Hidden Treasure

At the very beginning of this year I decided that I wanted to add two pieces of furniture to our home.
A bigger bookshelf to house our growing book collection and a chair for our living room.
The chair was on my list first because I knew I would be pickier with it.
On a February day I found the perfect chair. It smelled like attic and was dressed in a ugly suit;
but it had beautiful bones!


 I went to a fabric warehouse and found a beautiful fabric to redress my chair.
(and a small piece of seafoam colored fabric in the free bin for a pillow)
That evening the process of deconstruction began. All of these tacks and staples had to be pulled out first.
I went to bed feeling like my hand was broken. At first I was prying them out with a flat-head screwdriver. An actual tack pulling tool saved my hand the next day.

After removing the fabric, cotton stuffing, foam and burlap my chair was ready for sanding.

Bare Bones

Sanding was not working because of all the details in the wood. I found that the best way to remove the varnish and painted-on stain was to scrub it off with a toothbrush and acetone. It took two cans.


Two coats of Red Mahogany stain and two coats of varnish completed the wood makeover. I found out I was pregnant after the stain was on and John had to apply the varnish.


The chair dried outside for a week while we were on vacation.
When we got home I brought it inside and began upholstery.

I had made templates on wrapping paper of the original fabric shapes, cut them out and started building the chair back up. The seat back is fabric-batting-foam-batting-fabric all stapled into place.
The bottom is metal springs-burlap-cotton stuffing-batting-fabric all stapled. The cushion was challenging to sew. I put a zipper in the back and welted around the entire cushion. Welting is hard work! Finding the right upholstery tacks took a while. I wanted an antique bronze and I needed 400 of them.
Lowes ended up having the best ones.

Starting the tacks

The last touch was sewing a cover for the lumbar pillow.
Blood, sweat and tears...

Final Product

Final Details

I am completely loving my chair!
I used quality products and it still cost half as much as buying a new chair.
The final cost is around $250. A similar chair at Restoration Hardware would be around $700.
I got a deal and a 100 percent custom chair.


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