Advice on Refurbishing a Mengel Chair?

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Q: I found this chair for only $15, and I loved the lines of it and the cute hidden drawer in the seat. I fully intended to paint it and recover the seat, but when I got it home, I saw that it has an original Mengel Furniture label. There's lots of information on Mengel furniture online, but nothing I've found looks like this chair...

Sent by Annika

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I'd hate to paint something that might be more valuable than I thought, but it has been difficult to find additional information on the value of this chair. Has anyone seen a chair like this before? Should I paint it or refinish the wood?

Editor: Annika- we share your love for the lines of this chair and its hidden storage. We recommend recovering the seat to give the chair new life, but wouldn't paint the lovely wood. We're opening this up to our readers for additional thoughts on your fabulous find.

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