Upholstery 101: tear apart & glue together

I finished my first whirlwind of an upholstery class tonight and am so very excited to share with you the process of my $5 Brimfield find! The lesson of class one was basically tear everything apart. I ended up finding that my chair had been re-upholstered not one, but two times (which means I had 3 layers of fabric and 3x the tacks to pull) but it was such a cool experience! My chair is pretty old so we also pulled apart all the joints and used wood glue to make it structurally sound again.

Tips from the day:

1. Don’t be shy with the fabric. Just pull anywhere you can find… I used a screw driver & hammer combo for the nails and a plier for pulling tough fabric

2. Make sure you’re up to date on your tetanus shots… you definitely will get poked a few times. Keep Band-Aids close by & don’t wear nice clothing!

3. The only things I kept from the original chair were the springs & the wood frame… be prepared to start from scratch

4. My chair had rods holding the pieces of wood together at the joints… I learned that you shouldn’t put too much wood glue in the actual hole where the rod connects at the joints when gluing back together (apparently the rod won’t go in all the way if you do so)… but put a lot of glue everywhere else.

5. Wash off the excess wood glue when finished. This will save you time later (just a towel and warm water will work)

6. Make sure to clamp all the edges that you glued back together again and leave to dry! Clamp the base first and put a piece of cardboard between the chair and clamp so you don’t imprint the wood.

Next week, stay tuned for webbing and spring attachment! Check out a few of the pictures from Day 1 (you can see all three fabrics in the second picture)!



  1. Very cool! 😀

  2. woow

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