Monday, April 29, 2013

Showing some love to a run-down chair

Two weeks ago I was driving along minding my own business when this beautifully worn chair yelped at me from the side of the road. Occupying a space in front of the house where it undoubtedly spent decades providing ample back support for a family. A sign rested on the front of it with the magic words: "FREE" and within seconds I squeezed that baby into the back of my car without giving it a second thought.

Curiosity got the best of me and, after finding a manufacturer tag on the bottom of the seat, I did a little research and found out it was a mid-century EckAdams chair worth anywhere from $100-$300. 

I wasn't interested in selling this beauty so I decided to give it a little makeover. 

I dismantled it and reinforced all the joints with glue and clamped it overnight so it would be nice and sturdy. 

Notice those nice old school flat head screws!

I then proceeded to sand it approximately one zillion times. Since there was a lot of wear on the wood (i.e. water stains, scratches, etc.) it required quite a bit of sanding on my part but once it was done it was smooth as a baby's bottom!

During this sanding process I found out the chair was constructed of solid walnut wood. At this point, I knew the hours of sanding was worth it in order to make this chair last another five decades. 

After sanding it profusely, I oiled it up in order to bring out the natural colors of the walnut wood. 

Then came the hard part. I knew from the beginning that the reupholstering would probably be a little bit outside my comfort zone since I have only reupholstered simple dining chairs before this project. Especially since I've never done piping, but, I was up for the challenge. 

After picking out a vintage-meets-modern colorful fabric, I sat down in front of my sewing machine and began. I based most of my process off of the old fabric size and shape. 

After successfully tackling the sewing part, I began to reassemble the chair and cushions. And ta-da! I was able to put it all back together and sit in it without fear of it crumbling beneath me. 

In case you forgot how faded and old the original fabric was.

Who knows what next project the side of the road "free" pile will send me, but I'll keep you updated. 
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  1. That is incredible!! It looks so good!

  2. You really have an eye and I think it was definitely worth the effort.