Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chair Re-fab

The number one way to get that vintage distressed look? Buy some beat-up chairs from estate sales, store them in your garage for a decade while you plan to do something. Find them while cleaning up, throw away the wonkiest one, then place them on a back porch in the sun thru a few snow storms.

No seriously, that's what happened. This were in my parent's garage until a major cleaning a few months ago. My father cursed under his breath and asked if I needed any chairs. They are, strangely enough, almost a matching trio. At first glance identical, then you notice the slight variations in shape on the back piece. Each seat is leather, of a slightly different shade and thickness.
I first took off the seat, taped the screw to the bottom, and attacked with sandpaper. Not pictured is Miss Pink the Bandito... I wore a damp bandana around the face to protect from inhaling decades old shellac.
When stripped the natural color of the wood appeared, with a gentle grain and a smooth surface.

Then I attacked the seats, the leather was cracking and dry, and held on with rows of petite upholstery nails. The stuffing was an odd mix of dirty cotton fluff and shredded wood.

I bought seat foams (in sets of two naturally, I will have to find a fourth for my collection!) and used a vintage mid-weight canvas from my collection. Notice the screws taped to the bottom? If you're like me and you don't always finish projects in one day, then that little detail is imperative.
The edges were stapled down tautly. I first stapled one spot on each side to keep it square, then worked all the way around.
The bottom edge of the chair hides the fabric edging, and if not for the "holy-shit-no-commercial-joint-would-ever-make-this" fabric, one might call it professional. The wood is currently lightly oiled but not stained, I might decide to color it up a bit in the future.
Looks dashing with my new walls ya? Now to ditch these ugly tan curtains...

Have you ever done a furniture project? It's easier than you think!

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