The steps to re-purposing this chair1) I ripped off all the old and dirty upholstery. Inside the cushion was a mixture of cotton stuffing and straw/hay. I assume since the cushion had a spring base that the mixture of straw/hay and the thick cotton was important. Today upholstery is stapled in but this chair shows its date by the hundreds of nails that held the fabric in place.
2) I patiently, for hours, pulled out all the nails that were stuck in the wood. Around the nails were pieces of fabric that needed removed. From exposing that inside of the chair I could tell that the chair had been reupholstered at least once. Being reupholstered twice meant, twice as many holes!
3) I gave the chair a good washin'. It was clear that this chair hadn't been used in years and was sitting in a garage or a deep corner in the basement. I used wood soap to clean and scrub the chair.
4) I filled in all the holes with wood fill. This was important because I wasn't going to reupholster the chair but add a foam cushion.
5) After letting the wood fill sit over night, I sanded the entire chair. I had plans to paint the chair, so I had to make sure I sanded off any left over lacquer that once was on the chair.
6) After the chair was completely sanded, I dusted it. After sanding the chair it accumulated a lot of dust. It is important that there is no dust on the surface of the chair, so the paint stays clean and sticks.
7) I spray painted the spring cushion. Since I wasn't going to upholster it, I knew the spring cushion would show at the bottom of the chair. I spray painted the entire spring cushion white with a can that I had left over.
8) The next step should have been to prime the chair. I had half a quart of semi-gloss white paint. I knew that I had enough to do several coats, so primer wasn't that big of deal. I painted the chair completely white. After several coats it looked shinny and fabulous.
9) I put a shellac finish on the chair. I had a leftover can of shellac from a former wood project. I had just enough shellac to cover the entire chair. This finished and sealed the paint. This will protect the chair and give it a finished look.
10) I created a cushion template. Using a piece of poster board, I sat it on top of the spring cushion and traced the seat of the chair. After tracing the seat, I cut of the shape and had a template for my foam cushion.
11) I created the cushion. I bought a 24X24X2 inch piece of foam. I used the template, traced the shape on the foam and cut the foam to size.
12) I made a cover for the cushion. I bough a yard of heavy duty fabric. I do not sew but with ironing tape I created a pocket for the foam cushion to slide into.
13) I finally put the chair together! It turned out way better then I thought. I purchased the chair for $5, bought wood fill for $3, and the foam, ironing tape and fabric was $30. Everything else I had. This chair only cost me $38 to make! The chair is very sturdy, comfortable and sits great.