So today I finally finished removing all of the staples, fabric, kapok and foam from the Queen Anne Chair. I still have to take the chair cushion apart, but no more screwdrivers, tack pullers, needle-nose pliers or upholstery staple removers… just a seam ripper and it can be done inside, instead of out in the hot garage with the fan going. And I’m also happy that I will be able to put my car back in the garage instead of outside in the driveway.
This has been quite a project so far, so much more difficult than I imagined to remove what was probably thousands of staples holding the fabric and everything else together.
Before I started, I labeled every piece with a Sharpie and also wrote notes on the pieces and on paper along with photographing it with my iPhone for pretty much every step of the way.
Now I have the chair frame and a pile of pieces that I will use as a pattern for the new fabric. Thankfully, the springs on the chair are in very good condition, I am able to use the fiberglass backing that was originally on the chair, so I will not have to do any webbing. The covering over the springs (which is known as the deck) is also in good condition, so that will not have to be replaced.
The process of removing staples was a learning experience, five days of using a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers to remove staples, until I slipped and put a deep gash into my finger with a screwdriver. Thankfully, I had a tetanus shot about 8 years ago, so I was good there, I probably should have gotten stitches, but it was a Friday night and I had some butterfly closure bandaids and decided to use that. It was hard at first because the bleeding wouldn’t stop, it’s in the top part of my middle finger on the left hand and fingers do tend to bleed a lot, but it seems to be healing well now.
That little incident made me sign onto Amazon.com and with my Amazon Prime membership, I was able to order a tack puller and an uphostery staple remover to be delivered the next day on Saturday.
I took most of Saturday off (day 5 of the upholstery project) but I did try the new tools when they arrived around 1pm. They were amazing and I really wish I used them from the beginning. They are safer and pull the staples out so much easier, so my advice is to use the right tools for anyone who decides to do something like this.
On Sunday I decided that I was going to finish removing staples, padding and fabric. It took a lot of work, the dogs pretty much stayed by my side for moral support and Tom (my husband) came in to help a bit every so often. About 4pm the chair was now done, except for taking the chair cushion apart. That still needs to be done, but that will be nothing compared to everything else.
During the process I was not able to save the kapok filling in full pieces, so I will have to buy that, the same with the foam. I guess it will be good to have all clean and fresh materials anyway.
I was kind of surprised at the mess of fabric and the way it was put together. I don’t know if all upholstery is put together that way, but it was kind of hard to make sense of it. It all also had to be done in the order of how it was probably put together, which sometimes was hard to figure out.
Now I have the job of researching how to upholster a Queen Anne Wing Back Chair, there is a lot written up about it and a lot of videos on youtube. I have to order some supplies (tack strips, foam, kapoc, staples and a good stapler). This week I will be reading up on how to do this and watching a lot of videos before I actually start cutting my fabric pieces. I have upholstered chair cushions, and done a lot of window treatments (swags, jabots, lined and pleated drapes) but they are nowhere near the scope of this project.
Oh before I go, this is my new fabric. I have been thinking for years about what fabric I would use for this, and a few times I almost got rid of the chair. But when I was in Dallas buying some fabric for dance costumes, I decided to go into the Dallas Home Fabric store on Perth St. (off of Harry Hines), and the minute I saw this fabric I knew it was it. I am a big supporter of elephants, I also recently redecorated my living room and this fabric was the perfect colors and design for me for a very special chair.
Thanks for reading and until the next time…. Laura