It’s time for the second tutorial in our Furniture Rehab tutorial. If you would like to read last week’s post, Furniture Rehab 101, click here.
Today I’m going to show you the rehab process I used on a piano bench with a fabric seat. I had been looking for a seat of some sort for the end of my older son’s bed. I found this one at a flea market for $8 and I thought it would be the perfect place for him to
sit and put on his shoes take a flying leap onto his bed. Just being real.
Before I go too far, here’s the disclaimer again. Anyone who does furniture refinishing or restoring would be horrified by what I do. I just find bits of this and that and turn them into something pretty and useful.
Please don’t be intimidated by the length of this tutorial. There are a ton of pictures and I promise that it took me WAY longer to write this post than it took to actually rehab the stool.
Today is a lesson in making do with what you have. You’ll see why as we go. Here’s the bench when I bought it.
The first step is to remove the seat so that it can be recovered and so that the frame can be painted. Turn it upside down and look for the screws that are holding the seat in place.
Remove those screws.
Once those screws are removed, the seat should lift off very easily.
Then sand any rough spots or drips and wipe the entire piece down with a tack cloth or wet rag. This stool didn’t need any sanding so I just wiped it down.
Let’s start with the painting of the wooden frame. I used a combination of methods because of the supplies I had on hand.
First I primed with some grey spray primer. I started with it upside down to make it easier to get the legs and support bars. Two coats waiting about 5 minutes between each coat. Then let it dry for a few hours before the paint.
I waited longer for the primer to dry since I wasn’t using spray paint for the actual color. WHAT? No spray paint? Nope. I had a gallon can of blue paint that I used for this project. I had planned to use my spray gun for both of these projects but it’s not working properly so I had to go old-school and use a brush. I like the foam brush because they don’t leave brush marks.
Here’s the first coat.
Then two more coats and it looked like this.
Now let’s recover the seat. Here’s the fabric I’m using. Joanne Fabrics. A half-yard of fabric at $7.99 a yard on sale for 1/2 off. It’s about $2 of fabric.
There was already a fabric covering on the seat and I put this right on top of what was already there. It was in fine shape so I didn’t feel the need to remove it and start over. If it was really gross, I would have taken off the old fabric and then added the new.
I started by laying the seat upside down on the fabric so I could see how large to cut my fabric. Make sure you look to see that the fabric is laying in the direction you want the pattern to go.
Then I cut around the seat leaving several inches around all 4 sides so that I could wrap it around the bottom of the seat.
Now comes the fun part. Get your staple gun and let’s get to work!
I like to start with the long side of the seat. Fold the fabric over the bottom of the seat and staple it in place. Start in the middle and then work your way to each end making sure to keep the fabric straight.
Here is the entire side.
Next I like to do the other long side so that I can pull the fabric across the seat nice and tight and straight.
Now the corners.
There are several ways to do the corners. You could fold the fabric like you were wrapping a present. I prefer to make little pleats. It’s not complicated. Just get your fingers in there and fold the fabric over a couple of times so that it wraps the corner of the seat.
Then secure it in place with a staple or two.
I like to do all the corners and then finish the short edges of the seat.
Here’s the bottom of the seat after it’s finished.
A little tip…If the staple doesn’t go all the way into the seat, grab a hammer or a rubber mallet and give them a couple of whacks. Problem solved.
Here’s the top side all finished.
Now it’s time to put the whole thing back together. Turn the painted fame upside down on the recovered seat. Line it up and grab your screwdriver.
Put the screws back in. I used new screws when I reattached the seat because the old ones were stripped.
And here’s the finished product!
Not including drying time, I’d say this project took about 2 hours total.