Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Reupholstering an old friend

This chaise lounge has been with us for a long time.  It's been in James' family a very long time and has a story behind it.  It once belonged to Peggy Hopkins Joyce.

According to Wikipedia Peggy Hopkins Joyce (May 26, 1893 – June 12, 1957) was an American actress, artist model and dancer. In addition to her performing career, Joyce was known for her flamboyant life, with numerous engagements, six marriages to wealthy men, subsequent divorces, a series of scandalous affairs, a collection of diamonds and furs, and her generally lavish lifestyle.  There's much more to read about her if you're interested https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Hopkins_Joyce  She's got quite a story.  There's even a book written about her called Gold Digger.

How did we end up with it?  When James' grandparents were young they moved into an apartment that Peggy Hopkins Joyce had just moved out of after an annulled marriage and left all her furniture there.  The landlord told James' grandparents they could have it.  The whole family has a piece or two of this art deco style furniture.

I blogged about it a while ago when I was removing the veneer that had been peeling off the back.  Just recently I decided it was time to reupholster it and thought I'd give it a shot myself.  I took it apart layer by layer.

It had been squeaking for years every time you sat down on it so I knew the frame needed some repairs. Once I got down to the skeleton I saw how desperately it needed attention.

Because of the shape of it you couldn't just put some glue and a few screws in to tighten it up.  I had to cut a few pieces of wood and make a splint to attach to the inside to act as a scab to secure all the joint cracks on both sides.  I Gorilla Glued and screwed it together and now there is no squeak to be heard.  
I put it back together and added some more foam to the top.  I've done very little upholstering so this was a little bit of a challenge.  It turned out pretty good though if we paid a professional upholsterer for this job I'd have a few complaints.  Funny how that works.   Here it is finished.
I recently bought a pneumatic stapler which made the job go so much faster and easier.
I need practice on the double welting that hides the staples.  It's not nearly as tight as when a professional does it like this.  
Because I'm not good at this I'm struggling to come up with an idea to finish off a dining room chair I've recovered.  It's been in our basement for a long time because the caned back had broken.  I removed the caning and replaced it with, first fabric that shows on the back side.
Then webbing to give it more support.
Then some foam for padding and covered with more fabric.
Now, as you can see, I need a way to finish the back off.  I'd prefer not to use double welting like I did on the chaise lounge because I suck at that.  Hopefully an idea will pop in my head while I sleep tonight.

I also found an old chair at our cabin that I thought would be a good addition to our dining room since I only have 5 chairs.  It had an ugly gold seat that had straw for padding and upholstery tacks holding it to the chair.  I refinished it, cut a board for the seat, added some cushioning and covered it with matching fabric.  It'll work.

I'm about finished with upholstering.  I'd much rather work with wood, concrete or metal than fabric.

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