Monday, September 30, 2013

Vintage Restoration- Restoring and Re-upholstering an Antique Settee Part One: Cleaning up the bottom and bands

As I sit here, overdue, WAITING for my baby to come I have been finding ways to pass the time. So this past Sunday I decided to take my trip to the local antique/this-and-that type store to walk up and down their stairs and to see if I found anything appealing. As I took my laps around the three story store I came upon this BEAUTIFUL piece of furniture...

Well, beautiful to me that is. All the detailing and the beautiful vintage look... I looked at the seat and saw the tag,

"1890's Settee- $55"

$55!!! For this!!! I was so excited I could barely control myself. I instantly saw so many gorgeous possibilities!


When I got to the desk, I kept my cool, and proceeded to knock down the price to $49.50... YES!

Now, don't get me wrong, it needs some love.... Well a lot of love. The bottom was destroyed. The banding was unraveling and falling apart, and it had quite a few "repair" jobs done to help "try" to support the springs, but I was not detoured. 

I brought it home and began to investigate.

Unfortunately there were no manufacturer markings or dating of any kind, but that's okay. Name or no name it is still a beauty. I took off the old cloth bottom, tore out the old banding, removed the MILLIONS (and no I am not over-exaggerating) of upholstery tacks and released the springs that someone had wrapped in wire and thought it wise to try to tack them to the side of the wood... *smacks forehead*


It took me roughly 2 hours but I got her all cleaned up.

The bands were literally turning to dust and tore all to bits so I decided it best to just tear it all out and start fresh. A big plus was the springs are in excellent condition, no rust! The underside burlap fabric is also in great condition...BUT I found one major flaw that will need to be repaired before I can re-band... See that middle piece of wood? 





At some point it popped out of the bottom and some one decided to just nail it to the bottom of the frame versus shim it back in between the frame.
*Again, smacks forehead*
-sigh-
So I will be removing that middle piece and replacing it...






As for the banding, instead of spending my hard earned money on new banding I decided to use some heavy duty canvas I had laying around. I measured the bottom of the bench and the thickness of the old banding and then cut it out of the canvas doubling my measurements so I could fold it for double thickness.

I zig zag stitched through the double layers for support and strength. I had 3 long pieces, and 6 short pieces to do... took me roughly 45 minutes to do it all. 










Tomorrow's goal (If I don't have a baby that is) will be to remove the center wood piece and replace it and re-band the bottom of the piece so the springs are back in their original positions, and I can begin the fun part of tearing off the old fabric, trim and nail heads... :)

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