Easy Mid Century Dining Chair Make-over

9:04:00 PM

I recently found a great deal on a mid century Garrison dining set from the early 1960s on a local sale site -

Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.


The set included 6 solid wood chairs (I'm pretty sure walnut with bentwood plywood inserts in the backs) and a dining table (solid wood base, Formica top).


Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.


The chair pads were covered with the original gold, asian-inspired patterned vinyl which had seen better days. Several had small tears and the padding was, well, squished and not so comfortable anymore. 

This past week it was time to clean, polish, re-squish and recover these chairs. Here's how I did it!

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SUPPLIES

Electric Staple Gun* (I have this one, and love it - it's also a brad nailer)
¼" Staples* (I picked up this multi-pack, super convenient)
Upholstery Foam* (I used 1" x 24" x 120" for 6 chairs)
Fabric*, prewashed and ironed (I used MonaLuna Barkcloth Mod Blooms*)
Murphy's Oil Soap* (optional)
Gorilla Wood glue* (optional)
Screwdriver
Scissors
Marker

1. Remove screws from underside of chair which hold seat in place.

CLEANING:


2. Here I used Murphy's Wood Soap (aff link) to first clean the chair frames, gave them a good scrub and wipe with a soft cloth.

3. After cleaning, I used Howard Feed n Wax, Beeswax and Orange Oil Wood Cleaner* (aff link to Amazon). Following the directions on the bottle, I applied an ample amount to each frame and let it sit for 20 mins before buffing it off with a soft cloth. I use old jersey knit shirts for this.

I forgot to take a before and after pic of the chairs, but I followed the same process with a pair of Lane Acclaim tables I purchased from a sale site a few weeks ago, and here's the result:

how to clean and oil mid century vintage side tables Lane Acclaim Step-up side tables

The tables (and my dining chairs!) look brand new again with this process! Love it!!

4. This was also a great opportunity for me to fix loose joints, stiles and corner brackets. Some of my corner brackets had come loose from their tongue and groove joints - here I applied some Gorilla Wood Glue* (aff link from Amazon) and hammered them back in tight before re-attaching the screws to the seat underside.

RECOVERING/REUPHOLSTERING:


5. Remove old seat cover and any loose staples. Remove old padding and or batting from plywood base.

6. Using plywood base as a template, trace and cut upholstery foam. I used this one* from Amazon - a 1" x 24" x 120" roll was perfect for my 6 dining chairs. They are so nice and cushy now!

Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.

7. Cut fabric about 2-3" wider than the plywood base. I chose Mona Luna Barkcloth in Mod Blooms* (aff link from Amazon, 56" wide) and 2 yards were perfect for my 6 dining chairs. 

Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.

8. Start by stapling middle half of one side, pulling fabric taught as you staple. Leave corners unstapled. Keep your tension on your pull even as you go along. Repeat on side opposite, keeping corners unstapled. Then, staple remaining sides repeating process, leaving corners unstapled.

Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.

9. Staple corners by -
 1 - pull corner fabric on a diagonal taught, staple.
 2 - pull and neatly folding one side over your diagonal piece, staple.
 3 - pull remaining side over diagonal piece, staple.

Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.

Repeat for all corners. 


Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.


10. Spray seat with Scotchguard* following directions on can. I have little kiddos that will be using these chairs so I made sure not to skip this step!

11. Re-attach chair pad to chair frame, re-using the original screws.

Enjoy!
Easy dining chair-recovering tutorial - how to get perfect corners every time! Great tips on vintage mid century wood cleaning and restoration.



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