Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quick Fix to a vintage dinette chair...

I feel like I'm trying to sneak back in with a regular post and hope no one notices I've been gone for so long... Yes, yes, I know I haven't been a good blogger recently, but I just started my junior year in architecture at UMD this fall (first year of studio)....and it's been beyond crazy... Oh, the life of an architecture student...more like architorture sometimes!

But I do like it, and do LOVE I just have to sacrifice a few small my social life...and sleep...and sanity (at times). But enough about me, let's just see how often I can keep these posts up....and I feel a giveaway coming up to make up for it...just need to find some awesome mailable vintage stuff!

But anyways, I got this awesome dinette set over the summer:

It's great, and has fantastic legs, but several seats were ripped up.

I'm very much a fan of keeping things original, but these were fairly big rips... The backs however, were good and intact for the most part, so I was just unsure of what to do...

SO, I decided I would simply recover the 2 mostly ripped seats with another material that would work with the vintageness... I didn't rip off the existing vinyl, but just left it there and didn't disturb it, in case someone in the future does want to try to save it somehow (and only 2 or 3 seats were this bad).

First matter of business was unscrewing the seat...easier said that done!

Some of the screws were SO rusted and stuck in there after 50 years, and you do NOT want to strip one of those! Big pain...learned from experience...Some WD-40 and a half hour-ish later, I was done.

To make it a little easier when putting it back together, and extend the life of the screws, I let them sit in vinegar for a while and tried to clean off as much rust as I could.

Then some rubbin' and scrubbin'...

And tada!

Next order of business was stapling the new material on. If you ever recover a chair like this, make sure the pattern of your fabric lines up with the chair (verticals and horizontals all plum and true to the world-my tech teacher says that all the time- I love it!).

And quick spotlight on my awesome vintage stapler! I guess you might wanna use something heavier duty in some cases, but this is what i had on hand and it worked!

Next rescrew everything back together, and there ya go!

Yes, I liked the original cracked ice vinyl better, but I think it looks pretty good for having all the materials on hand, and is a lot cheaper (read: free) than reupholstering the whole thing (which I wouldn't do cause I love the original vinyl that's still there anyways!). Quick fix, but one that didn't hurt the vintage thing, and is easily removeable or changeable. And know you have an awesome 50's dinette you can be proud of!

Since I got that set, I found my dream dinette set, and now I have too many! So if anyone is interested in buying this set, lemme know! (I'm in MD).


  1. Glad to see you're back! I always wanted to study architecture...but I couldn't bring myself to move from the rural area I live in to live in an area where the work would be, so I went another route.

  2. Looks great! I was wondering if anyone had any advice they could offer.. I bought an awesome vintage dinette set, and discovered the chairs were mouldy! I took them apart and ripped all the vinly, batting and foam off, and now have no idea what type of batting and foam I need to get in order to re-do them. Help!