Saturday, 15 June 2013

My Peacock Chair!

I have managed to complete one more item for my bed sitting room.  I wanted a chair for this box and have yet to decide which room it will go in but thought I would share my refinishing and reupholstering of it.
I started with a chair that I found online but did not love the colour of the finish for my project.  After I took it apart, I decided that I would paint it before reupholstering so I used some paint and then applied Liquitex matt varnish to give it a nicer finish.
I have found that these chairs have been reasonably easy to take apart.  You have to be very careful and take your time cutting through the glue to remove the fabric pieces.  Depending on the project, I do leave some of the glue and in this case it helped to hold the chair together.  If it is going to affect the piece going back together, I try to carefully remove as much of the old glue as possible.
Original chair and my finished chair

I decided what colours would look best with the fabric that I had used for carpeting and the pieces of fabric left over from making the draperies in a previous post.  The peacock fabric is one of Susan Bembridge's designs in silk and as it was rather expensive, I did not want to waste any of it!   This chair was the perfect size for utilizing the two left over strips of fabric.
Choosing paint

Carpet swatch

I decided that a soft beige colour would work well so after trying a few different colours, I settled on one that I thought worked well with the room finishes.
Very carefully lift edges to start

Very carefully, working slowly, I disassembled the chair taking care to remove each piece intact as I wanted to upholster over the white fabric that was on this chair.  If there had been a pattern in a bold colour, I might have done it a little differently - cutting new templates and padding it with foam. 
Placement of pieces on fabric - not much room for error

Centred peacock on back piece
As you can see, I had just enough fabric so thankfully I did not have any mistakes with this project!
I am very fussy about lining up patterns, stripes, etc and this fabric was no different as I wanted to place the peacocks strategically on the chair.  As you can see, I centered the peacock on the back panel.

Lots of glue to secure fabric

Be very careful not to get glue on front!!!

Ready to reassemble
I tend to use a fair amount of glue when I do these projects so that the fabric holds in place.  Sometimes, I hold the piece in my hand when working so that my pattern stays in place where I want it to be positioned.
Again, lots of glue!

Clamping in place

I carefully put the chair back together usually in the order that I took it apart.  I hold it with clamps until the glue sets and then fluff up the fabric afterwards.
My placement of the peacocks was important to me
I was quite happy with the result.
I will continue to follow everyone's blogs but will not post myself again until September! I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!


  1. Hi Martha,

    Great work! Thanks for the wonderful, step-by-step, illustrated tutorial on re-upholstering :-)

    Enjoy the summer!

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thanks, I was quite pleased with the finished chair.
      Have a good summer, will talk soon,

  2. This is a splendid chair. I love the shape of it and the material is fabulous! Thank you for the tutorial!

    1. Hi Lucille,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Susan's fabrics are lovely to work with but expensive so "a little had to go a long way!"

  3. Hello Martha,
    You make it look so easy. After reading your post on reupholster I just might try it one day.
    The chair looks spectacular! I think your attention to pattern and matching them up is what makes your work so wonderful.
    Big hug,

    1. Hi Giac,
      It is easy if you take your time and be extremely careful with the glue!!

  4. Hello Martha! What a great shape this chair has and you have really made it special with the fabulous upholstery that you have given it! I am sure that this will look just wonderful in the bedroom that it is destined for. I also like the way you have white-washed the wood and made it paler and more feminine. It really suits the fabric!


    1. Elizabeth,
      Thank you for your comments - it is a pretty chair! I am not very handy with wood and measuring so redoing something seems much easier for me.

  5. It's gorgeous! A major improvement. The fabric is really beautiful and the paint colour a perfect complement. I'm happy to have found your blog today via a link to this tutorial on Pinterest :)

    1. Norma,
      Thank you for your comments. I am pleased to hear that others like it enough to "pin it."

  6. Hi Martha,

    Sorry to be so late but I just had to say how much I love your re-vamped chair! It reminded me of when I reupholstered my suite of chairs for my music room. It's a little daunting, removing the fabric and seeing the goo-y mess underneath, right? I love your Susan Bembridge fabric and also recall the 'sticker-shock," lol! But it is SO worth it! Sorry to read you won't be posting until September --let's do stay in touch.


  7. Hi John,
    Thanks - high praise coming from you!!! Your rooms are so exquisitely detailed - particularly the draperies and upholstery along with everything else you have added to each elegant room.
    Will definitely keep in touch! Have a great summer,

  8. Hi Martha, very beautiful work on reupholstering this chair. I love this peacock fabric a lot. It will give a beautiful design for a mini needlework. Mini hugs, Natalia