Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sweet little furniture makeover

Right, I'm back with the little project I hinted at in yesterday's post. I've had this stool for years, and thought it was about time I gave it some attention. When I first bought it, the frame was painted the most garish gold imaginable, complete with psychedelic fabric - the mind boggles at the thought of the house this little number came from! Anyway, I wasted no time stripping the trippy fabric off the cushion and painted the frame white. But that's as far as it went, and as this was way before I even knew what a blog was, I don't have any 'before' pics to share, more's the pity - it really was quite 'special'!

So when I was spray painting my kitchen cabinet doors, I decided to give a few other pieces the white treatment too. Here it is at frame stage:

The seat frame is timber, with webbing and hessian to support the cushion.

I could have replaced the webbing and hessian, but I didn't bother because a) it was still fine and b) the stool won't be getting much of a workout as anything other than a side table/resting spot in my daughter's bedroom. Also, by the time the hessian wears out, I'll be sick of the fabric, or the stool, or both, so then I'll replace everything and start again. I did vacuum it thoroughly and give it a wipe over with a damp cloth, to get rid of any dust. 

Next, I made a chair pad from some wadding, covered with a double layer of batting. You could go the purist route and make a pad from coconut fibre, but I chose not to bother. It pays to do it properly if you have an antique piece, but in this case it wasn't an issue.

Once you've made your chair pad, position your fabric and start stapling each side, working from the centre out to the edges. I trimmed the fabric as I went, making sure to keep the pattern in line, and folded the edges neatly. 

That's it! A quick and easy makeover, that really took no time at all.  There were, of course, a few things I learned along the way, and you may want to keep them in mind if you ever decided to tackle a project like this.

1. Choosing a geometric fabric like this one (Octagon canvas, from Spotlight ) is probably not the best idea for your first upholstery project! The reason being, any areas that aren't lined up perfectly will be glaringly obvious. I did need to unpick the fabric a few times, to make sure everything lined up properly. In hindsight, it would be easier to use an all-over pattern, without any straight lines.

2. The power stapler is your friend! We did have an electric stapler, which bit the dust about five minutes into my last upholstery project - recovering a two-seater sofa. This time around, I brought in the big gun. I used the compressor and power stapler attachment, and what a difference! No problems, plenty of power, and no fabric is too thick. Love it almost as much as my spray gun!

3. Make sure your chair pad is completely even in size shape, otherwise you have issues (see number 1 above!)

Ok, that's about it. I'm attempting to finish one of my other projects today, and I'll try very hard not to post any more teasers! I really can't help it though - I get all excited dreaming up new makeovers. TTFN!

all images by me 

By the way, this makover is also over at the link party at The Shabby Chic Cottage's Transformation Thursday. Go check it out, there are heaps of great DIY project and makeovers. 


  1. Spotlight octogon! I knew it!
    Just snappeed myself some of that up in the orange! I am inspired now to go find something to makeover! Ill be following your instrucions!
    now.....a paint & staple gun....might have to go shopping!
    sal x

  2. I love the chair, cool fabric too! Love seeing your makeovers!

  3. Great makeover, Kerri! You make it SEEM so simple, but it takes a creative hand ~ and eye ~ to bring a piece like this to its full potential. Love the geometric print with the white ~ so FRESH! xx P&H

  4. That looks really lovely. Ha! I can only imagine what gold Queen Anne style legs would've looked like...

  5. Looks fantastic, Kerri! Love the fabric, and you did such a neat job. Thanks for the stapler tip -I might have to look at upgrading :)

  6. It's gorgeous, I love the shape of the stool and the fabric looks great against the white of it. Well done! Can you bring your white paint over to my place and just go balistic on everything!!!
    Have a great day Klever Kerri,(like your new nickname ?)

  7. Hi Kerri, it looks there anything you cannot do??? Ha ha Keep them coming we love it.Take care Kym X

  8. Great makeover Kerri! The stool looks fantastic! What a cute little piece and you did well with the pattern! xx

  9. this looks amazing ..what a great make- over i love the fabric XX

  10. Kym took the words out of my mouth there anything you can't do???
    I would have to say that my air stapler tops my paint sprayer but only because I use it a lot more and when I think of all those lounge suites I covered over the years using a manual staple gun, argh!
    Anyway, it looks fantastic and you have done an excellent job. Go straight to the top of the class young lady!

  11. I really want an air stapler now, and one of those stools, and some of that fabric...ok, not the fabric because I read your tips and I believe you about the perils of geometric (bit like the perils of high school geometry, or was that geography?. You rock my friend (ok, that's geology!!)xx

  12. Isn't it amazing what a bit of paint and fabric can do! Great job, it looks fantastic. I think I need to now tackle a bedhead for my master bedroom and will heed your advice....

  13. What a lovely little bench, Kerri! You done it girl!!! What a fabulous job!
    Love it!
    Have a great weekend,
    Li :-)

  14. Love this Kerri. I know what you mean about using goemetric fabric. I've had the same trouble with stripes many a time. The blue and white combo is so fresh.

  15. Excellent Kerry, It looks great. Wow I am impressed by your tool collection. Not only do you have a spray paint gun, but a power stapler too! I was thrilled by my little old staple gun. Looks like I need to start stalking the hardware store!
    Discussed your kitchen makeover with a friend over coffee this am. I am going to email her the posts, she is planning a white make over like yours. She is also thinking of investing in a spray gun. what type is yours?

  16. Loving that fabric. I have a similar stool that I did with toile when I made bedroom curtains from that fabric a few years back. I am ready to change those curtains so the stool will get a makeover too

  17. It looks great, I love the idea. Is that a gloss or matt paint that you have used on the stool?

  18. Great project. I love the fabric combined with the white base, it's so fresh!

  19. You make it sound so easy...but I suspect that is not the case. Your stool is gorgeous, xv.

  20. Well, I think that I am beginning to see thaat you are a bit of a whizz at makeover's, Kerri !!
    The stool looks brilliant, even though you had to cope with the geometric fabric.
    I can't even begin to guess what little project is next !! XXXX

  21. I lvoe your stool makeover Kerri. The fabric is gorgeous! Thanks for all of the tips you gave us...hmm I may have to buy a compressor:) ~ Tina xx

  22. Terrific job, Kerri! Love it. xx

  23. Very nice! I used that same fabric, in a lime-ish green to recover a chair for my living room ( . I am on the lookout for a bench to reupholster after seeing your redo!

  24. I'm so glad you shared this with me. Love it!




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