Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm a Reupholstery Virgin

I know it is silly, but I've always been intimidated by the process to get furniture reupholstered. I was overwhelmed by all the variables in price depending on the size, shape, condition of the chair, and the fabric selection. Much easier to go shopping for a brand new piece of furniture with a price tag already attached and delivery time in x days, right?

But then I fell in love with this chair while thrift shopping with a friend recently.

She convinced me that getting something professionally reupholstered is really no big deal. And so far, it hasn't been.

I started by contacting two well known businesses in my area. To my surprise, all they needed to provide estimates were some pictures. I emailed them my photos and bam! I got two estimates back within 24 hours. What was surprising was how different the estimates were.

Place # 1: $400 for the labor (fabric costs not included) and 6 yards of fabric

Place # 2: $575 for the labor (fabric costs not included) and about 7 yards of fabric. $10 a yard additional charge to use customer's own fabric.

Lesson: It pays to get more than one quote!

So my next step was to find fabric for my new-to-me wingback which will be going in our bedroom once he's all clean and new.  My dear and patient sister-in-law agreed to go fabric shopping with me, which was probably very frustrating for her because I had no idea what kind of fabric I wanted.  Three stores later, I found it: an off-white, chunky, cotton weave. Admittedly, my fabric choice isn't very exciting, but it is going to be perfectly soft and soothing in my bedroom.  And it was on sale--only $6 a yard in a JoAnn Fabrics sale bin.

The wooden legs were in rough shape, so I refinished them in a dark mahogany (the reupholsterer would have done this, but for an additional cost). Btw, I used Minwax Polyshades which is a one step stain and polyurethane. You don't even need to strip the old surface, you just lightly sand and brush Polyshades right over it.

Now all I need to do is schedule a pick up with the reupholster and wait 7-10 days! Piece of cake and relatively inexpensive too. All in, my new chair will cost about $500.

Now that I have a better idea about what the process entails and how much I can expect to spend, I won't hesitate to pick up a thrift store find that is in need of a good makeover.  Will you?

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