So this is what I had to work with.
I decided removing the original upholstery would probably do more harm than good. I didn't want to risk taking all of these nails out and damaging the seat. But I didn't want to put new upholstery on top of the old either.
The solution was a layer of batting
I LOVE this staple gun. So much easier to work with than my husband's bulky silver one. And I don't have to put all of my weight into each and every staple. Pulling this trigger takes less than half the effort than the others and it was only $7.99 at the Hobby Lobby. Of course, I'm cheap, so I waited until the bi weekly 40% off coupon and paid even less than that.
5/16" staples is all it takes. This staple gun is not only easy to use but so powerful it sends the staple down into the wood. It doesn't just sit on top of the wood only to come out later when under stress.
I placed each seat on top of the batting and cut out a section big enough to cover it and wrap underneath.
Before stapling it, I rolled the batting under so the staple went into two layers instead of just one. This not only makes it neater but sturdier as well. I did all four sides first. Then I clip the corners, turned those under and stapled.
Much better, no?
Now for the fun part!
I love to paint. For the chairs, I chose to spray paint. I love the finish versus brush painting. To me, it looks more "finished" or professional. There are jobs that call for hand painting but, for me, the chairs were best done in spray paint.
I used Kilz brand primer. I shook it for at least 3 mins before beginning and during but still occassionally got a sandpaper-y finish. So I had to sand. Again.
Four cans of Kilz primer, 6 cans of Krylon in Gloss White later and I have some lovely chairs.
I would love to say this is where the story ends and show you a beautiful, newly painted and recovered chair. I would. Believe me. Sadly though, I've spent the last 12 hours essentially crying and pitching a fit because of something I did that has potentially ruined my chairs. Sigh.
I will be spending the rest of today trying to remedy my mistake. Tomorrow, you'll either get some pictures of 4 beautiful chairs or a picture of me with no hair.