This summer began a hunger for finally making this temporary house a home. I shared that I was going to change my attitude while we are in this season of waiting for the homestead that we know is out there for our family. But I also had a need to keep my mind busy, to control what I could following Blair’s diagnosis. Call it therapy, call it whatever you want, but I was so happy to finally dive into it. The first one I tackled was this DIY armchair upcycle project which ended up being therapy for the entire family along with additional projects we have since tackled.
I found this armchair on Facebook Marketplace over a year ago. Nothing about it was my style, but I loved the bones of it. Paid $60 and knew it would look completely different once I was done with it.
We started with removing the upholstery which was tedious work. So. Many. Staples.
My vision for this piece was to take it back to its original wood finish. This was quite the task since the varnish was so thick and dark. We started with our hand sander to remove the finish on the larger areas. Then I took to the Dremel to try and get the finer details which proved to be unfruitful for the most part. Finally, we turned to CitriStrip which we had never used before.
We coated the entire chair with it and then wrapped it in saran wrap and left it overnight to soak. I was pleasantly surprised with how much it helped get the rest of the finish off. We simply used water and a steel wool pad to scrub it off.
I contemplated whitewashing the armchair to lighten up the remaining dark corners and grooves. However, I decided against it for a more rough and natural look. I simply coated it with a clear wax to finish off the wood portion of the project.
Then it was on to the upholstery. I found this fabric shortly after I purchased the chair and loved it. I have never reupholstered something before so I wasn’t quite sure how it would go.
With some trial and error and a whole lot of patience, I think it turned out absolutely perfect. The double trim to match the original chair design was tough, but we made it happen using rope to wrap in the fabric. Then we simply hot glued it to the chair and secure it with some finishing nails in the corners. While I can’t say it doesn’t have its flaws when viewing it up close, this chair turned out just as I had hoped.
The bearded gent and I hope to be sitting with our grandkids in this chair after all of the time invested into making it new. Especially since they just don’t make furniture like this anymore.
I love seeing it in our living room. Adding a lamp has made it a wonderful reading chair and all of it together has brought such a cozy and welcoming vibe to this corner of the room.
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