Saturday, July 24, 2010

Old Chair - in process of complete redo

I got this chair at a flea market sale...probably at least 8years ago (or more) for $5!!!  I think the style is very cute and I knew it couldn't be that hard to fix up.  When I first bought it, I attempted to paint it black, but I didn't do a very good job as it didn't apply well to what was already on it and I wasn't impressed with the black color because it ended up looking more like dark grey.  So it got stuffed in the attic for "another day".  I decided it as time to either do something with this chair or sell it at my next garage sale.  In my quest to use up, clean out and fix up, I decided I would fix it up. 

Last night, I bought stripper, two types of gloves, a plastic stripping tool and got to work.  This was my 1st time to ever use stripper and after using it, I have mixed feelings about it.  I am allergic to latex, so I was worried about the gloves causing me an allergic reaction.  Secondly, I wasn't sure how "easy" this whole process was going to be.  It seems a lot of these types of things are portrayed as taking very little time and so easy to do, but in reality, it is rarely that way.  I decided to launch into this project full force after getting home from work at 8.30pm.  Well, I wasn't even 2 minutes into it when my fingers and hands were on fire in the thin latex free gloves.  I am not sure if it was the chemical reaction to the product or something else, but after 10minutes of trying to apply the stripper with the gloves on, something had to go.  So I ditched the gloves.  That was a mistake also...I got some flecks of stripper on my hands when I was brushing and it was like I had stuck my hands in an ant pile...they were on major fire and itched like crazy!  I relented to opening the other set of gloves, the heavier latex gloves I was trying to avoid using.  These gloves seemed to do a better job, but  by the end of the project, my hands had the heat issue going on again and the fingers were sticking together because of getting stripper on them.  They went straight into the trash.  In some areas the stripper removed the paint and grim quiet nicely, in others it dried to quickly for me to get off.  I attempted to use a paper towel to get at these areas, mistake.  The paper product just stuck to the goop.  The whole process took like two hours between applying, removing and cleaning up the mess.  These photos are right after the stripper was applied when I was waiting my "15minutes": 

Would I recommend using stripper?  Yes, if you have a think amount of paint you are trying to remove and sanding won't accomplish or will simply take too much time; BUT be aware of the other complications. 
Warning: it is a VERY messy process and the products hurt like mad when in contact with your skin. 
Suggestion: have two or three sets of heavy gloves so that you can complete the project without extra hassle over it.  Also put something (not plastic as the stripper will eat straight through it) on the ground so you don't have mess on the floor in your garage to try to clean up later. 

I meant to take pictures after the stripping process before sanding, but I was in such a hurry to get started when I got home from work today that I didn't so you will just have to imagine it.

I am not done with the sanding, but I am getting close...I need to do the underneath sides of the arms, the bottom of the chair, a few corners and the posts to the arms.

Now I need help...suggestions please???  stain the wood or paint it?  Since I was able to get so much of the paint grim off, I am thinking about doing a dark stain.  Any thoughts?  And no, I have not picked out any fabric yet for the "cushion/seat area".  The chair will either go in my bedroom or the living room...just depends on what I find - maybe I'll even find it in my fabric stash.  I want it to be versatile and interchangeable between rooms.  I am open to your send them my way! And THANKS in advance for the comments...


  1. Misty, what a cute chair! Great progress! I'm such a paint person, but I'm thinking the dark stain you talked about would look really nice!! Good for you. :)

  2. Adorable chair! As far as a painting or staining, I think that it would depend on where I wanted the chair and the "look" I was going for. I, too, think that the dark stain sounds really pretty.

  3. That Chair is such a great looking chair! I am so excited to see what you do decide to so with it!

  4. I'm luving this chair Misty; terrific form & shape! As for paint or stain: I think it depends greatly on what the room looks like where the chair will eventually be living - what colour is the room, what are the other furnishings like, etc. If you have stained furniture in the room, for example, you may want the chair to be a fresh white. If it were me, I'd purchase the fabric for the seat first... taking my cue from the colour & tone of the fabric. You definitely don't have to go as bold as I did with my outdoor chairs ;-)
    Thanks for dropping by DesignTies!