This chair and rocker are a matching set. The two are one of our most recent upholstery projects. The chairs are over 100 years old and have been in our clients family for years, so she wanted to restore the luster of the wood and update the fabric and stuffing to make these chairs comfortable, usable and beautiful once again.
My mom and I love helping bring back life to old pieces of furniture, especially when the furniture has a great story. Family heirlooms are so precious and in my opinion are well worth the expense of reviving so they can be enjoyed for years to come.
We forgot to take before pictures, so here is what the rocker looked like as we were tearing it apart. The fabric was stained and worn out. The insides were filled with old horse hair that was dusty and deteriorated. The wood was dull and lack luster. You can really see on the edges of the arms how the finish had worn off.
After removing the fabric we cleaned the wood using Lemon Oil Polish. We applied the lemon oil several different times. The first time we used 0000 steel wool. The oil breaks down build up and brings back some of the natural beauty of the wood.
Our goal wasn’t to re-finish the wood and make it perfect. The client wanted to retain some of the dents and scratches that tell the story and show the history of these chairs. Instead we just wanted to make the wood shine again. We wanted to bring back some of the richness and the deep, beautiful color.
The wood was so dry that we weren’t totally happy with the results of the Lemon Oil Polish. The chairs seemed to be soaking it all in. There had already been a big improvement, but we knew it could be better. We decided to use Howards Restor-A-Finish to further improve the condition of the wood. We also applied this product with 0000 steel wool. After two coats of that we followed with Howards Feed-N-Wax.
Once the wood was beautified we moved on to the upholstery. The springs were re-tied and reinforced with new jute webbing. The horse hair was replaced with foam and cotton batting. Last, but not least, the pale gold fabric selected by our client adds a classic and elegant touch.
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My mom is a DIY kind of gal. When I was a kid I remember trips to thrift stores, strolling the hardware store isles, and of course spending hours feeling fabric at the yardage shop. She was constantly transforming bargain buys into treasures for our home. With a fresh coat of paint or a new slipcover, she gave old furniture new life. We have always enjoyed being creative together and in 2008 we turned our hobby and passion into a business.
Alchemy fine living is a creative business. We offer furniture painting services, upholstery, and custom slipcovers. We also sell a few hand crafted items on Etsy.
I'm Deana, the author of this blog. My mom, Connie, taught me from a young age how to spot a deal at a flea market or a thrift shop. She could always spot the hidden potential of an old, worn out piece of furniture. I learned to sew when I was four years old and all through the years I helped my mom with DIY projects around the house.
In 2008 she & I turned our hobby into a business. We re-do old furniture and hand craft items for sale in our Etsy store. For those who, like us, love to DIY we offer lots of tips and advice in our tutorial videos. We also offer furniture painting, upholstery, and sewing services for those who don't want to tackle the project themselves.