Sunday, February 21, 2010

Refinishing a chair

The perfectionist in me still isn't thrilled with how this turned out, but it was fun little project with decent end results.

Let me start off with a little background info.  Before moving to this current house (Yuma base housing), we had our nice wooden computer desk in our spare room.  This house came with a built-in computer desk that is in the landing at the top of the stairs and with a smaller spare room, we decided to put our computer there and store the desk for now.  While it's not a bad little computer nook, the location is awful and I can't think of another way to use that built-in desk and not have it look out of place.  It's the first thing you seen when you walk up the stairs.  Until now, I've had a blue fabric-upholstered office chair at the desk - while comfortable and functional, it's not exactly what I want to look at the back of every time I go up the stairs.  For a while, I've been thinking of how nice it would be to get a nicer chair to put at the computer desk.

While at Goodwill on Friday, I found this cute chair that looked like it had a lot of potential.  I redid the upholstery on my dining room chairs and I've stained furniture before, so it seemed like an easy enough fix.  I paid less than $5 for it!!

After I've taken the seat off...

So, I got out my mouse sander and went to town.  It was hard to get the stain off and I finally decided I'd done enough.  I was hoping that when I re-stained it, it would all blend in....

Here's the chair after I stained it. See how well it blended?...okay, so it didn't blend - guess it has that rustic, weathered look?  I already had stain from a bench I did a year and a half ago, so I just used it.  It's a bit of a cherry color.
When I took the upholstery off, I discovered that the old padding was pretty sad, so I bought new padding from JoAnn Fabric that was less than $4 after my 40% off coupon.  
And this is me going to town with the staple gun.  I have my knees on the wooden bottom of the seat and am stapling the fabric.  Maybe I didn't do the padding quite right or the fabric wasn't thick enough, put it puckers a bit from the staples.....again, the perfectionist in me is a little disappointed.  I bought 3/4 of a yard of fabric from Wal-mart for $1.50.

And lastly, we have the finished product!

If I had to do this again, I think I would have just painted the chair (not stained it).  It would have looked really cute painted white and distressed with a light blue upholstered seat, but that wouldn't fit into my decor.  Am I in love?  No.  Am I thrilled down to my toes about how it turned out?  No.  Did I learn a few things from this?  Yes.  The total cost for this chair was about $10, so I can't complain too much.  And, it satisfied the green in me - it's recycled.


  1. LOVE it! The chair looks great to me!

  2. Katie...your chair looks great. I love the carving on the front. Looks like birds? I also find it fun to make what you want and finding great places that hold treasures on the cheap. Joan