Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Abandoned Chair Makeover

Sometime last year (or was it the year before?), I found a sad looking and lonely chair at the thrift store. I couldn't ignore its mid-century charm and potential, so I paid the $5.99 price tag and took 'er home. I had wished there were some matching chairs somewhere in the store, but they were nowhere to be found. I always wonder about those singleton chairs - how did they get separated from the rest?

Pick me!
The chair sort of sat around until I figured out exactly what I wanted to do with it. I decided that the desk needed its own unique chair, so I chose a cream and blue Moroccan inspired fabric remnant (in the sale bin, of course!) and a quart of paint in 'Jonquil Yellow'.
The chosen fabric remnant and paint.

The most disgusting (and interesting) part of this project was peeling the existing fabric off the chair seat. After removing the screws that held the seat in place, I used pliers to pluck the heavy metal staples from the bottom of the seat. There were three layers of fabric on this puppy - it seems like each layer was from a preceding decade. How neat to see home decor fashions peel away before your eyes! If I had known I'd be blogging about it, I would have taken pictures of the layers. But, since I didn't take pictures, just think of the most hideous (and rough) fabrics you can. When I finally got to the foam beneath the fabrics, the padding was disintegrating! Foam quickly turned into dust as I handled it. Gross. GROSS.

I traced the naked wooden seat on a large piece of new foam (most fabric stores carry different thicknesses of foam for upholstery and pillow-making). I used a 2" thick piece, which was just a personal preference. With a serrated knife, I cut a new piece of foam for the seat and stretched the fabric around it. I then secured the fabric in place by stapling it to the underside of the seat, making sure it was smooth after every staple or two.

The next step took quite a long time. I sanded the frame of the chair multiple times until I was satisfied that the paint would adhere properly. Over a few days (during baby nap time), I applied four thin coats of paint to the frame.

Mom says they look like little cowboy boots.
For me, the fun thing about giving furniture makeovers is that you discover unique oddities about each piece. For this chair, it was it's adorable metal leg caps. I wasn't sure I was going to keep them (I thought they were weird and ugly at first), but they totally grew on me and now I love them.

At home, in front of my desk.

I love seeing furniture transformations. Have you undertaken any lately?

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