Monday, January 17, 2011

In Which I Chicken Out on an Upholstery Chore

Last Winter, I bought a small and beat-up settee for $20 on craigslist.  It's previous owners had attempted a poor re-upholstery job, but they were even worse at it than I am (and that's saying something).
Some people might wonder what good such a short piece of furniture is, that only seats 2 people if they really like each other.  It's small stature will make it fit perfectly between the bookshelves we are just now installing and the archway to the dining room.  Last winter, when we got 3 ft of snow in one weekend and I didn't have to go to work for a week, I transformed that beat up little settee with some fabric samples I had once hoped would become the living room curtains.  Unfortunately, they didn't carry enough fabric for curtains.  
I knew last year that the webbing was dry-rotted and the nail holes looked like termites had been at them, not because they had but because so many people had tried to re-nail and staple the webbing back on.  Last week, The dry-rot gave in and one of the springs popped out.  

I hunted down 3 3/4" Jute Webbing at our crappy little JoAnn's and started ripping off the old webbing and nails and staples.  

That was the easy part.  Next was supposed to be weaving and sewing tedium and stretching without the correct tools.  I had done my research, but I wasn't looking forward to it.  The more I looked at the chewed out holes where the webbing should be attached, the more nervous I got about it.  Then I thought about the leftover paneling we used on the bookcases.  Would it really matter if the springs shifted a little, so long as they didn't tip? It's unlikely that they would tip on a hard surface, considering how wide the bottoms are.  What could it hurt? The worse that could happen is we have to take the paneling off and re-web it anyways.  I've already got the materials so that won't be the end of the world.  
I grabbed finishing nails 'cuz i'm lazy so I bent the heads down so they wouldn't pull through.  I'll probably put a few more regular nails in tomorrow.  
Is it just me or does it look a little puffier?  I sat on it and it held up well, but the wood did bow a little.  I'll put more nails in it in the morning and we'll see how long the wood lasts.  Worse come to worst, I'll just web it later.