>> Thursday, February 19, 2009
So recently I was in a shop coveting some refurbished mid-century modern armchairs but they were over $500 each and we're feeling poor lately. Just like everyone else I'm guessing?
But a few days later I found a chair at Goodwill that was really similar. The arms didn't have the exact shaping of the other chairs, but the joins were dovetailed rather than butt-joined which I liked. Of course the upholstery was really shabby and the wood finish was also very worn and patchy.
Also one of the arms was dislodged at the join. The woman at the cash looked at me like I was a bit pathetic for buying this dodgy chair and charged me $5.99.
So I bought the chair, took it home and took it all apart. The first step was using some carpenter's glue to fix the arm at the join. After adding the glue, it was just a matter of tapping it gently back into place with a hammer over a tea towel (so as not to mark the wood).
Then I sanded the whole thing with a fine sandpaper to keep the smoothness of the wood. Then I stained the wood with a dark colour (Royal Mahogany) then varnished with Polyeurethane. Then one last sanding and one last coat of varnish. I think the wood is mahogany but I really don't know my woods. It's definitely a nice hardwood.
The last step was reupholstering the chair. I really wanted to use something I already had, so there wasn't a lot of choice. I actually got the fabric I used at the workroom fabric swap, it's a creamy white chenille that has a texture of tiny squares. I had just enough! This kind of upholstery is quite easy, just wrap the fabric and staple on the underside. Just take care to tuck the fabric neatly around the corners.
The final touch was a pillow made from an old cashmere sweater. I've been meaning to do this for ages, I see them in magazines all the time and they always look so nice. The best part is this one is also so soft and cosy because of the cashmere. Perfect for that last little patch of winter.