Mini makeover

>> Thursday, February 19, 2009

My chair "after"

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?
the chair "before"

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.

22 comments:

Michaela February 19, 2009  

What a great chair! I feel so funny when I buy something at the Goodwill that I am super excited about, but many people don't see the potential. I love that look, I get by the register... I am laughing out loud inside. :)
Awesome job!

sew nancy February 19, 2009  

claire
the 'new' chair looks great
love the pillow too

Sweet Pea February 19, 2009  

I think you need your own show - your makeovers are always so tasteful and inspiring :)

suzanne b. February 19, 2009  

That's just beautiful, Claire.

emileeknits February 19, 2009  

That looks lovely! How clever.

Kerry February 20, 2009  

Beautiful work!

Ravenhill February 20, 2009  

What a beautiful job you did. It looks so modernly pretty now!

Chickengirl February 20, 2009  

wow! You are so INCREDIBLY handy and crafty! Its the kind of stuff I wish I can do, but for me it will turn into a disaster lol.

The chair is looking so awesome and perfect sweatery pillow. I want a whole set! :-)

Julie (aka BoogaJ) February 20, 2009  

It looks beautiful! And that pillow is a nice added touch.

tamdoll February 20, 2009  

You did a fantastic job, really professional looking! I applaud your work, I would never get past the sanding stage!!

Kate February 20, 2009  

That is such a nice renovation! Being able to identify a treasure that needs a little work when looking at something shabby is a great ability.

andrea h,  February 21, 2009  

wow claire, that chair is great :)

kg February 21, 2009  

That's fantastic - both the chair AND the pillow!

Janelle February 22, 2009  

What a fantastic job you did! The cushion is the icing on the cake!

Jill February 22, 2009  

I love this! I have a chair similar to this that needs to be refinished. You've inspired me!

lealou February 23, 2009  

this is amazing!

Robin March 03, 2009  

really nice re-do! i hope this doesn't show twice. i wrote one comment and it sort of disappeared. :o)

Sarah March 04, 2009  

Wow, that's incredible! I'm generally terrified of big projects but you took that on like a pro! And in winter! Good for you :)

Heather March 06, 2009  

Your chair is lovely! I like how you refinished the wood, too--I would have never thought of that.

lizbonj March 09, 2009  

Beautiful!!!!!!!!

het lieveheersbeestje March 21, 2009  

Oh, this is lovely! You saved this chair's live and it looks better than before. The cushion is beautiful too, I love the seat!!

Amy May 14, 2009  

Fantastic makeover! I love it!!

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