A friend for Hamilton

A month or two ago I finally brought home this little dining chair that I found on Craigslist for only $15!

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I’ve been needing a chair to go with my new Hamilton desk in our living room. I wanted something small and low profile, but was struggling to find anything in my price range that I liked. (Most of the cheap upholstered dining chairs seem to come in pairs only! Boo!) So even though this one was an hour away, it was worth waiting for until we could pick it up on our way to Little Rock to see my family.

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To redo it, I took off the cushion, lightly scuff sanded and cleaned the entire thing, sprayed it with one coat of Kilz spray primer, lightly sanded and cleaned again, and then sprayed it with several coats of Krylon Navy spray paint in gloss.

Side note on the spray paint…such a waste! I used Krylon because they’re the only brand that had a navy in stores (at Hobby Lobby), but the new EZ Touch 360 Dial spray nozzle is terrible! It only sprays a fan shape (you can turn the nozzle to spray vertically, horizontally, or diagonally), but a circle spray pattern would have provided much better coverage for the small surfaces of this chair. Plus the paint just covered terribly in general. I ended up wasting so much of it that I had to use 3 cans! Won’t be purchasing Krylon again if I can avoid it! 

No pictures of the process, probably because I was so frustrated! Anyway, then I recovered the seat with a kelly green and white striped fabric. Here’s another before.

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And after!

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Recovering the seat was a very simple process, especially now that I have this awesome Arrow Powershot Pro electric staple gun!

Andrew got this for free from work, and this was my first project using it….it was awesome! No more handle to pull that makes your hand sore! Instead, just plug it in and pull the trigger! It’s a good thing it has a safety, because it’s so easy that I shot a couple of staples around the room by accident!!

First, I removed several layers of old fabric and then added a double layer of extra batting. Then I laid my seat out on the fabric and cut it, leaving 4 or 5 inches of extra fabric on every side. After ironing it, I centered it on the seat and staple the front edge to the bottom of the chair. I decided to turn the fabric under once to create a cleaner edge.

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I carefully lined it up again, stretched the fabric over the seat, and put 1 staple on the opposite side. I wanted to make sure it all lined up and looked centered, so I wrapped the fabric as tightly as I could over the rest of the seat and turned it over to make sure.

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It looked good to me, so I finished stapling along most of the front and back edges (pulling the fabric tight before inserting each staple and flipping the seat over making sure it was straight after each one.)

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After stapling the other sides, I cut off some of the extra fabric in the corners and pleated the fabric around each corner…

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…Securing the pleats with staples.

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I prefer pleating the corners rather than folding the fabric under or just scrunching it up.

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I think it looks neater. You can almost always see the extra fabric on the sides if you just fold it like a present.

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Then Andrew reattached it for me (which was actually a little more complicated than it sounds due to a stripped screw), and I finally got to see the finished result with my desk!

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I think it’s perfect! I love the kelly green and navy combo, and I love how it looks with my curtains!

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I also bought this little metal basket at Hobby Lobby when I bought the fabric. I just couldn’t help myself. It was too cute, and I needed to incorporate a few other green elements into my living room, too, right?

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I adore my new chair with the white Hamilton desk! Here’s the budget breakdown: $15 for the chair, almost $11 for 2 yards of this fabric (I only used about a fourth of it), and around $12 for spray paint (ugh!) = $38. I certainly could have spent less if I used paint and fabric I had on hand, but I had a very specific vision in mind for this chair.

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I’m pretty happy with the price, because it’s actually somewhat difficult to find a single wooden dining chair in good shape, and an upholstered dining chair would have been upwards of $90! And I still have lots of fabric left, too, so I have to figure out what to do with that!

Check out how this room has changed over the last 6 months. I can hardly remember when my living room used to be dominated by red…

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We replaced the couch and lamp shadethe desk added curtains, added a new chair, and now we have this!

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It is so much better! I’m still so glad to be rid of the red couch! We finally sold the old desk yesterday via Craigslist, so we’re done with it once and for all, too!

I’m loving what this room is becoming, but there’s still a long way to go and lots of things we’d like to do. I think I’ll repaint the radio cabinet a dark greige color and replace the yellow floral patterned fabric for something a bit more neutral, we need to reupholster our ripped club chairs at some point, and I want to replace the media stand with a long dresser. But for now I’ll just adore my new chair!

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3 Responses to A friend for Hamilton

  1. Samantha Barnes May 13, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    LOVE the before and after pictures of your living room!!

  2. Michelle May 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Just stumbled across your blog and I love the color combo on your chair! And that desk is soooo pretty!

    • Simple House Expressions May 15, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Thanks, Michelle! 🙂

      -Arielle