Fabulous French Restoration

Some time ago, I picked up a set of five fantastic french chairs that just sang my name….took them home and eyed them over and over thinking of what fabulous things I could do with them. I love to live with items for awhile until one way or another they find a way to communicate what they are wanting me to do…These particular chairs at first glance looked pretty darn good but not 100% by any means. The seats were spring construction and by the way they were sagging I could tell they would need a total overhaul. I opened up the fabric and peaked in and had to laugh at what I saw….there were a total of three springs that were literally standing on end loosely in the cavity. They weren’t even sewn or tied down! So began the long process of tearing off every bit of fabric, removing and tossing the springs and pulling hundreds and hundreds of staples. Down to the bare bones and a couple of nasty blisters later I could start again to examine and think about my plan.

Firstly, a new plywood seat was in order. Unfortunately an easy removable seat was not going to happen…you know, the kind you can screw on and off? This kind of chair had to have the seat cushion connected and upholstered right to the frame. Too bad…my work is cut out for me! So my ever so helpful hubby cut a template using the existing foam inside (which by the way was also crumbling and unusable) and made the five seats lickity split and attached all of them. First I had to reinforce all the legs which were loose and wobbling. Glue, clamping and some good ole PL400 (a construction adhesive) worked like a charm.

Next, I sprayed with a chalk paint color called “driftwood” which I bought in B.C. I wish I could remember the name of the shop but I liked their custom color selection so I bought a jar to try. After two heavy coats and drying time, I applied a mix of clear and dark wax for a base finish look. Then I concentrated more heavily around the perimeter of the backrest of the chair with the dark wax to create a worn look. I almost always clearcoat for protection. Next came a three inch foam seat which all had to be cut out to fit. By now, I had been advertising the chairs and had a lovely lady from Saskatchewan buy all five. She was travelling to Calgary to visit family soon so they were put aside to await her arrival with fabric she wanted to use. It was a tricky order as she was visiting a few days and I had to complete the order for her to take back home on a deadline. The fabric she brought was a pre-washed drop cloth which just thrilled me to bits as for it’s heaviness and it’s fantastic worn french country look. It took me an additional 2 days to upholster all chairs. I sewed a matching trim and added the upholstery tacks. We also added a bit of gold gilding using gold wax on the floral carvings.

Pretty pleased I am with these as was my client! Now to say goodbye to another satisfying project of beauty!

This is how they started. At first glance not too shabby, even the fabric was pretty but they had some hidden surprises! 

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This is the Fabulous Finish!

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See You Next Project! Have a Great Week!

Dining Chair Redeux

I found these dining chairs in the summer and have been working on them when I have the time out at the acreage. The nice thing is having the space to work on these projects without having to clean and up and put away every day, I can just leave as is until I next get to them without infringing on any space while we make a mess throughout the house. So I finally got them all finished up after a few months only to have fallen in love with them and trying to think of ways to use them in my home….maybe the craft room? However, with that beautiful white fabric, may be susceptible to dusty hands!  I decided to keep for now and see how the house comes together and if there’s a place for them. If not, they will go up onto the website or be included in a Spring sale. These were tough…lots ‘n lots of staples to pull, gluing and tightening, painting a few layers of cream with antique glazing, then the task of upholstering by myself in a nice heavy linen/cotton french fabric. It was well worth the effort as they’ve come out beautifully.

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Swooning….

K…I’m excited, but a tad bit sad to have finished these french chairs. I love, love, love them but I have no use or space or purpose for them (if I were to keep). Therefore I put them up “In the Store” so someone else can enjoy. The trouble is there is three of them! But then I was thinking that it isn’t so bad at all. Imagine a little tea table with yourself and two of your best gal pals sitting around sipping a glass of wine or lemonade. How often do you really have four people sitting around a table? So, I would say a set of three is simply perfect! Honestly…I do have a fourth chair that is almost exactly the same but has no floral crown on the backrest. I’m going to jazz it up after I repair it (the seat is ripped) just so you know a fourth lonely little chair is also waiting to be adopted!

This is what they looked like “before”

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and after!

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Here’s that fourth chair that wants to march to it’s own band…watch to see it’s transformation!

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Weekly Transformation

This is an old chair I found recently that showed a lot of potential. I rescued it from certain landfill garbage and am so glad I did. I love a high back and the bones were in 100% condition. It had strange large wooden blocks on the armrests which were taken off and replaced with a cushioned arm pad. The rest was painted with chalk paint, and recovered in muslin. I’m really into the french stripe lately so it was added with chalk paint. Doing chairs has become my favourite item to refurbish. It’s so satisfying to take a tired and dated (but once glorious chair) and renew it again for another lifetime. Now on the website for someone to enjoy!

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