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sheesharee

Oh my.. a bazillon staples to remove! ?

Sheeisback_GW
12 years ago

I finally have all the materials to reupholster my DR chairs. I took the seat off and found waaay more staples than I thought I'd see. There's no less than 100 per chair and they're really jammed tight. I went to Lowes today in search of buying a staple remover (this was before I even realized what I was up against) and the friendly old man thought I was talking about paper staples. Once we got past that he showed me something that opens paint cans and didn't look like it would work. He recommended a screw driver. I tried a screw driver as well as a paper staple remover and ONE came out.

I'm going to call Lowes, Home Depo, and Ace Hardware . . . one of them has to have one right? I didn't expect it to be this much of a chore to remove the old staples. I've even considered just cutting and tearing away the old fabric but them when I try to staple the new materials the old ones will probably get in the way. At this rate it will take me all weekend to remove the staples!

Any thoughts, suggestions, or sympathy welcome. :)

Here's the one corner.

{{!gwi}}

I know I could order one online but I'm being impatient and wanted to work on it over the next couple of days.

Comments (38)

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Natesgramma - I may just do that. I'm having a hard time imagining myself taking all these out. My poor fingers.

    I called Ace and after spending a lengthy period of time on the phone the guys is saying they're called 'tack pullers' and they do have them.

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  • graywings123
    12 years ago

    Give the fabric a good pull and you may be able to rip it from the staples.

  • annzgw
    12 years ago

    Even with the 'pullers' you're in for a chore.
    Is it possible to just turn the wood base over, once you remove everything, and use the other side. You could pound the remaining staples in and cover that side.........they shouldn't interfere with your new padding & fabric.

    Other option is to take the base to a lumber yard and ask them to cut new ones.

  • mitchdesj
    12 years ago

    gee whiz, what a pain; have you tried a solid knife to lift them out ? or just pry them out a bit, then take pliers to remove them. Do one chair per night sitting in front of the tv, you can do it sheesharee !!!!!

    I guess now it's tempting to bring everything to an upholsterer?

  • dana1079
    12 years ago

    hope you haven't started yet! You need a tack puller pry bar..it looks like a small screwdriver with a forked end! We used these to pull a million staples out of the floors and stairs and when reupholstering...

    You can pry with it and pull them out, excellent for when they break off! You need to use some force to get it under the staple. Then you can twist and they come out or use some needle nose pliers!

    At least your staples are tiny, the ones in our floors were huge! Then the ones in the stairs weren't very wide and were H*LL to get out!

    And here's a picture of it!!!

  • balego_gw
    12 years ago

    Sheesharee, I know exactly what you're up against, as I have spent the better part of today pulling hundreds of staples out of a wingchair. I really want to get a proper staple remover that is for upholstery, but I would have to order from the US. This one is the one I want, and having watched a video of it being used on the site, it looks like it works wonderfully. I have a staple puller that I bought a couple of weeks ago, but it isnt meant for the tiny staples found on upholstered peices, and is too thick to pry under the staples. The one at the link below is shaped to get right under the staple and pry it up. Check the video here
    http://www.diyupholsterysupply.com/Staple-remover-how-to.html
    to see how quick he lifts the staples using this one.

    Here is a link that might be useful: staple lifter

  • susan209
    12 years ago

    Did you check places like Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics, places like that may carry what you are looking for. Just a thought. Good Luck!

  • bbstx
    12 years ago

    I had a similar problem with a bench I was re-covering. I bought the gizmo pictured above. It didn't work because the staples were in so tightly. Finally, I used a very thin bladed screw-driver and needle-nose pliers. I pulled the fabric up to get a little room under the staple, then lifted the staple as much as I could with the screw driver. If the staple broke or wouldn't come out, I used the pliers. Make sure all small children are out of the house. It was really bad word producing.

  • memazz
    12 years ago

    I have the upholstery staple remover Balego suggests and it has worked great for me. I've changed out my dining room chair fabric twice--the first time I used a screw driver and pliers, the second time I used the staple puller. The staple puller was much, much easier and quicker to use. I've also used it to remove the fabric from a Queen Anne style chair I'm working on which had about 1000 staples (really!).

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    I didn't think to try a fabric store. Doh.

    The staples are really tight to the fabric. I can't imagine anything being able to get under there right. I did try pulling the fabric to see what happened. The fabric doesn't want to rip and the staples are doing their job.

    Taking it to someone is tempting but wasn't figured in my budget. One way or another I'll get them done.

    Bbstx - LOL Luckily the only kids I have at this point are cats!

    If it comes down to it I might just order that one from online. I'd rather do it right and only once. And really, even if I get all the staples out this weekend I'm not sure I'll be in the mood to finish the job!

  • greenthumbfish
    12 years ago

    Sheesh - when I did mine, I found that prying the screwdriver between the fabric and the wood (as opposed to between the staple and the fabric) worked much better.

    HTH

  • equest17
    12 years ago

    The two pronged staple lifter is great. It will be much easier than a screw driver or other improvised tool. Make sure you get one with pointed prongs for staples, not the flat prongs for nail-head tacks. You might call some local upholsterers and see if they have a staple lifter they can sell you. I usually have several on hand because you always want one nearby. You will still want some needle nosed pliers for the ones that break, or you can hammer the little pieces back in, depending on how long they are.

    I think the suggestion to cut the fabric off and use the reverse side of the board is great (as long as the seat is perfectly symmetrical on the left and right sides). I do upholstery as a hobby/side business, and unless I need to staple right where the existing staples are, it's fine to leave a few in. You will need to staple in the corners, so either remove most of these, flip the board over, or get a new seat cut. And just for reference, you definitely do not need to replicate this many staples in the corner! I'm not sure who got staple-happy, but this is overkill!

  • greenthumbfish
    12 years ago

    And just for reference, you definitely do not need to replicate this many staples in the corner! I'm not sure who got staple-happy, but this is overkill!

    That would be Hildi Santo-Tomas ;-)

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Well I'm sad to say Ace didn't have what I needed. It was the one for nails and such. I'm going to order the one in the link above and just wait. On a happy note, I bought everything I needed to paint my stair spindles and will do that this weekend instead!

    Thanks for all the thoughts and advice!

  • mclarke
    12 years ago

    Sheesharee... CAN you turn the seat-boards over? That would be the simplest solution.

  • balego_gw
    12 years ago

    Sheesharee, if you haven't yet made your order, try going through your yellow pages and looking for upholstery shops in your city that also sell supplies. Or even fabric stores that carry a lot of upholstery fabric and supplies. You might have luck finding the same one as in the link, as they would probably buy from the same supplier.
    That one really is meant to dig in under those tight staples. Have you noticed that the staples are tiny, like paper staples? That is why an ordinary staple remover won't work, because they lack the sharp, strong point that is able to pry under the staple. So far I've been tapping a very fine-tipped flat screwdriver with a hammer to lift every.freaking.staple. It is working.. slowly.. but it's getting really old really quickly!

  • justgotabme
    12 years ago

    Alisha, I wish I would have seen this sooner. I've had to do this before and as greenthumbfish said it's easier to get under the staple if you also go under the fabric. If you have a five in one tool from the paint store they have a pretty slim/pointy edge. And old sturdy table knife can work well too. Think outside the box. Try using needle nose plyers to pry up the fabric starting at the raw edge then pushing a whatever narrow pointy thing you can find under the staple and twisting it. You only need to lift up one side like in the video balego linked to.

    All that said, sometimes just ripping the fabric out from underneath the staples will give you just that little extra room you need to get under them and pry them out.
    {{!gwi}}

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Mclarke - As soon as I read how they need to be exactly the same size I'm not sure! lol This isn't a high end table so I figured the boards aren't perfect. I'm having a hard time figuring out how this would be much better though. If the board is flipped the ends of the staples would still be in the way right? That would probably still be better than having the whole staple exposed.

    Balego - I didn't place the order yet. I was looking earlier today for places around here but I didn't find anything. I checked with some fabric stores and they didn't have anything either. My Dad had suggested using a fine tipped screw driver also but once I told him how many I was up against said I might be better using a tool that's specifically for that? Either way it sounds pretty rough! lol

    Justgotabeme - You didn't miss anything yet! :) I'll try going under the fabric tonight with a knife or something and see if I get anywhere.

    I guess I should also add, silly my only ordered 1" foam because I was thinking 1" foam + 1" dacron = 2" cushion. I don't think that's the case and I want the cushions to at least be as thick as they are now. The main reason I wanted to tear the seat apart last night was to inspect what was underneath. I'm probably going to stick the new foam over the old then add the dacron. Should I use a spray adhesive to put the foam pieces together? Or just attempt to staple then both together to the side of the wood piece like in the video above?

  • organic_rach
    12 years ago

    Sheesharee,
    I had the same problem you are having with my dining rooom chairs. The puller dana pictured above was the first one I bought. It didn't work. Then, I finally started taking my chair cushion/seat with me to the stores. Places like HD, Sears and Joann have nothing that works. I found a retail upholstery supplier with 2 different brands of pullers. One worked (she let me try them before I bought one) and the other didn't work at all, so I bought the one for about$15.00. It was worth it. The puller that worked on my seats has very sharp teeth and has a bend to give you some leverage when you pry them out. It is a C.S. Osborne & Co. #120. I'm giving you a link so you can look at it. Scroll down to the pullers. It's towards the bottom of the page. It still is a big job to get the staples out with the correct puller, but it will be beautiful when you finish. You can use the old cover for a pattern fabric to help you cut the new cover. Put a pic on when they are done! Rachel

    Here is a link that might be useful: staple puller from C.S. Osborne #120

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Organic Rach - Woooow, I didn't realize there were so many different tools for this. I did consider dragging the chair seat with my today but my gut was telling me what was at Ace wasn't going to be what I needed.

    Did both the ones you try look very similar?? Now I'm debating which one to order. The one pictured above is what the one at Ace looked like. The one in the 1st link looks pointy like the one in your link. Also that one says it's backed by Osborne. Think it's just as good? Thanks for posting that!

    I'll be sure to post the finished pics. I've been talking and thinking about doing this for months now.

  • organic_rach
    12 years ago

    Sheesharee, Oops! I didn't look at the first link. That is the puller I have. The one pictured above doesn't work. I have that one, too, LOL. And, the other one I tried at the upholsterer didn't work at all but looked similar. It wasn't as sharp, tho, and had a wood handle. Different manufacturer...Berry, which is considered the best manufacturer but it didn't work on my seats. My seats have very hard wood and the staples were long.
    Also, when you get ready to staple, if you have hard wood, you might have a hard time getting the staples in without a good staple gun. not all staple guns are created equal. Buy one where it is returnable if you don't already have one. It was a little frustrating getting going, but I love the way my chairs look. I would do it again, now that I have the right tools. Rachel

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Rach - Wait, so you have the one in the 1st link ($14). The one you posted in your link isn't the one you have ? Your link and the 1st link look like two different pullers?

    Luckily my Dad is going to let me use a staple gun from his work. Hopefully it will go pretty smooth!

  • graywings123
    12 years ago

    You need something really thin, like a paring knife or a Swiss Army knife. And as someone said earlier, go under the fabric, not between the fabric and the staple.

  • organic_rach
    12 years ago

    Shesharee, they are the same. My link had to many products on it. You might have been looking at the wrong one. Here's a better link. sorry about that. rachel

    p.s. It's product #120. Scroll to the bottom of this link.
    good luck and glad you have a heavy duty staple gun. You might want to redo again, so use the shortest staples that work for the project!

    Here is a link that might be useful: staple lifter

  • organic_rach
    12 years ago

    ok, I double checked everything again. My remover has the double prong like the one pictured in the first link from Balego. And it is the same one as in the link I sent you last. The only thing I can't figure out is the price. Mine is a 120 - 1/2 inch is what it says on the fork of mine. I wonder if they make one smaller...the price of the one Balego found is sure cheaper. It's sku is 120-5 on Balego's link. But no more info.

  • memazz
    12 years ago

    Mine is the 120-5 from DIY Upholstery. $14.79 and it's an Osborne. I'd highly recommend it for this type of project.

    Here is a link that might be useful: 120-5

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Well I ordered the one from DIY so hopefully it works! If not, I'll end up getting creative. :)

    Thanks again everyone! Hopefully the next time I post about my chairs it's photos of the finished product!

  • mclarke
    12 years ago

    As soon as I read how they need to be exactly the same size I'm not sure! lol This isn't a high end table so I figured the boards aren't perfect. I'm having a hard time figuring out how this would be much better though. If the board is flipped the ends of the staples would still be in the way right? That would probably still be better than having the whole staple exposed.

    I hate the idea of you having to pull all these staples if you can just turn the boards over. Can you post a couple of photos of the chair, and the board, showing the entire board?

  • natesgramma
    12 years ago

    I don't know how you have such patience!!! I wonder if a seam ripper would be thin enough to at least get an edge lifted so you could pull the rest up with a screwdriver and then needle nose pliers. Some things are definately worth waiting for but it would drive me crazy, especially if the one you ordered doesn't work (which I hope it does). Have you picked the new fabric? Any pics?

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    I actually didn't order it yet. I was planning on it right after I posted that but got side tracked.. . .

    Mclarke - I'll post some photos when I get home later today. I could just flip the board over to see if it would still right right?

    Natesgramma - Ha honestly I lack in the patience dept. The staples are in there so snug I think the seam ripper would break.
    I went through my photobucket account awhile back and deleted a ton of photos so I don't have ones of the fabric and chair.
    This is what I ordered. It came down to this one or a stripe.
    {{!gwi}}
    {{!gwi}}
    {{!gwi}}

  • justgotabme
    12 years ago

    You know I was just checking my photo and instructions above and it occured to me that if you cut the fabric like I mentioned and then along the outside edge of the wood you might be able to grab hold of the fabric on either side of the staple and pull upward while twisting. The fabric is already under the staples. It's worth a try at least.

  • antiquesilver
    12 years ago

    Go to a hardware store & tell them you need a small pair of nippers, prefably by Channel-Lok. I've pulled hundreds - probably thousands - of nails, staples, & tacks from my floors & nippers are consistently the best tool & do the least amt of damage to the wood.

  • mclarke
    12 years ago

    Yes! Cut the fabric off the puffy part of the chair (you'll have to do that anyway), turn the board over and see if it fits on the chair frame. I bet it does.

    Then you can just put your new padding and fabric on the "wrong" side of the board, and the heinous staples will be under the new padding for ever and ever and no one will ever know. And you won't have to spend all that precious time pulling staples.

    Depending on how the boards are attached to the chairs you might have to drill new holes for the bolts/screws, but this will be very small job, compared to pulling out all those staples.

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Here's a pic of the whole seat.
    {{!gwi}}
    {{!gwi}}

    I talked to my Dad this morning and he has the staple gun home with him. . . :) I need to run out and do a few things but when I return I'll be putting my 2nd coat of paint on my stair spindles and then I'm tempted to work on the chairs. There's one more place I'm going to check today for a remover. I will be doing the fabric pull thing also. The more I look at all those staples. Ugh, the better it's looking to flip the darn things.

    Antiquesilver - Nipper. You can get under the staple with this? I'm not sure if it's what I'm thinking. I'll do a search before I leave today! Thanks!

    Oh wait, what should I do about putting the two 1" pieces of foam together? Glue them? Nothing just staple them boat to the seat like in the video? Don't staple at all?

  • mclarke
    12 years ago

    Here's another, even lazier option, which I have done very successfully with chairs like these...

    Don't remove the old fabric at all! Simply stretch the new fabric over it, and staple.

    Your old staples are orderly enough that you can avoid them when you put in the new staples.

    This way, you don't have to cut new foam, or worry about gluing foam, or getting a nice even shape. It's all been done for you.

    Just lookin' out for you, darlin'... : )

  • nanny2a
    12 years ago

    If you want a really lazy option, you could do what I did with my seats because I didn't want to destroy the original, antique fabric. I just took the new foam, and in this case you could probably just use the additional 1", and put it right on top of the covered seat. Then wrap with your dacron, and then the new fabric, and staple it down. I did this with mine, and it made a nice, soft seat, with the original seat, and fabric, are still underneath the new.

  • Sheeisback_GW
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    I'm in the process of doing it now. I pulled out about 70 staples and got lazy. My fingers hurt. I already cut myself with the little knife thingy.... SO I flipped the board. I put the new fabric under the old. Used a little spray adhesive. The dacron is on. I'm using an awesome staple gun.. BUT my seats look like they're on steriods. lol How thick is the padding allowed to be? It's about 4" now. They're very comfy. Getting ready to put the fabric on and I'll have to show you guys a pic before I do the rest. I considered cutting the old foam in half but it just seemed like a pain and after already cutting myself. . .

    stay tuned.