Have you ever started a project and soon after you had begun you realize you were way in over your head... bitten off more than you could chew... that you were taking the final exam and had never read the text book?

I was so confident that I could recover a simple chair pad (silly me)... I bought the NEW FABRIC and the trim material and the welting, and a new staple gun. I was ready to go!!!! This would be a breeze, even though I had never covered a chair pad in my life!

 How hard could it be? No problem, it's only a chair pad, for heaven's sake...

So I dug in with a lot of excitement and a little hubris...



While Bobby was doing this...


(Bless his heart.... he has just spent the past two weekends painting all the windows and wainscoting)


I set up my "workshop" in the foyer, so we could work together.
I put a utility table on top of a dropcloth on the oriental and put one of my dining room chairs upside-down on it.

You have been wonderful, sturdy chairs for the last 26 years you have lived with me... but we need to update your wardrobe... it is terribly out of fashion!


Dear Ethan Allen people, I love your furniture! I love it so much I am giving 8 Ethan Allen dining room chairs a total makeover.  

The people at your stores are nice too! Linda is coming here tomorrow and we are picking out living room chair fabric. She even gave me an encyclopedia type book filled with all of your pieces. What a lovely take-home gift!
You are wonderful!




This reupholstering thing would be easy-peasy! I just needed to take the staples out of the dust cover on the bottom of the chair and then I could take off the fabric...


Pulling out the staples was not easy-peasy! Not easy-peasy at all. It was... well, a struggle!

Of course I did not have an upholstery staple remover! I had not actually heard of an upholstery staple remover before.  Bobby rigged me up with a chisel edged screwdriver, a hammer and a pair of pliers.  He even gave me a lesson on how to use them... and told me I had paint on my cheek.






Once the 40 staples were chiseled, hammered and pulled out of the dust cover... I thought I was home free.  Taking the staples out was harder than I expected, but that job was done... or so I thought!


Pulling off the dust cover I found... more staples... and cardboard stripping! This was a bit of a surprise. But at least I could see the seat's webbing and the foam cushion!

 Now I was thinking that this job might be a little more complicated than I first thought.

 But, no problem... You're leaning something new... look at it as a new adventure, Yvonne!

Carry on... carry on...





Another 40 staples later and lots of chiseling and hammering and pulling led me to....






More staples... lots and lots. Stapled every-which-way!  The staples were holding the welting on. Staples stapled on top of staples!

Now the complexity and work involved in this "easy-peasy" reupholstering job was starting to dawn on me. And my right shoulder was beginning to hurt from chiseling and hammering and pulling.

 Okay, so it is a little more work than you thought... and you have eight chairs to reupholster... and you can see that this is not the last layer! Get a drink of water... take two Aleve's and get back to work! And above all  DON'T WHINE"!

press on...press on...






Forty staples later... more staples.. and the top of my rubber gloves had been chiseled off by mistake...

OUCH!

Tiny whines bubbled up! A feeling of fear started to gripped me by the throat! Hubris gone and replaces by

...oh no, what have I gotten  myself into... why didn't I go with my original plan and just slipcover them!

Limp on... limp on...






Forty more staples... lots of chiseling and hammering and pulling... 





Finally, the guts of the chair. Thank goodness the chiseling and hammering and staple pulling was over!

The chair had more guts than I thought... guts were popping out of the chair.

Stop that... I might not know how to stuff you back in! You need to stay in place. Oh my... 


Dear Ethan Allen furniture people... you make very well stuffed chairs. And a side note... you might want to think about giving the staple guy a raise... he does his job with gusto!






Righting the chair I lifted back the chair fabric...

My total naivete' in chair reupholstering reached it's peak when I began to pull away the layers of chair guts...

OH MY GOODNESS... what IS  all this stuff?





I could not totally remove the fabric, it was somehow stuck. I was still oblivious about what was to come!

 Underneath was some kind of bunny fluff... not fiberfull at all.  It looks like the people at Ethan Allen also have a man who steals bunny fluff from nests and crafts it into a floppy-moppsy padding that is very very soft.

I rolled it up against the fabric to find...






Finally, the foam seat cushion! 

IT WAS STAPLED TO THE CHAIR FRAME!

By now I was talking to the chair... not sweet talk. I was calling it names. Telling it that it was deceptive and evil and other things too... all the while I could feel sobs caught in my throat.

You've got to be kidding me... I have seven more of these to do! It will take me YEARS!

By now I was sobbing... just a tad!


From the dining room, Bobby commented that he loved the way I talk to things... I told him to please be quiet or I would "talk" to him! Sniffle...



More chiseling and hammering and pulling... and the foam seat came off... I was so surprised to find a funny little "seat" made out of foam underneath the large seat... just where people's bottoms would sit... how thoughtful!

No wonder the seats of my chairs were comfy and dinner guest lingered so long at my table. For years I thought it was my cooking or our great wit!

Note to self, memorize Proverbs 3:7 AGAIN... DO NOT BE WISE IN THINE OWN EYES!

It's funny what brings a person joy... Finding that little-surprise-of-a cushion for some reason made me brighten up! I thought it was so nice of the Ethan Allen people. They're certainly a kind group. I loved the idea that I had been sitting on extra padding lovingly being placed in just the right spot with my comfort in mind!

This is a very well made chair... I'm glad I did not get rid of them...

Dear Ethan Allen people, you do great work and I think you are thoughtful too! I have 8 sturdy and well made chairs... albeit, I have to reupholster and paint them and it will take me years... and we will probably have to use card table chairs in the dining room for a long long time... and I will certainly have to endure shoulder surgery because of all the chiseling and hammering and pulling...but, KUDOS to you for making such fine furniture!




I soon discovered why I could not remove the fabric from the back of the chair... you guessed it...


IT WAS STAPLED ON!

Seriously?... Seriously!

Not in just one spot but two!

Seriously?

My mood darkened slightly... okay, a lot... and I could feel myself becoming a little snarky!

Think of the funny little cushion, think of the funny little cushion...

Dear Ethan Allen people, I think you need to get your staple guy some much needed help. It is clear that he has issues and he is taking his aggression out on your beautiful furniture...do you really think he should even have a staple gun?






The end was in sight... after more chiseling and hammering and pulling...and shoulder pain and Aleve...and sniffling... and talking to the furniture... and wanting to talk to Bobby... and conjuring up letters to the Ethan Allen people...


TA DA!

Done!

I'm not touching the batting strip around the chair... it's staying!

I did it... I did it! 
Thank goodness I took 86 pictures because I'd never be able to put it all back together without pictures...


Dear Ethan Allen people does your furniture come with assembly instructions? I think it should...





There were 350 staples in this chair... I counted them!

350 times 8 chairs... whining starting again...

Don't think about it now... don't think about it now...






At the end of the ripping up process... I felt accomplished... no hubris... no more sniffles... no more potty talk to chairs... I had actually learned something!

Now I need to find a good physical therapist for my shoulder... and I must order an upholstery staple remover ASAP!


I was surprised one little chair had so much inside of it... and it certainly had way too many staples!







Hobbes, couldn't believe his eyes either!








Dear Ethan Allen people, you have beautiful and well made furniture... but... I will not be buying new dining room chairs from you in the future... 

I would like to give you a litttle advice. Is this any way to run a furniture company? Are you a not-for-profit company... I don't think so!  Maybe your furniture is a little too well made... get my drift! Thank you... lots of love and best wishes... 
One of your biggest fans,Yvonne @ StoneGable




Here is a little look at how the painting is coming along... if you are one of the people who wrote an e-mail or FB note begging me not to paint the chairs... please divert your eyes NOW...













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