Restoring vintage furniture has become one of my favorite pastimes. I love bringing an old piece back to life with a little elbow grease and often times, just a simple can of spray paint. After years of sitting on the sidelines, admiring everyone else’s before- and-after transformations, I have now completed a few restorations of my own. One of the very first pieces I bought to restore was this mid-century chair I purchased at a warehouse sale hosted by HGTV’s Cash and Cari. Not only did I have the pleasure of meeting Cari that day, I also scored this amazing chair that she had purchased while thrifting!
I had the intention of restoring this piece right away, however life always has a funny way of getting in between me and my DIY projects, so this chair sat untouched in my parent’s garage for more than two years! So what prompted me to finally start the project? Well, I was recently house sitting for my parents and while I was there, I realized the corner of their garage was starting to look like the furniture section of the Salvation Army. I had literally accumulated that many furniture pieces over the years under the guise that I was going to restore them. I finally decided that it was time to bite the bullet and pick a piece to restore – so first up was this chair! The fact that I recently found the awesome pink graphic fabric for the seat cushion also made the project top of mind!
Here are a couple before shots:
After pulling out a bazillion upholstery staples, I discovered a fun surprise under the ugly black vinyl – more fabric and staples! And upholstery foam that was so old and dry that it was crumbling away. Here are the steps I followed to restore the piece:
- Remove the old fabric and foam
- Remove rust from the metal frame
- Sand the seat back and re-stain
- Spray paint the frame black
- Upholster the seat with new foam, fabric and batting
There was one happy accident during the project – the orientation of the seat back. If you’re someone who has a keen eye for detail, you probably noticed that the before chair didn’t quite match the after chair. When my husband and I first put the chair back together, we didn’t consult the before photo to make sure all the pieces went back together properly. This resulted in the chair back being upside down. Both of us actually liked this orientation better. The curved flaps at the sides are now the perfect height to serve as arm rests!
Here are some more after shots:
What do you think?