tweet this Tweet this Pin this Email it Add this

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sh%t My Kids Ruined: Kitchen Chair Edition

I was once a non-parent. It wasn't even that long ago in the grand scheme of things, only seven years. We were newlyweds, regulars at the neighborhood pub and on a first name basis with Tom, the bartender. Everything we owned fit in two VW Jetta's and we regularly packed our belongings into the trunks and left town to follow the next flying contract.

There are many different types of people with as many perfectly valid reasons for not being parents. In the years before we started our little family, I was firmly planted in the "baby fever but husband not on board" group. We had decided that we weren't ready to start a family but that it could definitely be in our near future. We bought our first home, had plans on staying in one place for the next few years and were feeling like grown ups for the first time since we'd gotten married. It was at this point that we became slightly delusional.

I was the non-parent, with babies on the brain, who was convinced that I could accomplish what no parent before me has ever done. Your kid breaks all your stuff?!? Teach them not to touch it. (I obviously hadn't seen this hilarious compilation- Its a simple concept. How hard could it possibly be to have kids AND nice things? With this mentality, we went shopping to furnish our first home. And then we did the unthinkable.

We brought home cream coloured couches and fabric dining room chairs. We bought a brand new truck with a light grey interior. We even discussed how we were going to successfully merge nearly white fabrics and children in the same time and space and have them peacefully coexist, like parenting ninjas.

Its been 9 years and these purchases haunt me. The couches are in rough shape, but they have survived through red wine, ball point pen, various greasy fingerprints and numerous other biohazards the kids carry in from school and outside. The kitchen chairs are a different story. For a while the chairs were covered in clear plastic, and when that failed we resorted to having the kids sit on towels.

The kids are re-donkulous-ly messy eaters in spite of all my efforts to teach them even rudimentary table manners.We really shouldn't be surprised that years of this resulted in chairs that look like these:

These chairs are screaming to be recovered. Each frame and even the padding is in really good shape, so I decided to skip the hassle of stripping them down to the foam and just covered right over the original fabric. I learned my lesson and chose an easy clean, leather-look vinyl for this do-over. For standard kitchen chairs, 0.6m/chair was the perfect amount with very little leftover.

I removed the seats from the frames and unscrewed the brackets. Take note of where the screw holes are on the seat. FYI - covering the holes with the new vinyl when you are stapling is a bad idea. 

Someone get that girl some lotion!! The vinyl and stapler were murder on my hands. 

I was able to finish all 6 chairs in only a couple of hours (with Glen away and kids in bed) and for a fraction of the cost of new chairs.  One more project in my kitchen complete! Do you have anything worthy of Tell me a story! 


  1. looks great .. I have done this a few times myself and REALLY need to do it again

    1. Which ones are you going to do? Your kitchen chairs don't have cushions anymore, do they?

    2. the two kitchen chairs that dad an I use

  2. I remember when you bought your couches and we had two kids - we thought you were crazy! Super couches, super comfy, but super crazy!!

    1. They even survived the entire beer your husband emptied into a crevice ;-) But yes...we've gotten smarter!