Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Two Green Chairs

Hi, my name is Veronica and I take furniture from street curbs.

My husband is beginning to think I have a problem. I brought home a mirror last week because a. it was too pretty to go to the dumpster and b. mirrors are expensive so umm trashing them? no!

A few months ago I instagrammed that I picked up a rather hideous chair after a friend encouraged me to just go for it. Then this weekend my girlfriend was over and convinced me to take home my neighbor's thrown out rocking chair. So maybe I can blame my friends?

I didn't know what I was going to do with either chair when I threw them into the back of my car, feeling like a thief...I mean I know it's on the curb but it still feels wrong...(though I must admit I'm beginning to get a thrill out of it, okay yes I have a problem). But I took them anyway, because I'm just not about to let people throw out beautiful bones!

Two things I'd like to mention, 1. I'm not a re-upholsterer...after doing our dining chairs I realized that it's just not something I have a talent for, and 2. I may have taken a furniture design class and built a magnificent headboard (yep I'm tooting my own horn here) but I'm definitely not a furniture designer/crafter...and yet I take these furniture pieces home.

Alright so back to the chairs. The first chair I picked up with great hesitation. I took a picture of it and sent it to some friends asking if they wanted it or if I should get it. I saw it on my lunch hour on my daily walk around the neighborhood by my office (people are always throwing things out around there). I couldn't make up my mind so I decided that I would drive by after work and if it was still there then I'd take it home. Well it was still there so into my trunk it went!

There was no way I was about to re-upholster the thing. Luckily, my commercial re-upholsterer (ah the life of the interior designer) was coming by the office that next day to pick up one of my boss' chairs. So while he was in I asked him to give me a ballpark figure of what he would charge. He promised the lowest cost for me but it was still going to be $300+! So yeah, that idea went out fast.

I started thinking and remembered this tutorial about painting upholstery. I thought on it a while. The chair sat on my porch looking like a straggly mess for some time. It made me cringe constantly, I pretty much can't stand people leaving ratty old furniture out on porches and yet here I was doing it. Well one day I took the husband to our Home Depot and bought some paint in a light citrus green color, go bold or forgo it, I thought. I got the rest of the supplies later that week and went after it in my garage the next weekend.

At first I had a minor freak out, but I just kept telling myself that if I really hated it, I could always rip off the fabric or put it on the curb myself. So I continued. Gave a few coats, let is dry a few days, then touched up the nail heads with some Martha Stewart gold paint, and brought it in the house.

excuse the grainyness...phone pic, guess I forgot to take an actual picture on my real camera

I love it! The husband was incredibly impressed with my chair make-over project as well. And he actually might like it more than I do! It needs a little more touch-up and the wood is still hurt in areas but it's wonderful and it adds the right pop of fun into our living room. It's currently in the "christmas tree spot" though so I'm going to have to do some re-arranging come tree time.

So then fast forward to this past weekend. My girlfriend and I were out for a walk and saw the rocking chair out on the curb. It was a sad site, and I wish I'd snapped a picture of it. We decided that if the chair was still there when we went out later, then we would get it. And wouldn't you know it, it was still there. Again, we shoved it into the back of my car and took it home.

We got to sanding the chair down, yanking off the unfortunate remains of the seat portion (see right) and then scavenged my leftover paint collection. I had quite a bit of green paint left from the inside chair project and a little blue left from painting my wall and door. A few coats of paint went on and then we started figuring out what to do about the seat. I had some leftover wood in the garage (thanks to my little crate table project, see below). It would only make three slats but we decided to go ahead and give it a shot. Some more paint, Then a couple coats of clear spray paint.

Less than two hours later, we had a pretty new chair for my porch. Insert happy dance.

Shout out to this lady who made the rocking chair possible! And yes for you observant types, we did this project from 7pm until 9pm at night on Saturday (hence the black abyss behind us).

And that's the story of my two green chairs.

Have you re-upholstered furniture before or re-done a piece?


  1. I still don't know how to feel about the idea of upholstery paint, but the finished product works well! The rocker is by far my favorite, though. I LOVE rocking chairs!

  2. Oh my. Those are both great! Not sure I would have been brave enough to paint upholstery, but yours looks wonderful!

  3. BOTH of those chairs are awesome! I've never heard of painting upholstery before, but it's hard to argue with your results! I'm impressed for sure!


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