Here's our process.
First things first, I removed the seat cushions and the nasty fabric and foam (probably the worst I've seen ... yuck!) and then scrubbed down the rattan with white vinegar and water. David and I decided that the bottom x's made the chair feel bottom heavy so I used the jigsaw to cut through the middle and then I pulled them out.
ahh much better!
Next we filled all of the holes with wood filler. These chairs had obviously lived with a pet or small child since the rattan x's had bite marks on it (yikes! Didn't see that before purchasing ...) so I filled those too. Finally, I'd recommend filling in as many crevices as possible prior to painting. Once I painted, the rattan wrapping at the top of the chair looked cheap since the crevices were more noticeable with the white. I ended up filling them in with extra paint, but it would take less paint if filled with wood filler first.
After it dried we sanded with a combination of flexible foam backed sanding pads (purchased at Sherwin Williams) and the orbital sander. Since the surfaces are all curved, we were careful not to sand the filler too much to make it flat.
Prior to painting I applied a little wood glue to the back of the rattan so it wouldn't move once painted. My original plan was to spray prime the crevices and brush the rest, but soon realized that the entire chair needed to be sprayed. It is way too much curved surface area to brush!! I used two cans on three chairs, but it probably could of used one more coat. I've said it before, but Zinsser Cover Stain primer is my favorite! It sticks great, goes on evenly and covers well. It comes out fast, so press lightly to get an even, thin coat.
We decided to airbrush our chairs with Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint (SW Alabaster), since we had that on hand. For those without an airbrush, spray painting would work just as well. If you're curious, the airbrush is great for smaller areas where you want more control. Since the paint is easily controlled, it uses less paint since there is less overspray. However, I wouldn't recommend using it on a large surface since it would take too long.
We then decided to finish it with Krylon's Lacquer (purchased at Sherwin Williams) to give it a glossy protective finish. This has been one of our favorite clears since it didn't create drips easily and went on great.
Mom's here this week and her timing couldn't of been more perfect to help with the cushions! She is a sewing master and volunteered to make the cushions for me (thanks mom!) First Mom made the cording by cutting coral fabric on the bias (diagonally across the fabric) which helps the cording bend. Here's a tutorial on how to make double cord welting that I've used before, the principle is the same, but you don't use the second step.
Next, mom made a template for the top of the cushion, cut it out and then sewed the cording to the top of the cushion.
Finally, the flap on the back allowed us to make up the difference and pull tight. It's definitely doable with one person, but we found it easiest if one person pulled tight and the other stapled.
We reattached the seats and then we were done!
We're planning to use them as accent chairs in the living room/office until we finish the mid century modern chairs, but for now they are at the round table.
I think the coral piping is my favorite :)
Annabelle made a brief appearance for the photo shoot :)
These chairs have come a long way from their neglected, dirt covered beginnings!
We recently scored another set of chairs and we're almost done with those too! Stay tuned!! :)