Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blue Velvet

I'm obsessed with chairs. Some of my first restoration projects were chairs, and I've had a thing with them ever since. I just see them, staring at me at the antique shops and yard sales, looking up with their little oak rockers and partly-damaged seats and awful paint jobs - and I can't resist.
I found another one a couple weeks ago, and I left it behind. Last weekend I went to look again, and I said to myself, if I can talk them down to $40 or less, I'll take it (half the original price). I walked in, and there it was - with a sign that said 'Take me home today for $40'. Is that a sign or what? I asked if they could go any lower (just on principle), and took him home for $40.

So, he's oak, from the Peirce Furniture Company of Boston, No. 0153-1 (number hand written in pencil), and the finish is almost all gone - which is fantastic news. No major stripping, just a clean-up. No paint either - score! The main problems are a couple minor dings (I'm cool with those) and the seat. Ugh, horrible seat.

The seat cushion was all lumpy and weird looking, and was crappily re-covered in - you guessed it - blue velvet. Eek. Almost as gross and creepy as the movie. And the recovering job simply stapled it over the top - they never removed all 4 screws (like 4 screws is a daunting task) and covered it properly. Sad.

So I pulled the seat off tonight to see what was up. I pulled off the blue velvet to reveal - gasp - a dingy old red & gold pillow under the velvet that was adding the lumpiness to the middle of the seat. Yuck. Instead of fixing the upholstery straps, they just filled in the void. Ah well, this all leads to the cheap price, so I'm not complaining. It's actually somewhat entertaining.
Turns out, the seat was originally nice leather (too badly damaged to fix, I think). So, off to learn how to reupholster. Now this should be fun...

5 comments:

Just A Girl And Her Craftsman said...

This chair is stunning!! WOW
Thanks for the message. I will definitely be going through your blog very soon.

I have never bought an old chair before (because I have the chairs from 1971 from my Father's bachelor pad) but I am so inspired now. I'm going to be looking!

Karen Anne said...

I suddenly have this strange desire to go out and find a chair like that...

What do you do with the finish when you get a chair like this? Restore it somehow? Refinish it? (I am clueless about refinishing.)

Sandy said...

Awesome chair!

Amalie said...

Various members of my family have dabbled in caning old chairs and they look lovely that way, but I really love the pressed leather seats. Not as cushy, but they're so lovely. I think you can buy them online and attach with upholstery rivets...lots of cool designs on them. At any rate, what a great find!

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