Covering The Springs

Tack a piece of medium-weight burlap, old or new, on the top edge of the frame with four-oz. tacks, the edges being turned over as the tacking is done. Be careful not to pull it tight enough to lower the springs. This layer of burlap gives smoothness to the seat and protection to the twine. Sew it to the springs, using a curved upholsterer's needle or ordinary darning needle.

Padding The Seat

Place in position the old padding if in good condition. Excelsior, horse hair, or moss will be satisfactory if new material must be secured. The padding should be worked down and out over the edge of the seat. The layer should be thick enough so that the springs will not be felt through it and so that it will be comfortable. Sew it in places to the burlap layer and to the springs.

Over the padding put a layer of cotton batting, tucking the ends under the outer edges of the padding. Tack tightly over this a layer of unbleached muslin. Fasten in the center front and center back, then in the center on each side, and work toward the corners. The tacks should be placed high enough to be concealed by the outer covering and gimp. Special care should be taken in finishing the corners. It may be necessary to cut the muslin diagonally from the corner to a point near the leg in order to fit it smoothly.

Putting On The Outer Covering

Use the old covering for a pattern to cut the new one. Tapestry, chintz, denim, and mohair are materials commonly used. Use the same procedure in putting on this layer as in putting on the muslin. This covering should be tight and smooth. It should hide the edges of the muslin, but not extend too low to be covered by the gimp.

The Finishing Touches

The gimp gives a finishing touch to the chair. It should conceal the edges of the outer covering. The tacks (No. four gimp tacks) should be placed about two inches apart along the center of the gimp. The piecing should come at one of the back legs, if possible, where it will be scarcely noticed.

A piece of cambric is tacked to the frame over the webbing on the underside. This gives a neat finish and prevents any siftings from the padding dropping to the floor.

Box Seat And Back

Some chairs have removable backs and seats which are fastened to the frame work with screws. The springs are set in a box, so no webbing is needed.

The method for re-upholstering such chairs is the same as previously described from the tying of the springs through the placing of the outer covering. The back and seat are put in the frame, and then the gimp is put on, if needed.

The outside of the back should be covered with the upholstery material, and the underside of the seat should be covered with cambric.

A Couch Restored To Usefulness

Re-upholstering a couch is a longer process, but the method is the same as that used in restoring the chair. Some couches have the springs set in a box, while others have them supported by webbing.


Best results are obtained in refinishing walls if all old finish is removed, particularly if such finish is loose or shows signs of peeling. The most common wall finishes are the various kinds of paints (including alabastine) wallpaper and wall coverings. The most used finishes for woodwork are stains, varnishes, enamels and paints, and wax. The most used floor finishes are wax, paints, varnishes, and oils. For badly worn and splintered floors, floor coverings are often advisable. The refinishing of furniture is profitable if the article to be refinished has good lines, good wood, and good construction. There are several kinds of furniture finishes; the kind of wood, the use of the piece, and personal preference usually dictate the kind to be selected.


Churchill, Allen L., and Wickenden, Leonard. The House-Owner's Book. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1928. Discusses paints and painting, floors and floor finishes (pp. 164-97).

Delineator Home Institute. Painting Furniture. New York: Butterick Publishing Co., 1928. Pp. 36. Fraser, Chelsea. The Practical Book of Home Repairs. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1925.

Definite directions for woodworking, upholstering, painting, papering, and mechanical repairs.

Good Housekeeping Studio. Painting and Stenciling Furniture and Refinishing Natural Wood Furniture. New York: Good Housekeeping, 1920. Pp. 8.

Holman, H. P. Painting on the Farm. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Farmers' Bull. 1452. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1925. Pp. 33. Discusses paint materials, mixing, preparation of surfaces, how to estimate, spraying, • dipping, and other subjects.

Johnson, Emil A. Furniture Upholstery for Schools. Peoria, 111.: Manual Arts Press, 1919.

Contains historical sketch, list of tools and materials, and practical directions for making various kinds of upholstery.

Maine University. Re-seating Chairs, by Helen C. Spaulding. Bull. 175.

Orono: The University, 1927. Newell, Adnah Clifton. Coloring, Finishing and Painting Wood. Peoria, 111.:

Manual Arts Press, 1930.

Extensive discussion of wood stains, fillers, varnishes, enamels, oils, lacquers, and paints.

Olney, Dorothy and Julian. The Home-Owner's Manual. New York: Century Co., 1930. Contains information on various house-repair jobs, including painting, papering, and wood finishing.

Phelan, Vincent B. Care and Repair of the House. Building and Housing Publication BH15. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1931. Pp. 121. Excellent information on the usual home-repair jobs with section on painting and varnishing.

Roehl, L. M. Household Carpentry. New York: Macmillan Co., 1927.

Information on tools and materials, minor house-repair projects, and specific directions for making various useful household articles.

Saylor, Henry H. Tinkering with Tools. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1924. Directions for woodworking, painting, floor finishing, and repairs concerning minor house plumbing, electric wiring, and odd jobs.

U.S. Bureau of Home Economics. Floors and Floor Coverings. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Farmers' Bull. 1219. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1921. Pp. 30. U.S. Bureau of Standards. Washing, Cleaning, and Polishing Materials, by F. W. Smither. Bureau of Standards Circ. 383. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1930. Pp. 47. Wakeling, Arthur. Fix It Yourself. New York: Popular Science Publishing Co., 1929.

Household repairs, interior and exterior - electrical, plumbing, and furniture repair.

Wallpaper Guild of America. Paper Hangers' Manual. New York: The Guild, 1923. Pp. 31.

[Note. - Many of the State Colleges of Agriculture distribute excellent bulletins on wall and floor finishes and furniture reconditioning.