Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chairs Anonymous

OK, let me just admit it now. I have a chair addiction. I can’t help it.

This has resulted in many of chairs being toted back to home, either from a flea market, garage sale, thrift store or the ultimate recycle… from the end of someone’s driveway.

This first chair (more appropriately, “Rediscovered” chair) was found at the always reliable Elephants Trunk Flea Market in Connecticut. Now I know you’re going to think this is crazy, but I SWEAR that this was the third place that I saw this chair. Let me take you back…

One of the older homes in my neighborhood had a furniture sale and while I was browsing I saw this chair. But it was in such bad shape and I wasn’t too confident with my carpentry skills and thought for sure it would just live in the garage. I didn’t even ask for the price.

Then, on a trip to Saturday junk shop (aka gold mine), I see it again! Same old dilapidated chair. Pass it up again.

THEN on a later trip to the flea market, I see it again, looking extra lonely, with a $2 sticker on it. I carried it around the rest of the day. I swear the chair was glowing it was so excited.

Ok ok, it might not be the same chair. But how can you forget it’s cute little shape? It was destiny.

Finally after spending the winter in the garage I decided to take it out and work on it. And let me tell you, it was a lot easier than I thought!

First I cut out the burlap-horse-hair rim and pulled out all of the little nails that was holding it in (truth be told I couldn’t get them all out and hammer some flat). Then I found a thin piece of plywood (1/4” I think?) and traced the frame onto it. Next, it was power tools time. I had the circular saw in hand, thinking it would be a piece of cake, but I was quickly talked out of that and moved on to the Sawzall. This seat didn’t have to be a perfect shape of the frame, just as long as it was within the wood so it could be screwed down. So after some slightly scary moments with the saw (make sure you have someone else to help you hold the wood still), I successfully screwed down the new seat.

Now to make it comfy. I glued down the foam that I had traced out to be the shape of the seat and let it sit for awhile, then using some basic upholstery skills I stapled the fabric. This takes a little trial and error, making sure the fabric is straight and also so that is isn't pulled tighter in one area more than another. Finito!

I originally had planned on painting the chair a glossy white, but the wood is in really good condition and I’d hate to cover it up to only regret it later. So I am going to let it live like this for awhile and see how I feel about it. Save myself from stripping and sanding later on down the road. Denatured alcohol to the rescue to clean those stray paint marks and give him back his shine.

What do you think? Should I paint it white or leave it wood?He's still trying to find out where he wants to live in the room. Overall I am really pleased and adore that hounds tooth fabric. Great addition to the metamorphosis of the bedroom.


Chair $2
Fabric $2.70
Foam $4 (I bought a yard for $8 and I used less than half, saving the other piece for another chair)

Total $8.70

Looking back I think that I should have gotten a thinner piece of foam (half inch?) and used some batting on top of that.

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