We almost passed by these awesome beauties this summer during our weekly yard sale outing since they were hiding to the side of the driveway behind two very large and very blue wingback chairs. Luckily I got out to inspect something else and had to walk right by them. They were a little rickety, but fixable. Whitney gave me the look that I’ve come to recognize as “I want that”, and what the lady wants, the lady (usually) gets.
The listed price was $15 per chair, but by then end of our negotiations, I had it down to only $5 each. We loaded them up and whisked them back home to the garage. And there they sat, cluttering my workspace and crowding out the cars.
Whitney saw a picture of some fabric at Ballard Designs and thought it would be a fantastic look for the chairs. Of course at $24 per yard in the catalog, I knew it wouldn’t be happening. But she surprised me as she often does, by finding it for only six bucks a yard at a local upholstery fabric place.
So with the fabric chosen, I set to work taking out the many brad nails holding the faux red leather in place. Those babies were in there good. I had to use needle nose pliers and a flat head screw driver to remove them. I had originally planned on re-purposing the nails for something else, but they were so difficult to pull, that by the time I had wiggled them out, they were either bent out of shape or broken.
Thank goodness the age of these chairs were such that it made sanding quite easy. Most of the varnish had started to come up anyway. I used a 100 grit sandpaper and a palm sander to reveal the raw wood underneath. At only 30 minutes a chair, it seemed like a breeze compared to the faux fireplace or the zebra chairs.
Next, It was on with a white primer before covering them with an aqua latex paint. Yep, we went all crazy on them. But don’t fret, we didn’t leave it like that. We topped the blue with a cream latex paint- a trick we’d picked up along the way from all our blog reading research, most notably Mustard Seed Interiors.
Once dry, Whitney took some sandpaper and lightly sanded over the top cream coat, revealing small scratches of the blue underneath. The cream really dulled the blue coming through – almost to make it look like a grey-blue color. The effect was a shabby, but not too shabby look, that went well with the fabric choice. It was then on to a topcoat of sealant.
The re-upholstery was so easy on this piece that we didn’t get any pictures of the process. Oops. The seat simply came off and we wrapped the fabric around it, stapling at the bottom of the cushion before putting it back on. The back of the chair was just as easy- we covered the padding with the print and stapled it to the sides of the back. We covered the staples with some trim that we picked up at Hobby Lobby with a little hot glue and a bit of patience.
They turned out pretty well for only being our second upholstery project don’t you think? And I feel great knowing my wife didn’t spend over $500 on this chair had she ordered it from the Ballard’s spring catalog.
For the longest time the chairs didn’t really go anywhere in our house, and yet for some reason we haven’t been able to bring ourselves to sell these beauties. And truth be told, it was from these chairs that Whitney started coming up with her master bedroom mood board we’ve been talking your ears off about lately. So they’ll have a home yet.
Add this to the growing list of things we’ve been working on to get the master room ready in it’s final reveal-all glory.
We’ve done a few pieces of furniture now, and this, by far was the easiest. If anyone ever sees more chairs like this out there, call me. I’m on it.
Update: We revealed the master bedroom and chatted it up about all the costs involved here. Check it out.
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