Monday, February 20, 2012

French Table and Chairs And a Chair Upholstering Tutorial.

 Be prepared, I fear this turned out to be a Photo laden post.


I hinted at this project HERE When I mentioned that they had caned backs and a couple of them had holes in the caning. 
photo(10) chair 10 We used our handy tool there and cut out the caning.  Worked great and was pretty quick.  We sanded down what wouldn’t come out, and I was ready to go.
I painted them with Anne Sloans Chalk Paint in splotches of Paris Grey and French Linen.  Then I painted Old White over the whole items 006 new items 002Oh I did the table too.  We sanded the top down and Stained it with Provincial and then put Polyurethane on the top of the table.
new items 001I saved the piece of caning that we took out so I would have a pattern to cut the drop cloth fabric which is what I used for the upholstery.
drop cloths 014 Then I stapled the cut out piece where the caning was. Pulling tightly alternating from side to side and top to bottom so it would be stretched evenly.
drop cloths 001 This is the front of the chair with the first layer of drop cloth added where the caning was.  You can see that after I painted the chairs I distressed them back down so you can see wood, the Paris Grey and French Linen. 
drop cloths 002 This is the back of the chair after that first layer of fabric was added.
drop cloths 006 After I had put the first layer of fabric on I needed the padding, using the same caned piece I had saved I cut 1 inch foam to the same shape.
drop cloths 009 I felt that they needed a little shaping to cut off that sharp edge. So I used our electric knife (you can pick one up at your local thrift store, this one is 40 years old we got it for our wedding, still works! So 1970’s in that lovely green color!!) and cut that edge off.
drop cloths 008
drop cloths 004This is the front of the chair with the foam over that first layer of fabric.  I then cut a piece of poly batting larger than the caned piece I was using for a pattern.
I laid it on top of the foam and tucked the edges around the foam.
drop cloths 011  drop cloths 013 After this layer was laid down, I cut another piece of drop cloth larger than the pattern.drop cloths 015 This is the next layer or top layer to go over the foam and poly.
drop cloths 016
drop cloths 017 You can see that I laid the chairs down on their backs and laid all these layers down.  Next came the stapling.  I have an air stapler. Worth its weight in GOLD for stapling.
drop cloths 018 I stapled as close to the place where the caning came out as possible following the curves at the top, the trick is to use lots of staples and just line them up like stitches. Pulling tight and working from side to side and top to bottom.  Meaning a few staples at the top then a few at the center bottom.  Then move to the center of the side and do a few on one side then a few on the opposite side pulling tight.
drop cloths 019 The next step was to get all that excess fabric away from the staples so we could add some really nice trim to cover up all those staples.
drop cloths 024 I used a very technical tool razor blade. It worked well on the Drop Cloth material some fabrics can be trickier. Meaning harder to cut. I would know that from HERE this fabric did not want to be cut at all.
DSCN0590 After the excess fabric was cut off I added the "Gimp" that's what this fancy trim is called.  Fancy and Cheap lucky me, also it turns corners really well. So it was me, my hot glue (not the cool glue gun that will not hold up) and the gimp 14 yards of it!
Where they meet you have to be careful and blend the two edges together.  For those of you who have not used this “gimp” before it unravels REALLY easy.  When I start, I make a puddle of glue and dip the end of the gimp into it and lay it down and start around the stapled edge of fabric.  At the end I cut it very carefully dab some glue on the cut edge and squish them together.

The seats were already upholstered when I got them.  So I just covered up the existing seat cushion with my drop cloth fabric.  Stretching side to side as I did the backs of the chairs.
DSCN0603 DONE!  All 6 Plus the table… Its at the store if anyone is interested.
Hope you all enjoyed my huge project.
Have a great week!

Linking up at:
Piece of Work Wednesday
Be Inspired
Meet Me Monday
Wow Us Wednesday
Power Of Paint Party
Creative Inspirations Party
Inspiration Friday
Furniture Feature Friday



  1. Connie, this is gorgeous! Thank you for the tutorial! I'm just in awe! I love it all!

  2. this turned out amazing!!! love the vintage white finish. and i spy a little stacie subway art up there on the back wall;) love.

  3. Wow, this is a lot of work, and it came out so nicely. Great tutorial too. I hate when I have to do something over and over, so this project would have killed me to do it. It looks fab!

  4. How gorgeous! I have a chair with holey caning too, so I really enjoyed your tutorial!

  5. wow- those chairs are STUNNING! i love the new upholstery!

  6. When I saw it in it's natural state, I knew it would come out beautiful because of its lines. Very French and very beautiful. Well done and it was a lot of work but worth it!

  7. Wow! I've never tackled anything with cane. You almost make it seem do-able! Thanks for sharing! I'm a new blogger and now a new follower. Come visit me!

  8. Connie - So glad I found this post - the timing is impeccable! I just picked up a very similar table to redo the other day with some damaged caning and needed an easy fix - thanks for the great tutorial! I need to do this and NOW! I would love for you to come by and link it up at my Creative Inspirations Party and Embracing Change going on right now! I would love to have you there!

  9. Oh, my word! wonderful tutorial!! thank you so much for taking the time to do it!! What a blessing.

  10. Wow-I'm your newest follower-great tutorial -stop by for a visit!

  11. Connie,
    Brilliant work - beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial - I need to use that actually! Thanks for linking up - please come back Thursdays to link up again!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  12. Wow, that really was a huge project! And it turned out beautifully! Thank you for the nicely detailed tutorial!

  13. We are featuring you today! Thanks so much for linking up! Hope you'll be a party regular!

  14. Hi this is awesome...I have almost the exact set (only with 4 chairs...bummer) The caning is in good shape...but I just don't like the caning...the table is being used for a catch all in the basement...a couple of the chairs are being used here or there in my home but got me thinking! I am your newest follower!
    ps...and I am in the process of redoing my dining room...trying to decide exactly what I want to do in there...stop by and visit sometime!

  15. Just want you to know I featured you on my blog today!

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