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Vintage Chairs Rebuilt and Renewed

One thing is for certain, I can’t watch good furniture go to the dump. I either will rescue it to find it a new home, or work on it myself. My Dumpster Diva is a prime example of how far I’ll go to save an old soul. If you take a peek below at these vintage chairs, you can see that they are in need of some love. While no one wants them and they were destined for the dumpster, I want to rebuild and renew them.

Old Chairs Before Upcycled by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Truth be told, I needed more stuff cluttering up my workshop like I need another hole in my head. However, I figured that I could find them a new home. After setting them on the curb for the day with a “Free” sign, a large looming storm was rolling in so I decided to adopt them. It’s what a good junker would do, right?

Vintage Chair Splats with Time-worn Wear | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It’s easy to see they aren’t pretty in the least bit, but I do appreciate they are solid oak. Also, they’re not safe to sit on as the wood has shrunk loosening up all the joints. Shall we have a vintage chair makeover? We shall….woot!

A CLOSER LOOK

The first order of business is to truly look into the rock-n-roll shake they have going on. Before that, I take off the duct tape that was awesomely stuck on as scuff guards on the feet. Then, I grab my hammer and dismantle them both all the way down to pieces. I only found one rail that had a crack where the dowel pins rest. However, other than that I think I don’t need to chop them up and upcycle like I did this set, but just grab my wood glue and get to work. Here’s one in the middle of re-assembly while the other in the background is awaiting its revival.

Repairing Vintage Chairs for New Life | prodigalpieces.com

To give them more stability, I not only glue, but add pocket hole joints to the rails so that they aren’t going anywhere. Yeah, baby! Here they are after assembly and ready for a good sanding.

Vintage Chairs Before Makeover | prodigalpieces.com

A FRESH COAT

The wood is parched and can be stripped and restored, but I don’t have that kind of time on my hands. So, in order to revive them I’m using a soft blue paint that will allow the grain to peek out when complete.

Painting Vintage Chairs Legs with Blue | prodigalpieces.com

Only one coat is what I need and then I use a brown wax to draw out the grain and add texture. Otherwise, they end up looking flat and boring.

Waxing Vintage Chairs with Brown Wax | prodigalpieces.com

See the difference from the waxed chair on the left and the plain paint on the right? The brown wax will accent the upholstery I’ve chosen for these two. I just use and old brush, wax in the direction of the grain, and use an old rag to wipe away excess.

Waxed vs Unwaxed Chairs | prodigalpieces.com

UPHOLSTERY

Next, it’s time to dress up the seats of these vintage chairs with fresh upholstery. Before I even start on this project, I head to my stash to see what’s available and to my liking. Then, I pick out a complimentary paint and go from there. If you ever want to dive into the upholstery world, it’s truly easier than you think to have a go at it. You can start with a footstool and follow my tutorial here or see the demo in the video below.

DIY Felted Wool Footstools Video Tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #homedecor

After removing the old vinyl and rusty nails, I cut new batting and upholstery and attach with my stapler.

DIY Chair Upholstery by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DRESSIN’ UP

Here’s my set of vintage chairs ready for many more years of adding fun and style to a home.

DIY Updated Vintage Chairs with Upholstery by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #vintage #furniture

DIY Vintage Chairs with Paint & Upholstery Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furniture #upholstery #diy

Isn’t that sooooo much better?!? What a relief that I am able to save them and dress them up. I would have made use of the parts, but I’d rather this ending instead. You can’t tell as much in the pictures, but the fabric has a slight sheen to it dressing them up just right.

Top View of Vintage Chairs Seat by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #vintage #home #furniture

Solid Oak Vintage Dining Chairs by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furniture #home #diy
Updated Upholstered Vintage Chairs by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #vintage #chairs

While I am a confessed lover of chairs in all forms (see my past makeovers HERE), I am offering this dynamic duo in my online shop.

  • Hand-Painted Chest of Drawers with Vintage Truck by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | available at shop.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #shopping #furniture
    Chest of Drawers ~ $295

Floral Blue Vintage Chairs with New Upholstery by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #vintage #blue #furniture

SHARE

In addition to leaving comment love below, do pin and share to inspire others to think outside the obvious and skip the dumpster.

Don't toss those damaged vintage chairs! Give them a little TLC and they'll shine like new | by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #furntiure #diy #home #homedecor

Now, before you head off, be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can see what I did with my neighbor’s trash. {{GASP!!}} Come on OVER HERE to see!
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Vintage Bird Cage in Trash | prodigalpieces.com

Also, here are more fun vintage chairs projects for you to enjoy:

Grab those curbside finds and give them a new look. This dining set makeover is one to see by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comUpcycle Chair Parts into a DIY Cat Cave by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #cat #pets #home #homedecor

Comments

  1. Rebecca - NC says

    Rescues make me so happy! And this is a great one!! ?

  2. Kim Banko says

    I’m so glad you rescued them Larissa. I love the subtle detail in them, and the fabric you choose is perfect!

    • Larissa says

      They’re such unique chairs and solid wood, so I had to do something. Thanks!

  3. Sheryl Danner says

    This is a great refresh! It is so gratifying to breathe new life into old furniture?

    • Larissa says

      You are so very right, Sheryl. Too good to trash for sure. Thanks!

  4. susan says

    I would have scooped them up in a heartbeat! Something about a good wood chair….?

  5. Niki says

    Another great rescue Larissa, I wasn’t sure about the brown wax until I saw the whole picture and the fabric! They are kind of handsome. I’m sure someone will scoop them up quickly!
    On another note, I am so glad you and your family got to enjoy worship with Toby-Mac, Crowder and the others. I’m sure you where abundantly blessed. Happy Birthday to your son!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! In person it’s much better than just painted. Yes, we had a blast and so thankful we had the opportunity.

  6. Michele M. says

    Yay! You redeemed those chairs, whoo hoo!!!

    Hey, Larissa – what part of Ohio do you live? I live in Ohio too.

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! I just couldn’t let them go to the trash. 😉

  7. Mary says

    Oooo…I love LOVE that blue paint with the fabric choice you made Larissa 🙂 If I didn’t have so many old wood chairs here I would bring them home. ❤️ I, too, cannot toss old wood furniture! Bless you for rescuing them. They look soo good in your room too! (I can’t believe you have a youngun that is 20?? no way!) Glad you were able to getaway for special family time ❤️

    • Larissa says

      They just don’t make them like they used to anymore. They have to be saved! 😀 Thank you, Mary.

  8. Mary says

    And also thank you for showing how to sturdy up the old chairs…I have to get me one of those pocket jig thingies 🙂

    • Larissa says

      You sure do! That jig saves me so much headache. #toolsoverjewels is my motto!

  9. Christy James says

    Nice save!! Yours required considerably more work than mine, but the end result was worth it! XOXO

    • Larissa says

      I was ready to beat them to pieces…haha!! I’m glad they worked out. Thanks for stopping by, Christy!

  10. Marie B. says

    Pretty colors Larissa and I love the bold floral print! It sounds like your son had quite the milestone birthday celebration. They grow up so fast…too fast for us Mamas. What a coincidence that out of the thousands of people in the stadium your neighbors would be seated right in front of you!

    • Larissa says

      So crazy, right? I totally believe it was meant to be based on our conversation. Thank you, Marie!

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