We found this solid wood armchair at a local thrift store. It had a few dings and was in need of new upholstery, but it’s a solid chair with a good design. It sat in the garage for over a month while we worked on other projects. We finally got around to it last week.
Here’s a before and after photo.
First, we removed the 4 wood screws from the bottom of the seat cushion.
Then, it was time to paint. We made chalk paint using Webster’s Chalk Paint Powder and a sample Valspar paint from Lowe’s. This was our second time to use chalk paint, and we love it. We wrote about our first project with chalk paint on a vintage desk makeover.
Here’s what the chair looked like after applying two coats of chalk paint.
After the second coat of paint dried, we applied a coat of Fiddes & Sons Light (almost clear) wax and then distressed the chair using a medium-grit sandpaper.We then added a coat of Fiddes & Sons Rugger Brown paste wax and buffed the chair to a soft shine. Here’s a view of the new finish.
Next, it was time to reupholster. After removing the old fabric, we discovered original fabric underneath. Since the chair was so old and the underlying padding was also original, I decided to replace it all.
The original seat base had stretched-out and worn rubber webbing under the cushion. I decided to replace it with a solid platform made from 3/4″ plywood (I’m not sure this was the right move). I traced the original board, and handed the trusty ol’ Craftsman Sabre Saw to our 15-year old son, Caleb. I then routed it with a 1/2″ round over bit to remove the squared edges.
Next, I cut the 2″ foam about 1/2″ larger than the seat base, and then cut the batting about 4″ larger than the foam. I attached the batting with a staple gun (using 5/16″ staples).
We then added the fabric, centering the pattern on the seat. We found the fabric on sale at Joann’s.
We then added the liner – the only part I kept from the original seat. This is optional but it gives the seat a nice finished look from the bottom.
Finally, I reattached the seat to the chair using 4 new wood screws (#10 1-3/4″).
After we finished painting and waxing, Caleb said it looked like a banana. I chuckled and nodded in agreement. We’ve since started calling it “the banana chair”.
I realize this look isn’t right for everyone, but I kinda like it. The chair isn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever sat in, and I’m thinking about removing the seat, replacing the webbing on the original base, and adding the new foam, batting and fabric to that base. I think the chair would be more comfortable. If I decide to do that, I’ll write about it in a follow-up post.
What do you think?