Call me crazy, call me nuts…whatever you want to say, because I am probably one of few that will actually pay for a broken chair. haha. Well, it was looking so good until I saw the missing parts, but my soft heart said, “Meh, what’s a little DIY that can’t fix this?” So here I sits with my project before me looking all sad. I aim to show you how to handle a broken chair repair and update it while you’re at it. See what I mean with this gem?
Sometimes it can be hard to let go of things. Especially things that have sentimental value. For me it was this 12′ wooden ladder that my dad had loaned us when we bought our first home. I remember as a child using it in my parent’s home to decorate our 20’+ Christmas trees in our living room while using a broom to string lights. Or dangling from it to play with my siblings. Problem is, when my husband and I got possession of it, it fell in disrepair. ugh. It had to be outside for various reasons and it rotted away. Today it becomes something more. Let me show you how I made an antique clamp chair using this ladder for parts.
*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)
I suppose most people would just pitch or burn this thing, but I couldn’t do it. Too many memories and I felt as though I failed my dad. I dragged it up to he front of my house and used my jig saw to cut it into salvageable pieces late last summer. The promise to myself was to make use of this bit by bit and create some new memories.
Put your hands together for Trash to Treasure Tuesday!! This is my favorite time of month where my blogger friends and I get together to show you how we take something that’s been cast-off and give it new life. We’ll get to their projects in a bit (plus a prize for you!), but first let me show you my subject for this month’s makeover. Would you like to see this broken chair repurposed into a shelf?
A few years back my best girlfriend said she didn’t have the heart to throw this thing out. Bless her heart because she knew I might like to have a try at it. Ummm…yes. I love a good challenge, and I must admit
Today I’m excited to be able to show you a project that has been brewing in my mind for about 2 years, until this month’s themed makeover assignment was “chairs”. It’s safe to say that to get something done for myself is never at the forefront of my agenda, but this time I FINALLY got a piece of furniture done for me!! This is my first makeover for myself since my free TV armoire 3 years ago, which brings me to a total of 2 pieces for us. Enter in this vintage channel back chair.
I picked up this sweet piece at a garage sale for $3…eeep!! It wasn’t something I had planned to tackle at first because I loved that original fabric. I even tried to clean it – mistake. It made the color bleed and it looked even worse. After that, I stuck it in the corner of our bedroom and used it quite frequently.
That gorgeous chenille fabric was so utterly dirty and had been worn with love all over. See those holes in the seat up above? The seat was originally tufted and missing several buttons, and my kids and cat also had a hayday with this chair.
The back panel was the only part in decent shape. My kids loved to crawl behind it and rub the raised surface of the fabric because it was so soft.
Sometimes my projects are in my head and sound good to me, but I never quite know how they’re going to turn out. It’s sort of fun that way, especially when it all gels together. Here’s is one of those types of projects. Meet my feed sack chair.
Rarely do I keep furniture for me. In fact, several of the pieces in my home that I had purchased years ago for myself are still awaiting their face-lift. Hopefully, that will soon be remedied as we continue to remodel our home. My treat-to-self is that once that room is completed, I can add the finishing touch of finally redoing whatever furniture belongs in there.
One of the rooms we are intending to remodel is our front living room, which would include a little office space for my husband and I. Back in my post about my garage mess stash, there was a little gem peeking out at you.
I had tucked this sweet desk away intending to use it as my desk for my computer and office space.
While working through my stash, I wouldn’t let myself touch anything that would be for me until I had worked on everything else first. Motivation.
But, silly me should have known that there’s always another gem around the corner. tsk. I found a fantastic industrial oak desk (which I will reveal later) that is larger and has more storage for what I needed, so… I decided to sell my sweet little find.
The desk’s structure was in awesome shape and I just loved that carved braided edge. However the veneer was missing in large chunks on several of the drawer fronts, so that had to go. With the help of my little man (who gets paid per pull, by the way), the drawers were prepped for refinishing.
In my post, 10 Furniture Refinishing Essentials, I offered advice on how to remove veneer in the easiest way possible. After using the method of soaking the drawer fronts with a towel overnight, the veneer peeled off like butter off of hot toast.
Once the veneer was removed it leaves the surface rough, which was easily remedied by sanding them down to give me a fresh smooth surface to work with.
Since I knew I wanted to distress them a bit after painting, I stained them with a dark color so that it could peek through the paint.
Now for that gorgeous top…swoon! I would have loved to refinish the whole piece and stain, but since that veneer was missing the only choice was to paint.
You have to admit that paint with stain really rocks!
Can you believe the chair was out in the trash? That splat detail (that curved part of the back) is fantastic and I love how it accentuates the same shape and design of the original brass pulls on the desk.
Truth be told, I originally intended to use a different fabric for the seat and was trying to mix a paint color that would coordinate – fail. The paint color I ended up with I actually like better, and when I went to my fabric stash after I finished the desk, I couldn’t believe I had a fabric that would match perfectly. eek! I love it when that happens.
Enter in sellers remorse….do I sell it? …it’s just so lovely..hmmm…maybe I can keep it? This is one of the downfalls of this biz, if there is one. Not having enough room to keep everything you like can make one turn into a hoarder. I’m definitely a purger – just ask my kids.
I couldn’t be more happy with the way it turned out. You can imagine that it didn’t last long in my shop. One of my all-time best fans is Diane, and I’m super-excited it got a wonderful home with her. She even redecorated around the desk, and better yet, I just finished a custom dresser-turned-entertainment stand for the same room as her desk.
Maybe I’ll show you the dresser transformation if you ask. :o)
I love a happy ending, don’t you?
Finally the weather is cooperating and I can get at some of the projects that have been staring at me ever since last summer. I had so many plans until I found out I was expecting, and of course that put a hold on LOTS of things. But…I have never been happier to have my 6 kids and am now able to make some headway in my stash. Here’s the antique makeover lineup: a chair, a foot stool, and a wash stand.
Check out my first project…a totally unloved chair.
This hand-carved beauty was given to me by one of my best friends who thought I could bring it back to life. It sat for a year waiting for a makeover.
Isn’t that carving great!?
Come check out some more antique makeover goodness:
Join in as we learn how to reupholster and paint a rocking chair from being only an oldie to a goodie. If you’re just joining the 3-part series, be sure to check out part 1 here.
1 1/2 c. paint (you can use flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss)
- 1/2 c. hot water
- 1/2 c. plaster of paris
When putting the paint on there’s no need to worry about being neat, all the haphazard extra touches will be hidden by the upholstery. So have some fun!
This is typical for furniture that has had either a mahogany or cherry finish.
Nothing that a little stain blocker, like Kilz, can’t handle. (I love this stuff!) I went ahead and coated the whole chair just to be safe, and then went back to the chalk paint.
Any questions on how to reupholster? Please feel free to ask. To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!
More projects how to reupholster vintage furniture:
I hope everyone had a better Independence Day than we did. 4 out of 5 of my children had a very high fever over the holiday weekend, so we basically stayed home and missed everything. Big bummer – no fireworks, no picnics and no sleep. But at least, at last we are back on our feet! One thing I did get accomplished was to give an antique rocker a face lift. I will not claim to be a professional, but am a self-taught furniture upholster fanatic. My great uncle and grandfather were in the business, and although I never was able to glean from him, I just claim it’s in my blood.
I found this lovely curvaceous chair at a garage sale and the lady told me it was her grandmothers’ chair. She hated to part with it because it was so comfortable, but as a newlywed consolidating furniture, only so much could stay.
The existing tapestry fabric had sort of a tribal flare it, but it was old, dirty and the wood finish needed some love.
Follow along as I take this chair…