Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Swanking Up Some Old Folding Chairs

We have all had this problem - extra seating at a party or gathering.

Yes, you can drag some chairs in from the dining room or put our some pretty horrible wooden folding chairs. However, what do you do when you want to have some extra seating in your house and you want it to look a bit more swank?

I got the idea for this project when I noticed these great folding chairs. Yes, there were a very ugly goldish color. They were also covered with a nasty looking vinyl fabric. I am assuming they had been used for decades in a local fire hall or church, but overall the design of the chair was pretty decent. The curved back and wire ladder back gave the chair a pretty decent shape.

Best of all, these things were sturdy. Made in the USA and meant to withstand the ongoing abuse of drunk people at weddings and graduations. These were prefect.

First, I had to decide on a color. I didn't want anything too pretty or just plain. I branched away from my regular Rustoleum because I didn't plan on leaving them outside. I tried out Valspar from Lowes in a color called Silver Fox. It is a nice grey-toned blue. Since I had originally thought of using silver, it was a great compromise.

I gave it a coat or two to make sure I had hit all of the railing and sides of the chair. Since this will fold up, you really see underneath the seat and the legs, so I was extra careful with these areas.

I took the chair apart and spray painted the chair and the base of the seat with the Silver Fox paint. These chairs were a little tricky because you really have to pry open the seat to get at the fabric. Next, I picked a pretty heavy duty upholstery fabric for this job.

The stripes are classic and the browns and greens are very easy to coordinate with may styles and designs. I have used this fabric before and it really integrates well.

Unlike most chairs, the bottom of this was metal, so I was not able to staple the fabric directly onto the seat. I had to be a bit more imaginative. First, I tried some adhesive spray. That didn't work. Next, I just used good old-fashioned packing tape to hold it into place while I put the metal seat cover back on it.

There were prongs on the seat that folded down to hold it into place, so I lined those up, and pushed the metal cover back on. It took a few taps with a hammer to get it back on and securely on the bottom. The real security comes from mounting brackets that attach to the chair.

Voila! I had a finished chair. It looks so much better. It is something I can put in the closet, but they are so cute, I can just tuck them in a corner to even use them for every day. For now, I think I am going to use them to put outside when I have events at the store. We always need a little bit of extra seating toward the end of the night when people are gathered outside.

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