As mentioned in my post about the child’s rocking chair, our town doesn’t have trash pickup but rather the Transfer Station (i.e. fancy dump) where residents take their own trash and recycling. I’ve come around on it since my initial horror at being told that no one would be coming by a couple times a week to whisk my trash away from the curbside. I had quite literally never heard of such a thing but have come to learn that quite a lot of towns in Massachusetts have this same setup. Who knew? It’s actually not so bad – a little stinky on humid days but it’s basically a big parking lot lined with large dumpsters that are neatly labeled with what should go in each. But, so as not to mislead you, I occasionally drop off some recycling but Scott really does all the trash hauling around here
However, since finding the little rocker there at the Swap Shed (where people leave large, usually worn out, but fixable or reusable items), I’ve taken to swinging by on the days the Transfer Station is open to see what kind of furniture gems might be waiting for me to take them home and gussy-’em up. To keep myself from feeling like a dumpster-diver, I will henceforth refer to my foraging at the Transfer Station as “thrifting.” Doesn’t that sound much fancier? And, really, with so much focus lately on upcycling and reclaimed items, I’m just all sorts of trendy, huh?
Now onto my latest find! Basically what I’m looking for in my thrifting expeditions is something with good “bones” – reasonably sturdy, nice lines, and of course, something that can become pretty. This chair was far from pretty when I found it but had the other criteria going for it.
The first step in its makeover was removing the seat and back.
Here’s the frame with the pads removed.
And after a coat of spray paint primer and two coats of semi-gloss white spray paint, here is the frame in its new color. For spray painting tips you can refer to my post on spray painting our porch furniture.
Next up was stripping the tweedy fabric off the seat and back. It wasn’t hard, but a little time consuming trying to get out most of the staples. I found a small flathead screwdriver and pair of needlenose pliers worked well to get the staples out.
The original foam was in reasonably good condition so I decided to reuse it – nice money and time saver! For the seat, all I had to do was lay the seat on top of the fabric (upside down) and cut the fabric a bit larger than the seat and in the same basic shape.
I checked the front to be sure the pattern of the fabric was straight and symmetrical and then pulled and stapled the fabric to the underside of the chair, making sure the corners and edges looked smooth from the front.
I had bought the fabric as a contender for the pillows on the kitchen bench and so had it left over and thought it was perfect for this project. It’s a grey, white, and pale yellow ikat.
Covering the back was a bit more complicated. I measured the distance around the back (top to bottom) and added two inches. Then I folded the fabric in half and pinned it together, inside out, drew a line 1″ down from the cut edge and sewed a straight seam along the line.
Then – and my pictures get scarce here – I slipped the fabric over the back of the chair and pulled and folded and stapled to get a nice smooth look. The staples could go along the side because they’re covered by the frame of the chair, but I did have to do this process twice as I found that too many lumps and bumps along the sides could be seen when looking at the chair face-on. But after my second try it looked right and I reassembled the seat, back, and frame.
To cover up the holes where the screws are that hold the chair together, I bought wooden buttons and spray painted them the same color as the chair frame, then used wood glue to attach them.
And with that, this little makeover was complete!
I’ll be putting this little lovely for a run on Craigslist since I really don’t have a place for it. I think it would make a great bedroom chair or a desk chair facing away from the door because it looks just as pretty from the back as it does from the front. Here she is posing for the camera at my desk.