Dining chair restoration photo journal

TL;DR

This project nicely satisfied two things at same time–the need for new dining chairs, and an activity to fill the time of cancelled weekend trips (#2020). Around the time of the Bay Area’s first shelter-in-place order, I found a six-piece teak dining chair set for a good price. Quarantine project engage. 💪

Supplies

  • Flathead screwdriver, needle-nose pliers
  • Sharpies, scissors, tape measure
  • Cotton cloths
  • Teak oil [link]
  • Wood glue [link]
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • 24-in steel clamps [link]
  • Felt furniture pads [link]
  • Staple gun [link]
  • Steel wire brush [link]
  • New hardware (screws, bolts)
  • Adhesive spray [link]
  • 1-inch high-density foam [link]
  • Upholstery fabric [link]
  • Dust cover (for under the seats) [link]
  • Good attitude

Update: After broadcasting my progress to anyone who would listen, this project unfortunately was abandoned due to complications in reupholstery. I did the seat backs incorrectly. See below for details about this tragic conclusion. >_<

At purchase

Photos of six used mid-century dining chairs with ratty burgundy upholstery

Upholstery removal

Photos showing removing staples and fabric from chair seats and seat backs

Sanding

Time-lapse GIF of Joe sanding down wood chair piece
Photos of chair wood sanding process

Repairs and hardware

Photo showing screws in plastic bags and a sketch of the chair construction
Photos showing various repairs of chair parts, using clamps and glue

Wood restoration ✨

Photos showing chair frames sitting on towels as teak oil is applied

Old foam off...

Photos showing chair seats and seat backs with old yellow foam being removed

...new foam on!

Photos showing new green foam being cut out and applied to chair seats and seat backs

New upholstery!

Photos showing new upholstery fabric being cut out and stapled to chair seats and seat backs
Close-up photo of a seat back with an upholstery seam covering the new green foam

Finally, the whoops

Two photos showing a man with tools working on chair seat back upholstery

When it came time for assembly, I still had the sides of the seat backs to finish. I took them to this upholstery pro at Seventeenth Street Upholstery in San Francisco who laughed at me when he saw them. He took one of my seat backs, ripped it up, and showed me the proper way to do it. Needless to say, I learned reupholstery is a craft I severely underestimated.

After broadcasting my progress to anyone who would listen, this project unfortunately was abandoned due to these complications in reupholstery. I did the seat backs incorrectly. The pieces now sit in cardboard boxes in my garage. WOMP WOMP :(

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