Before & After: An Old Chair Gets a Chic New Seat & Whole New Vibe

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(Image credit: Submitted by Britt)

Britt picked up this little chair despite its layers of paint and funky (in every sense of the word) vinyl cushion. After some sanding, polishing and waxing she got the frame into pretty good shape, but decided to take the seat in an entirely new direction.

(Image credit: Submitted by Britt)

From Britt: I did three passes before committing to taking this sad little boudoir chair home. Multiple layers of paint were evident on the chipped and scarred wood and the vinyl cushion was crunchy, mildewed – and smelled really, really bad.

The shape and simplicity of that frame won me over and off we went (tossing the scary cushion in the nearest skip).

I’d wanted to try my hand at Danish paper-cord weaving and this little chair seemed a good candidate.

(Image credit: Submitted by Britt)

I pried off the plywood seat and started stripping and sanding. Many shades of beige later, beautiful hardwood appeared. Yay! That much paint took its toll though, and no amount of sanding was going to remove all evidence of beige (and a bit of pink).

I substituted 5mm cotton window sash cord for paper cord and, with a good tutorial on Pinterest, got to weaving. I used about 50 metres (164 feet), which was more than I’d anticipated.

All up I spent around $AUD50/$USD40($15 for the chair, the rest on sandpaper and cord).

(Image credit: Submitted by Britt)

I initially waxed the wood in an attempt to keep the wood tones lighter. The wax made the wood dull and didn’t showcase the waves in the grain. I started again and finished the wood with Danish oil. A bit darker, but brings out the grain and tonality beautifully.

I love everything about my final product! The chair seems visually lighter, the wood shines and I’m pretty chuffed with how the weaving turned out.

Britt’s words of wisdom: Go for it. Bringing something sad and neglected back into the light is like being zapped with a jolt of joy.

Thank you, Britt!