Saturday, October 17, 2009

The refinishing begins...

You may remember several weeks ago I posted about a chair I had purchased and was looking forward to refinishing. It had the ugliest raspberry fabric covering it, but its bones were fabulous. Beautifully turned and carved features. I mentioned that I needed some advice as to how to reupholster and refinish it, as I had never done either before. I then mentioned that I was thinking of painting it black. That caused a bit of a stir. I heard, in no uncertain terms, that I should not paint that chair -- let alone, paint it black. If I had to paint it at all, a couple of you suggested that I paint it a lighter color to show off the beautiful detail of the chair. I've heard this advice before, and generally I agree wholeheartedly. I appreciated your advice very much.

Today I started the refurbishing process. The first order of business was to take off that delightful raspberry fabric. Oh, I hated to see it go. Not really. I delighted in ripping that fabric right off ... or at least trying to rip it right off. There were no less than 12,532 tacks holding that fabric onto the chair. Seriously. Well, not "seriously" seriously. I might be exaggerating, but there were far more tacks than I think would be necessary. However, never having reupholstered anything maybe it is necessary. I'll have to look that up. Anyway, when I started taking off the backing of the chair, looky what I found under that raspberry facade...



I should have warned you. Should have told you to put your sunglasses on. So very attractive. Sort of helps you get your Halloween on, doesn't it? I actually really like the color orange, but I prefer it in splashes rather than tidal waves. Know what I mean? I was hoping to find an envelope with a stash of bills or a Revolutionary revolver worth thousands tucked inside the upholstery. I've watched enough Antique Roadshow to realize those things can happen. Instead I found fuzzy orange upholstery fabric. Dang. I decided to leave the orange fabric on for the time being. I think I'll just rebatt it a little and upholster right over that orange fab and new batting.



Next I had to take the fabric off the bottom of the chair. When I took off the raspberry fabric on the bottom, thankfully there wasn't a stitch of orange fabric. I know I'll have to totally rebatt the seat as it is starting to sag. That happens as you get older. I won't tell you how I know that. After yanking out no less than 10 thousand tacks, I had the fabric off the seat. It was nasty. {shiver} I had the urge to wash my hands during this process. A lot. Here's what the chair looked like at this point...



Now, for the apology and explanation. I'm sorry I didn't take your well-meaning and expert advice as to how to refinish the wood. I truly did appreciate your suggestions. When I first read all your advice I decided not to paint the chair and decided to strip the wood and stain it instead. I even bought the wood stripper and all the other equipment to do just that, but my heart kept telling me I was making a mistake. My problem is this. This chair is going in my family room. That room consists almost entirely of brown leather and wood. The room screams for a little variety. I decided to throw caution to the wind and paint the chair black, then if I really didn't like it I could always use the wood stripper and all the supplies I had on hand to restain it.

I first used a primer. A few of you were right on when you said you would paint the chair a lighter -- cream -- color. It did show off the details...



But... Oh Mama. I'm so glad I followed my heart. It may not be what you would want in your home, but it is exactly what I was looking for in mine. Here's a little sneak peek of how the wood looks this afternoon.

Hello handsome...



What fine looking curves you have...



Care to hold my hand?



More to come when he's dressed properly...

10 comments:

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

That is going to be one gorgeous chair. And I think that you made the right choice, especially for your room. Can't wait to see it show off it's new clothes, and its new spot in the room.

Jen

MiaKatia said...

I'm glad you followed your heart. I really love the black paint. The bones of that chair are fantastic. So excited to see the next step(s)!!!

Shannon said...

That looks fantastic. I'm so glad you went with the black. Now you need to teach me how to do all of this so that my stuff can look that good. Really though, it looks fantastic. I love the black shine.

Julie said...

You know...I love watching David Bromstad on HGTV's Color Splash...he takes a lot of daring chances, and come up with amazing results! On last nights show the couple had a diningroom table they had custom made for the room, and it was all wood. They hated it...and David painted the top white! Everyone thought he was crazy...but he said the only thing that mattered was what the home owner loved....and boy was he ever right!

I'm so glad you followed your heart...it looks great! Can't wait to see your finished chair!!!

YOu are making me want to do a refinishing project now!!!

Jean said...

Looking good! Can't wait to see what you cover it with. Jean

Puddle of Grace said...

Oooohhhh! Cant wait to see the final outcome! Great job on the paint choice! Beautiful chair!

Jenni said...

You can NEVER go wrong with black. Good pick!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Suzanne, I love that rose also. If I ever find out which variety it is, I will let you know.

Jen

Karli said...

I'm LOVING that chair! You're right it has beautiful "bones." Just stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE it! And your etsy store is equally wonderful - I just "hearted" you :) You're welcome to visit my store: stylishstockings.etsy.com

Love your fabric choices! Can't wait to see what you have in store for the chair.

Nancy said...

ooooooooo! love the black (no surprise there, right? :o)