Thursday, February 6, 2014

On Cleaning Chrome and Some Upholstery Tips

My grandparents have a couple of different Cosco stools.  Every night when we visit, my Grandpa sits on the one in the kitchen and serves us ice cream - yes, every night!  Awesome, right?!  With so many fun and happy memories, I've been on the search for a Cosco stool just like his.  It turns out that those ones from the 50s and 60s are pretty pricey (probably because they are so sturdy and versatile) so I was excited when I found the newer model at a garage sale for around $10...and it's still sturdy and versatile. 

* Some of the steps do not have pictures - my apologies*

As you can see, the seat was a ripped, ugly, dirty, off-white vinyl.   That was an easy fix (and I'll show you how in a moment); the issue for me was the chrome back and legs!  I was uncertain how to fix them.

First we'll talk about the seat cushion itself.

Pick the fabric you like best.

 The seat deck (not pictured) had metal tabs that hooked into the seat frame.  I unbent each one with a kitchen butter knife and carefully pulled the vinyl off the foam. 

Next, I took a Sharpie and traced the vinyl (I always use the previous material for a pattern because it has fit "perfectly" for years already and it's less work than throwing it out and making your own).
Cut out the new fabric.

Then I found some spray glue and sprayed the seat foam, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then applied the new fabric.  (I'd recommend doing this outside or somewhere with lots and lots of paper to cover anything you love - like kitchen tables or couches, etc.)  The spray glue worked great for the top of the seat deck, but normally, on an upholstery project, I would staple the fabric to the seat deck.  Obviously with a metal frame that isn't possible, so I used a glue gun. 

Now, on to the chrome:

I did some research and found that 91% alcohol and some aluminum foil will shine that chrome up nicely.  Luckily, I actually had some 91% rubbing alcohol in my house - but you can get it at just about any retail store. 

A picture of the yucky chrome - this one had about three different colors of paint and lots of black smudges on it. 

Finished and ready to work in my kitchen. 

A friend of mine was getting rid of this Cosco stool because the bottom of it was pretty thin and it was old and in the way.  So, I finished it in the same was as above and gave it to another friend who needed one for her kids to help in the kitchen.

The bottom is still very thin and  not sturdy enough to stand on.  I'll figure out how to fix a thin piece of plastic on a chair or other object made to hold weight and share the results in a future blog. 

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