Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Saving a $4 Chair! Part 1

Did I show you this chair? I bought it at the thrift shop a couple of months ago. It was $4.00!!! The springs were missing from the seat, but it seemed to be in fairly good condition.

I began the process of stripping off the old upholstery. It was tacked on, not stapled. Removing about 2 million tacks (only a slight exaggeration!) took about 2 hours with my sister helping me. We didn't have the tools we needed to do this easily. 

Half way finished! I failed to get a picture of the horsehair and cotton that I found inside. It was so deteriorated and nasty, I threw it away. I know that sometimes upholsterers save it. I decided that I didn't want all those old dead skin cells and animal dander!
After removing all the old fabric and stuffing, I glued up any loose joints with wood glue and left them clamped to dry for several hours.
I screwed "clips" down to hold the No Sag or Sinuous Springs. My sister, Darla, is working on a beautiful  antique set at the same time. We  shared tools and helped each other out while we tried to figure it all out!
Unfortunately, the battery operated screwdriver ran out of power and we had to plug it in for a few hours to recharge. 
I decided to "clean up" the finish a little. I wanted to keep the old patina, but make the scratches less noticeable. I used denatured alcohol and a soft rag. This "melts" the old finish enough to redistribute it some. This will not work on polyurethane and modern finishes. It only works on lacquer based varnishes.

Before and after of the same leg.

By this time, the heat and humidity were beginning to take a toll on us, so we quit for the day. When I post about the chair again, probably next week, I will be installing the springs and putting webbing on the chair back. 


  1. you and your sister are very multi talented ladies. glad you were able to give the chair a new chance on life. Niffty trick with the denatured alcohol. looking forward to the finished piece.

  2. I can't wait to see what you do with this chair, it has great "bones". I love redoing a piece like this and saving it from the dump.

  3. I was going to say that your chair had 'great bones', but Stitches beat me to it, so I won't say it!
    I do like the design of the chair and hope you will share with us the type of fabric you plan to use. I've never had the guts to try something like this and feel I'm too old to start, especially when there are so many other irons in the fire. Have a great week-end and thanks for sharing.

  4. Gorgeous chair! Love how you fixed the scratches!! I'd love to see pictures of how you do every step of the rehab of this beauty!!!

  5. I couldn't be more impressed, Linda!

  6. How do you know how to do this?? It is amazing!! I may try the denatured alcohol trick on a couple of pieces that I brought from Mom's house last year. They could use a little cleaning up!!

  7. Impressive so far . . . interesting to see what it will become . . .

  8. Such a beautiful frame on that chair! Can't wait to see it finished!


You can leave your comment here! (I'm so sorry, but if you are an Anonymous commenter, your comment will not publish. This is because of the huge amounts of spam that I have received from anonymous sources.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...