home decor

My King Louis XVI Arm Chairs

A year and a half ago, I randomly visited my cousin and we went to an estate sale down the street. I found two french style chairs because I thought one day maybe I would attempt to reupholster them. They both cost me $30 total. Why not, right?!

When I got them home, I started taking one chair apart because I was so excited to find them. Mind you I love antique furniture and something about its history I find so intriguing! I end up doing some research and watched a lot of YouTube videos on reupholstering chairs for hours. It took me a week to take off the fabric of one chair – it may have had 500 to 1000 staples. After all that labor, I no longer was interested and talked myself out of it. At the moment, I stopped or paused the process.

Six months later, as I had been visiting the now evolved studio in my basement hundreds of times, those chairs were just sitting there staring at me as if begging me to finish them…so a week and 500 to 1000 staples later, the other one was naked (hah). I felt like I had really made some progress here. I still thought I couldn’t reupholster it myself so I decided to ask local businesses and soon discovered that it was way too expensive (close to $1000 for both chairs). This was the final courage I needed to prove to myself that I can do this!!

A few months later, I chose a color for the chairs and painted them. I used Americana Decor Lace Chalky paint that I bought from Home Depot. I applied two coats and then decided to paint the edges with silver acrylic paint to give it a richer feel. At this time, after some research via Pinterest I found out this type of chair is called King Louis XVI Arm Chair. You know that moment you feel like something is coming together here, this was it. You cannot imagine how excited I was because (one) I love France and (two) I am dying to visit Southern France!!

Choosing a fabric took me a long time because I wanted this to be perfect! Finally, ShopMyFabrics came to the rescue!! Once I got the fabric (1 yard), I kind of just remembered what I had seen on those YouTube videos a year ago. Luckily, I had kept the old fabric and used its measurements to cut the new one so that was easy! The fabric I got wasn’t enough for the back of it, so I went to Jo Ann’s and got a plain fabric for the back of the chairs. If you’re doing this, always get extra fabric just in case. A long time ago, I bought a heavy duty stapler and never used it from Home Depot. Not sure why I bought it at the time but it worked well for this project. As for the piping cord, it was challenging for me to find because people usually make it themselves by sewing using the same fabric. Number one, I ran out of fabric and number two, I don’t know how to sew. At this point, after asking an older lady at another store, she kindly told me of a shop in Rocky Hill, CT called Affordable Fabrics and let me tell you it’s really affordable and wish I knew of them before! I found the piping cord I wanted and the color matched my fabric! Perfect! I used hot glue to connect the cord around the edges of my chair so that it covers the staples. The results are the photos you see above.

This project may have taken me a long long time, but I learned so much from this experience. It was a challenge but I never gave up! I hope you learn something from it, too! The two chars are in my living room and I stare at them with great pride!

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