Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fainting Sofa Project (part 2)


Well, I've been continuing work on the Victorian fainting sofa. I originally had thought this stage of the process would involve some meditative pulling of staples. Something like this:


In reality, it was more like this:


Yeah....Stripping off the old material proved to be much more challenging than I initially thought. Whoever did it last used a really, really good staple gun. Those suckers are really stuck in there! They are actually below the surface of the wood, which makes the staple removing tool I bought pretty much useless. I ended up just ripping the fabric up to help loosen the staples, which could then be removed by a pair of pliers (I found needle nose pliers to be more effective than flat-nosed). 

After removing the back and bottom fabric, I realized there was no way to get the front fabric unattached without physically removing the back of the chaise. That was a lot more work than I expected! I didn't want to risk stripping the screw heads, so I ended up dismantling with a regular screwdriver (rather than an electric one). Once again, whoever put those screws in did a very, very good job. My hands still hurt!

Now that the fabric is off, the wood appears to be pine and has had some repairs done over the years. You can see at one point the back snapped and had to be braced:

I found some small specks leftover from a previous paint job. It appears the chaise was at one time an antique green colour. I'm starting to suspect it may have always been painted, and the last owners painted it brown to make it more "wood-like" in appearance. Based on this new information, I've decided to just repaint it, rather than trying to strip and stain it.

There are also holes along the back that make me suspect that the back was originally tufted. I may in the future re-tuft it, but since the current foam is still in good condition, I'm going to leave it as-is for now.

I am enjoying this project immensely! I didn't think it would be so much fun. The fact it is a lower quality piece makes it a more relaxed process, and because it has already been altered means I don't need to worry about protecting the original finishes. I've already bought the fabric to re-do it, although I may not have quite enough. I under-estimated the fabric a bit to try and save on costs. The sections are small enough that if I run out, I can just buy bit more to do the remaining sections without having a lot of fabric wasted.

Now that I am ready to take it outside to sand it (before painting), the rain has been pouring down. Between the weather and my sores hands, the refinishing is taking longer than expected to complete. It's my birthday in a week, so I'm hoping to get it done before then but it will depend a lot on the weather.

That's All.

14 comments:

  1. I loathe removing staples! I always think "oh these should be easy to get out" but no oh no, it always turns out that the previous owner was someone (probably very much like myself; actually sometimes it IS myself, hahaha) who counter-sunk or just plain pounded them into oblivion so they wouldn't stick out one fraction of a millimeter. Because sticking out one fraction of a millimeter would be failure, I tell you, utter stapling failure!
    I imagine I exhibit much the same angry-staple-removing face. lol
    I hope the weather cooperates with the rest of your refinishing plans (and your birthday!) but if it does not you should give yourself a good pat on the back regardless- just getting the thing apart looks like it was a whole heap of work and probably the most difficult part! :D

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I'm sure hoping that was the hardest part. I'm going to try to make sure my staples aren't quite so firmly affixed so if I ever have to do this again it won't be so difficult! Of course once I actually get stapling I may end up forgetting all about future me...

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  2. Love the second picture. Ha!

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  3. I love your first two photos - I know that kind of DIY project! I'm glad you are enjoying the challenge, and I'm sure you're going to make it look gorgeous.

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    1. Thanks! I'm definitely enjoying it, but I also can't wait until it's done :)

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  4. Oh my! What an effort you're putting into it, I hope you don't have an aneurism. I can't wait to see it all done! Finish it faster! hehehe

    -Krystle
    1930slife.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha, I would finish it faster if the weather would let me. Nothing but clear skies for weeks, then I have an outdoor project to do and we have nothing but rain.... Definitely a conspiracy against productivity.

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  5. Wow what a project, sounds very challenging btu its going to be great

    retro rover

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    1. Yes, I didn't quite know what I was getting into, but there will certainly be a great sense of accomplishment when it's finished.

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  6. Way to go, you're doing such an amazing job. That sounds like really arduous work and I hope that next chapter in this chair's revamping will go more smoothly for you - I can't wait to see what colour paint you pick for it!

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks! I just bought a tin of paint, so fingers-crossed it looks as good on the chaise as it did on the paint chip. I was seriously tempted to paint it in the original colour, but it just didn't work with the fabric I already purchased.

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  7. I've always wanted a fainting sofa, they just seem so romantic and luxurious. I can't wait to see the finished product!

    Naomi
    teenyboppinalong.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks! I was hoping to have it done already, but if the weather co-operates it should be done by the end of next week :)

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