Creating my dream zebra chair by reupholstering an antique reproduction.

I’ve had a dream of black and white, irregularly shaped stripes, for some time now. Having no idea how to fulfill this dream, I’ve coasted along on the less exciting path of straight lines and cotton candy fluff. Just when I was losing hope, I found this glorious image and dream incarnate! 


This chair stopped me in my tracks! It’s stunning, glamorous, edgy, yet timeless. Unfortunately, this gorgeosity will set you back a pretty penny. 

Thus, I began the chair hunt.  For weeks, I scanned the internet, antique stores, and even whispered to little birds. Nothing even came close to my number one. Then, I thought, “there must be antique reproductions that I could reupholster in all their zebra glory!” I was finally able to percure a set of reproduction antique chairs that fit the bill (craigslist of course). 

In order to find out what is in store for me in re-creating this chair, I visited a master wood worker in town, and he kindly explained what the process would entail—it was not for the faint of heart.

First, there would be staples— thousands of staples—that needed to be removed from the chair. Next, the wobbly joints would need to be fixed and stabilized. Cha-Ching! Then, the chair would need to be sanded and painted in a semi-gloss black.  I would need to secure the right cowhide or fabric to reproduce the look of the chair. And then, if I hadn’t given up completely, the wood worker said I could finally present the chair to the upholsterer he recommended.

Is that it? That’s all? No problem. The photos below show my first attempt at removing the old upholstery. Let me just say, there are a few new blisters where there shouldn’t be, and my husband had to finish removing the cursed staples.  I’d love to say that he is some generous, zen, hipster, who only asked for a hug. But no, he wanted much more!

These pics document day one. There is more to come, and I shall post again once the chair has morphed into something less pathetic. 


#zebrachairproject #reupholsteringcraigslist #oldchairnewagain