Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cinderella Story: Chair Makeover

Does everyone religiously browse the PB catalog like me? I have been crushing on some fun and structured chairs lately but there was no way in heck I would pay more than $100 for each chair: see them here, here, and here.  I was lucky enough to come across two matching Chippendale chairs recently (FOR FREE!) and could not wait to recreate one of my favorite looks. 

If you follow the Facebook page, then you know about the amazing chairs we uncovered a few weeks back. One Saturday afternoon as the Mr. and I were driving home from a trip to Home Depot I spotted two rough but gorgeous chairs on the side of the road. I couldn't keep my eyes off of them as we drove past. Luckily for me, I married an amazing man and he insisted we turn around so I could get them. We crammed them into the backseat and off we went.

Now there is no doubt that these babies were in rough condition... rickety chair backs, cracks, scratches and gross stained upholstery:

But those fancy claw and ball feet are what grabbed my attention. Aren't they gorgeous??

I still have no idea what to do with the pair, but I knew that these chairs would benefit from a little brightening up. I put in a bit of elbow grease and finally finished them up this weekend. My original plan was to strip the wood down, prime it with white, paint them all over and cover the seats, but after getting things taken apart, I opted for a full on reconstruction. New glue was inserted into every nook and crevice to strengthen the joints. I sanded down the entire surface, primed it with white, then painted it antique white (very light cream). Since they are old chairs, I didn't want them to look brand spanking new, so I very lightly distressed the wood with sand paper and applied a coat of polyurethane.

One thing I was most excited to tackle were the seats since I bought a gorgeous fabric to use. Before I knew what hit me, that turned into such a headache. Underneath the gross chair print fabric was older, grosser plaid fabric. Rather than touch it any further, I decided to do whole new seats. I traced those buggers on to 3/4 inch pine and used my handy dandy Dremel SawMax (yerp, it was another birthday present from the Mr.!) to cut them out. It was definitely scary at first, but it handled like a dream... and what's not to love about the wood shop smell?

After the seats were cut, I covered them with high density foam chair pads, upholstery-grade batting, and brand new paisley linen fabric. I love the new look!

The Mr. saw them and was very impressed (which doesn't happen often!) so that made my day. I love the way they turned out because they add such charm to our modern home. They are temporarily living in our entrance way, but I have to figure out where they will find a permanent place. The Mr. jokes that they will end up in the graveyard of other design elements... the guest room. I sure hope not though because I want to see them everyday.

Luckily I got these chairs for free, because materials sure did add up. Nevertheless, they both cost less than $50 (barely...) What do you think?

If you liked this makeover, you should consider following Spool and Spoon via email or through Google Friend Connect for projects, simple tutorials, and delicious recipes that are sure to tickle your fancy. Also, did you know we have a Facebook? Hop on over so you don't miss any of the fun. 

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  1. these are gorgeous!!
    you did a fantastic job!

  2. These are really cute - I would have fallen for them as well =) It's so funny that the guest bedroom is also your graveyard for design elements, the same is true in our house ;-)
    xo Anja

  3. Oh my goodness they turned out fabulous! I love the new upholstery...a lot of work (and maybe not quite free) but oh so worth it! Great job...
    Debbie :)

  4. Oh yeah, those were a great find! Don't you just love those kind of finds? They turned out fantastic and look just beautiful!

  5. When I saw a before picture, I couldn't imagine it could be turned out in such way. I loved your work and I feeling that a little care and proper mending can really make old thing new and can give them new life as well.

    Ann@ white furniture

    1. I agree! I just can't believe how easy it is to pass these things by without giving them a second thought. When you do, though, it really pays off!

  6. I love how this turned out! I'm gathering inspiration for my own chair make over :)


    1. Your Ikea coffee table makeover was great so I'm sure you'll do something amazing with your chairs!!

  7. What a gorgeous makeover - they're just beautiful now and so perfectly distressed!
    Your newest follower - would love to have you come by and follow back when you have the time :)


Feel free to share your thoughts or questions. You make my day!

xo Jess

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