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How to restore Tub Chairs

Restoring tub chairs

As you may have read in our other DIY furniture blogs, revamping IKEA furniture is becoming increasingly popular. The great thing about IKEA designs is that they are relatively straightforward to re-design and upcycle due to their modular construction. That said, they are also quite plain, meaning they can be customised with many designs and to varying specifications. If you are new to furniture upholstery, then re-working and/or recovering a chair may be a little advanced, but with patience and proper instructions from an experienced upholster, it can be a rewarding project.

The removable fabric cover placed on the Tullsta chair offers a brilliant guide to ensure that your replacement foam and fabric is of the correct dimensions. Reason being is that this cover comes off in one piece, and can easily be split into separate components. If you plan on using the same fabric cover, keep the stitching intact. However, if you have decided on a new fabric to upholster with, you can unpick the stitching of the original cover to separate it into individual pieces and use it as a template guide for foam and fabric.

This guide demonstrates how to re-upholster the chair using new fabric and foam inserts. To begin, remove the outer cover using the zip. Once removed, take a stitch picker to begin separating the largest components (back and seat pieces, for example). The material should be split into numerous sections and then placed on top of your new fabric in order to trace around each shape. Once every piece is cut, it should then be pinned onto the chair to ensure the dimensions are correct.

Reupholstering chairs

The second thing to consider when upholstering is the type of foam you would like to use for your chair. Many feel that it is only necessary to replace the seat cushion, rather than the foam used to line the back and sides. However, if you’d like to do this, please contact us directly to discuss your requirements. For the seat cushion, you can replace it with a medium-high density polyurethane foam, or a memory foam pad for added comfort. A combination of the two is also possible.

To order a new seat cushion for your tub chair, you can use eFoam’s cut to size tool if you are comfortable with measuring the exact dimensions of the seat. However, tub chairs – such as the Tullsta – have curved backs, meaning that any calculations will need to take the curvature of the seat into account. Given this can be tricky, another option is to trace around the seat cushion on a large piece of paper and send this to us. We can then provide the appropriately sized foam per your requirements. You can follow our guide if you are unsure on how to make a paper template.

To construct your chair, stitch together your fabric for your seat cushion first, attaching the appropriate zip similar to that of the original cover. For seat cushions, we also recommend the use of stockinette for your foam inserts. Once aside, remove fabric pieces from your chair in one piece, keeping them pinned together so they retain the shape you created earlier whilst templating them on the chair. Proceed with stitching the pieces together and attach to the chair using a pneumatic staple gun.

For more guidance on reupholstering a tub chair, contact one of our friendly advisers.

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