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01.22.2007

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furniture facelift: 70s lounge chairs part two (vinyl chair repairs) by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 3

The spots on the chair arm actually worked out a bit better. As the arm was a very flat surface, and the nicks were quite small, the patches actually did perform more or less as they had on my test; I was left with a nice smooth bit of red vinyl where there had previously been some gashes. However, in getting overly confident with my iron on one of the repairs, I had decided to try applying the entire side of the iron rather than just the tip, to speed up the curing process. This, it turned out, was a very bad idea, as I managed to iron an uncovered section of the vinyl of the arm and create some oh-so-lovely bubbles in what had previously been perfectly good upholstery. For this mishap, I had no one to blame but myself. More problematic, however, was that I soon found that while the repairs had looked fine when Iíd done them Ė the night before Ė when I took a closer peek in the broad light of day, that perfect red match wasnít so perfect. Mixing a custom color wouldnít have fixed the problem either: my red was simply a much more saturated, red-red than the version that came with my kit.



Left: Before (top) and after (bottom) of arm repairs. Above: Before (top) and after (bottom) of seat repairs.

The final verdict on DIY vinyl upholstery repair: it might be better than a big olí tear, but to get your chair really looking shiny-new, thereís no substitute for actually reupholstering. That, sadly, would require a significant additional invesment of effort and money, more than Iíll likely be willing to put in for an inexpensive Craigslist find. Still, as small tears and gashes have a tendency to grow bigger with time, Iím glad I patched up my chairís problem areas, as it should at least prevent most of the cracks and nicks from getting too much larger. Meanwhile, from a distance at least, the chair does look better, with no more white upholstery foam poking through. Itís not perfect, but hey, for $15 and a couple hours of work, maybe better is good enough.

check out part one of this article: chrome cures!

o

check out these related articles:
furniture facelift: refinishing and reupholstering a chair | furnishings first-aid: fixing up a one-dollar thrift store lamp

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