We picked up these beauties at the best garage sale of the year this past winter. They were rough. They were broken. They were two dollars each. They were meant to be mine.
I like mid century style, but my partner in crime, life and projects- Mr. Math, doesn’t. He has given me free reign in our soon to be guest house. The colors are going to be vibrant and the style is definitely modern mid century. I cannot wait to get started on this project. I stand and stare at the guest shed every time we go over to the place we are buying.
These chairs were a serious upper body workout to make over. After the glueing, clamping, and weighting down to fix warps in the wood from hanging out in a barn for oh- fourty years or so, I moved on to stripping, then sanding. It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Sanding such a simple wooden frame should not have been so hard but the spindles, the curves and the crevices all had to be hand sanded. I’m not whining. I promise. I love these chairs and even when I was in the middle of getting them sanded, I knew it would be worth it.
When the natural wood- walnut- was revealed I knew that bringing these back to life was the right choice. The wood grain is interesting, especially on the arms.
One thing I regret for this project was using gel stain. I should have gone with traditional stain on the chairs because the gel tended to goop up in the had to reach areas. I had to use paint thinner to get the dark spots out. Live and learn. I went with walnut stain because I wanted to return the chairs to their original look as much as possible.
I polyurethaned the frames with an exterior poly because the guest shed is going to have a window air conditioner so the climate won’t always be controlled. Everything that goes in has to be able to stand up to heat, humidity, and cold.
The seats originally had leather strapping. One of the chairs still had the strapping in place when we got them and it was gross. The humidity in the barn and time had turned the leather to a sticky but weirdly brittle mess. After removing the old nails, we used hemp upholstery webbing to replace the leather. Mr. Math did this for me using an air nailer to secure it. I really do like him being off in summer!
The cushions were a happy surprise from Mr. Math. He ordered them online for me. The bottom cushion needs to be altered, but I love the outdoor fabric, the bright turquoise color and the clean lines. They look like they could have been original to the chairs. He snagged them at Target when they were on sale 40% off plus using the 5% off Red card meant they were about $30.00 each. Way to be a good shopper, Mr. Math!
All in we have just over fourty dollars a chair so they were not cheap but in my opinion they are so very worth the effort and money.
The chairs turned out even better than I hoped.
The chairs are so comfortable and beautiful. We were lucky to have found them.