hassock re-upholstery complete!

hassock-upholstery complete

She’s all done! My hassock re-upholstery is complete, and I now have a brand new hassock!

hassock-upholstery complete

Here she is, looking quite pretty.

how to reupholster a vintage hassock

I’m very proud of this one. As I said at the beginning, this was a bit of a “scary project” for me, a stretch beyond what I’ve done before. But in the end, I didn’t have too much to worry about. It took some time, effort, and patience, but now it’s all done and I learned a lot of new tricks. I hope I’ve done a good job relaying those new tricks on to you!

For the final chapter of the hassock re-upholstery series, click through to read about how I refinished the legs!

hassock leg matching and labeling

First of all, as a rule of thumb, it’s good mechanical practice to label matching pieces whenever you take anything apart. So when I unscrewed the wooden legs from their metal plate counterparts, I labeled which went with which. It almost certainly didn’t matter in this case, but now I know they’ll all end up back in the right place.

hassock legs: before

This was the state of the hassock legs before I worked on them. They’re scuffed, with some dents and dings and paint scratches… plus they’re generally dirty and worn looking. It also looks like the clear coat has dulled with age. Their condition was definitely bad enough that I wanted to refinish them.

hassock leg sanding station

This is my sanding station. This is where I give you an important cautionary warning:

Using an orbital sander on something that you hold in your hand is not “safe”. This counts as misusing a power tool. I do not recommend the misuse of power tools. If you are not comfortable with your sander or your mechanical abilities, don’t do it this way. I do not recommend it. But it’s fast, and it works. There are better and safer ways, but I don’t have the right tools for the better ways and hand sanding is slow.

hassock leg - half sanded

Anyway! I used 80 grit sandpaper (coarse, for maximum material removal) and sanded with the grain, up and down, with my sander on the lowest speed. If you remove too much material too quickly, the cylinder will not be smooth anymore and will instead be faceted (think wooden pencil). Not what we’re going for. So slow is good.

It’s slow at first, but quickly the finish begins to wear off and you can see the real wood underneath.

hassock legs sanded

There they are, all sanded and fresh! Once I had removed all the material, I used 220 grit (fine) sandpaper to smooth them out by hand. Finishing with a finer grit also means they won’t soak up too much stain.

hassock legs staining station

Once they were nice and smooth feeling, I wiped off all the dust and was ready for staining. My staining station includes a cardboard floor-shield, a brush, a throwaway rag, and gloves. Gloves are very important. As you can see, I’ve used these for staining before, and it’s a good thing I did or my hands would have been a mess.

hassock legs after minwax pre-stain

I first treated the legs to a coat of Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Especially for soft woods, it is said to even out the way the wood absorbs the stain. I’m not sure if it’s entirely necessary, but I have always used it for all my staining projects and I assume it’s a good idea.

Plus, it turns the wood a pretty golden color.

hassock legs - stained

Next, I stained the legs following the instructions on the can: brush it on, wait a few minutes, wipe it off. I like staining because using the rag makes it easy to accomplish an even coat – it’s all directly controlled by you.

I used two coats of stain for more even coverage. Then, after waiting the requisite 24 hours, I clear-coated the legs with a clear poly-acrylic water-based finish. I like this particular clear-coat (links at the end) because it is a satin finish, meaning it has some shine to it but it isn’t super glossy.

hassock legs - screw on

I lined the legs back up with the holes from their previous life, and – uh oh! – my wool underflaps were in the way of the outside holes! I worried for a few minutes about this… and then I drilled straight through the wool and reattached all the legs as if it weren’t even there. No problem.

It was fun to refinish the legs because they looked pretty sad before, but with their new coat of stain they have been wonderfully rejuvenated. A new chance at life for these little legs, and this whole hassock!

Here she is again, because I’m proud:

hassock-upholstery complete

I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on this upholstery journey!

Product sources:
Wood Stain: Minwax Wood Stain in Red Chestnut (mine is American Chestnut, which is discontinued, but this should be close)
Wood Conditioner: Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
Clear Finish: Minwax Satin Polycrylic Finish
Wool Fabric: King Textiles, Toronto, Canada

This post is the fourth and final post in my mini Hassock Reupholstery series.

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4 Responses

  1. Wow. I dont know what else to say! This is amazing, the whole series has been so imformative. I just love it. Giving new life to a tired but perfectly functional object is just my favorite thing. So much better then buying brand new. It can get messy but thats half of the fun. Well done.

    Tnak You

  2. Lenore Levine says:

    Hi Sam! What a beautiful job you did on that hassack! It looks brand new and the fabric matches your rug and room paint so nicely. I love your blog and I love everything you do.
    Love, Lenore Levine (The button lady from Florida!)

  3. Marie says:

    I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical when I saw the first picture of the hassock. But when I saw part 2 of your mini series I knew that you’d turn it into something beautiful. The fabric is gorgeous and the legs look awesome! Not to mention that I love all the stuff you used as a filling. So creative and fun (and environmental friendly!!). So YAY for a gorgeous almost-new hassock! (btw, thanks for teaching me a new word!).
    I just saw the dresser you bought so of course I’m excited to see what you’re gonna make out of it.

  1. March 22, 2015

    […] rummage sale is also the home of my original hassock! I think the one I picked up was just a bit better than the one for sale this year (shown above), […]

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