This is the story of a couple of chairs found at tip shops looking very sad and very ugly. I got this first chair for $1! I couldn’t believe it! When I saw it I thought for sure they’d want something like $15 for it. At least. I’d seen similar chairs in much wobblier condition for $25 each at one of the other tip shops. This one was nice and sturdy. When I got the sales person’s attention I asked about a couple of other items I was interested in, then offhandedly asked about the chair, sure I wouldn’t want to pay their price for it. When she said $1.00 I had it in my car before she could change her mind.
It was painted in layers of oil paint which I found where almost impossible to get off using the sander.
So, I got out my trusty angle grinder with the sanding attachment and made short work of all those layers of paint.
I then decided to stick with the two toned theme on the chair and painted it Limed White, with a pale blue seat… And hated it.
I quickly repainted it. This time I used a mix of my own making. I never used to do this, but I have a good friend who is forever taking liberties with paints and mixing up her own tints. My biggest fear is that I’ll find a colour I love and run out mid-job with no way to recreate it.
I soon got over my fears though and was happily mixing up colours for all I was worth. Almost everything in my way got a coat of paint on it over the last 2 weeks.
I finished up with a chair in a pale rich creamy white which I love. Its similar to the colour of the kitchen table. Once the chair was finished I gave it a quick sand, exposing a few spots on ‘wear’ areas, then I gave it a wax with some clear beeswax. I love the smell of that stuff and the soft gloss it gives to things. I’m totally new to furniture wax and this is the first time I’ve tried it. I read about it on the DIY blogs I’ve been reading lately and thought I’d give it a try.
After all, try everything in life once, and the good things twice.
The other chair in this little story is a dining chair from a set of 3 I got at a different tip shop for $5 each. These poor little chairs were sitting in the rain on the day I saw them. One had a broken back so I knew I had to rescue them. The pic below is of one of the chairs, the one with a missing slat, not the broken backed one or the horribly upholstered one. They had the best 50s style vinyl on them, marred by paint splatters, but gorgeous.
This is the horribly uphostered one. With a broken and splintered seat due to having nails pulled and hammered in quite a few times over the decades.
I thought I’d tackle the upholstered one first, thinking it might be the easiest one to start with – plus I needed to find a way to repair the broken back and fill the other chairs where timber was missing…
I ripped off the check fabric and nails, found wadding and the original vinyl being used as a kind of backing. Plus lots of nails and splintered wood.
So, first things first, I painted it – white of course. This time I used my favourite stand-by Antique White USA. Once the painting was finished I gave it a quick sand and wax. I cut a bit of masonite to cover the hole and nails I couldn’t remove or hammer in below ‘ouch’ stage.
Then I upholstered it.
I’ll spare you the gory details. It wasn’t pretty.
I’ve only tried upholstering something once before in my life – using a staple gun. This time I tried my hot glue gun. That made it easier, but my corners leave a lot to be desired. Here’s a photo far enough away as to hide the imperfections.
In the spirit of not spending any money if I can avoid it, I used things I had on hand. Paint I had on hand, offcuts of masonite I found in the casita, some toille fabric remnants I’d found a couple of months ago in the clearance bin at Spotlight, and some wadding I also found among my collection of ‘stuff that’ll come in handy one day’.
(I’ll come clean: the wadding came out of stuffed toys the dogs ripped apart. I knew I kept it for a reason!)
All in all, I love my new kitchen chairs!
They now sit proudly in the kitchen, awaiting the arrival of their not-quite-matching mates.
I have more of the black and white fabric and a complimentary fabric in cream and burgundy which I plan to use to make a cushion for the hard chair, maybe for all the chairs…
I just love doing this stuff!