"" Rendition Road: Grandma's Sitting Room Chair

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Grandma's Sitting Room Chair

Hello lovelies!
I went one more round in the ring with my little tooth & am happy to report: I won this one!!
They went in & did their thing, but apparently it didn’t want to heal correctly 
& I’m here to tell you......hands down, 
I had NO IDEA one little tooth could cause such tremendous pain!!
I opted for natural childbirth........twice.....& this put me down for several days!

BUT……with some rest, a few rounds of medicine & some torture treatment, 
I am fi-nal-ly all better!! So….what have I missed?? 
My little brain is imagining all sorts of amazing-ness! (Now a word)
I noticed my reader was nice & full so I can only imagine
what your creative minds have been popping out.
Ok, onto today’s post. You may have noticed I don’t do a lot of chairs.
I have a very hard time finding any I really like. I did find this one
& although it’s not unique, intricate or unusual; I liked the solid look of it.
I immediately thought of a chair my grandparents would have in their front sitting room.

With that in mind I set out to give it a more weathered, grain sack look.
I wouldn't have guessed this chair to be very old, but surprises do happen
when working on furniture don't they?

The top layer of fabric had been stapled on in a crude way
& the layer under that had worn completely through.
This poor thing needed some help.
As I got further along in the 5,120,678,900 staples & tack nails,
I discovered it was filled with straw, covered in cotton
& had burlap & canvas supports.
On a side note:
those little tack nails are SHARP!!!
I dropped one & it actually stuck in the wood floor!!
Looking at my 113 year old wood floors up close is making my OCD tick so let's get back to the chair....
I had to make several repairs, but once that was finished I gave it a light sanding
& one tub of wood filler.
Seriously.......one tub.
I ended up mixing up three different shades of whites for this chair.
Nothing overtly obvious, but the differences in shade are definitely
enough to catch the eye, especially in the right light.
I reused the burlap & canvas since they were in such good condition.
I did do a little cleaning on them just to be extra cautious 
& some trimming to the material since it appeared they were made with an 
over-abundance of both, which caused some serious bunching.
Just re-tacked them in their original positions & it was good to go.
I used 4" extra firm foam because I wanted to give the chair more 
of a 'comfortable arm chair' feel. 
Then covered the foam in batting to give everything a nice smooth look.
 I chose to cover it in some 100% cotton osnaburg fabric.
It's medium weight & I liked the look & feel of it for this chair.
I wanted a grain sack feel so I grabbed some painters tape & started taping off stripes.
 Using a spray bottle on mist helped a lot to prep the fabric for the paint.
Once it was completely dry, I went at the stripes with some 100 grit sandpaper.
I wanted to give it a softer more worn look & it worked like a charm.
Some steel brass tacks & some cotton jute to trim it out.
Now...I'm in no way even close to an upholsterer, but I was pretty happy
with the way the fabric went on & how it was looking.
I used Cece clear wax on the chair & called it good.
You might have noticed I left more wood exposed than the original chair had.
I liked the arched back & wanted it to show.
I thought about continuing the stripe up the back, but opted out of that.
I like it plain.
This light catches some of the subtle changes in whites.
Considering it was just a chair; it was a lot more work than I thought.
My hats off to you ladies who do it all the time
& make it look effortless.
One more for the road.
It's amazing how much there is to catch up on just being gone for a few days!
I'm off to respond to e-mails & write up a couple more rough drafts.
Have a wonderful evening friends!


  1. This really is an amazing transformation! Great call on leaving more of the wood showing on the back. It looks fabulous that way! I just love everything I see from your blog :)

  2. For not doing it all the time I think it turned out great! I do like the wood showing on the back. That is one thing I would never have thought of doing.

    1. Thank you so much Sara!! I originally added a small graphic to the curved part of the wooden backrest, but after looking at it for a couple days, I decided it was pretty enough on its own & the graphic actually took away from it. I ended up sanding it off & repainting, but I'm still glad I left the wood exposed. I always get a kick out of what can be found hidden under layers of old fabric :)

  3. Love! I always love your stuff! Hey...I nominated you for the Liebster Award. :)



  4. Nice way to modify old chairs the way of your modifying chairs is ultimate do you know how i can modify my old
    chair to new like this


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