white ikat paired with the Chaing Mai. Truly stunning and I can't believe you upholstered it yourself. I am still too nervous to tackle upholstery...maybe one day.

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  16. One word for that chair...beautiful! After completing so many DIY projects, still nervous to attempt upholstery. Your step by step makes me think I can do it! Time to find some fabric and get started!

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  17. Incredible chair -- great job -- I just love your choice of fabrics.

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  18. This is wonderful. Love the surprise pop of colored fabric in the back! Great job!
    I am your newest Google Reader Subscriber!

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  19. That looks FANTASTIC! Love the fabric choice too, great job!

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  20. Gorgeous and great job with it! Love the fabric choices, and great idea on the trim! I'm off to find some pretty Craigslist chairs and hopefully an upholster who will make inexpensive trim like yours! :)

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  21. This is gorgeous! I wish I knew an upholsterer that would sew my welting for me! Everyone in this area wants an arm and a leg for that kind of thing!! Love the fabrics too!!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the finished product!

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  22. Hi Kristin!
    You did an amazing job on your chair! I am featuring it in my next post. :)
    Thanks for linking it up to my party.
    Blessings,
    Traci

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  23. LOVE this chair! Great fabric, great style, great job! Seriously awesome! Great tip on the welting too - who would have thought?

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  24. Simply... stunning!! The combination of fabrics gives it the perfect bit of pizazz! Love that you took your pillow apart! And, thanks for the tip on having the upholsterer do the cording, I had them do covered buttons for me once, so worth it!

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  25. Hi Kristin, did you get a deal somewhere on your Chiang Mai fabric? I've been looking but it's all generally $150/yardish. Ouch! I'd actually like an alternative-something "Chiang Mai" without the dragon-that is reasonably priced. Any suggestions? I cannot forget about this chair! Such great inspiration, I'm switching gears on my chair project!

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  26. I've just discovered your blog and am now following via GFC...the chair is ridiculously beautiful...love it! Absolutely fantastic choice of fabric.
    alderberryhill.blogspot.com

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  27. Just recently came across your blog and I loooove everything you've done! I actually really want to use that ikat fabric for a headboard I'm making... Is it sateen? And also, is the background white or cream? Online fabric houses make it look cream but it seems pretty white in your (beautifully photographed) images. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Meghan! It's definitely more white than cream. It is a cotton sateen but it doesn't have too much sheen. I hope that helps!

      Kristin

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  28. Please come decorate my house! I haven't found one thing on your blog that I don't like so far!!! :) Wishing I had the designer eye you do! Thanks so much for all your amazing ideas!

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  29. Amazing chair makeover!! I love the two patterns you chose for the chair. Ikat and polka dots are two of my most favorite things....even better when combined!

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  30. Your chair looks gorgeous and I really liked how you've posted it, just beautiful! I have this linked to my DIY upholstery post too today, for inspiration!

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  31. I can't wait to give this a try!!

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  32. Newish blogger here from vicariousvicarious.wordpress.com

    Your on my reader and I just read your wonderful announcement regarding the 2 new books you'll be in....CONGRATS!!!!

    Second... Wow!!! Thank you for redirecting to this past post on re-upholstering your chair! It is FLAWLESS!!! And plus I love anybody who gets a chair project done. I have a love for collecting chairs in need;)

    And triple points for talking about learning to use a sewing machine, maybe I misunderstood and your probly a sewing wiz... This just happens to be a machine from 1941 that has not been used... But that makes me feel better in general about the sewing machine my husband got me ages ago and I still really don't know how to use it!!! Cheers and I'm catching up on following you and your story!
    Xoxo from Washington State!!! vicariousvicarious.wordpress.com

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  33. Good job on your Fauteuil, I love the contrasting fabrics and the white paint!!

    Just FYI as a side note to the yardage chart (sorry, I have to mention because my family owns an upholstery shop) that those amounts are based on plain 54" wide fabric. If you get a design (like the back fabric on your chair), you have to factor in extra for pattern matching and centering of a pattern.

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  34. I took your advice and went back for the chair as soon as I could. They'd moved it to a different spot in the store but I found it and made it mine! You can bet I'll be referring to this tutorial in the very near future as I transform mine. See its BEFORE here:
    http://www.handbagsnpigtails.com/2013/04/u-turn.html

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  35. Loved this tutorial! Can you recommend which paint sprayer you use? I see you have used the paint sprayer a lot when you paint. Thank you!

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  36. Would LOVE to know if you did use a sprayer when you painted the chair??
    Also, what type of wax/buff do you use?

    The chair is so cute!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always love feedback on what my lovely readers { like you } are thinking. Feel free to ask any questions or you can always email me at thehuntedinterior@gmail.com

K