Mid Century Chair DIY Project
This is a very special post for me, because it includes items that were my paternal grandparents. Several years ago, I got to visit my late grandparents home and walk through it, again. Even though I was pretty young when they were alive, I had a bunch of memories that flooded me in that instance.
While walking through their home, my husband and I saw these 2 mid-century, low-profile chairs that swivel and even rocked! My parents said they were ours if we wanted to take them, so at that time, we found someone to reupholster them and stain them the color of our dark floors. They turned out great and matched our decor, however they didn’t add any more cushioning in them, which I really thought they needed to. You could feel the springs a bit.
Fast forward almost 7 years–we have recently taken on a flooring project in our home and gone from dark to white oak floors. A complete spin on our colors from before! So that meant the wood on the arms & legs of both chairs needed to be stripped and sanded down. I had never tackled such a project, but anyone who knows me, knows that I love a good DIY project.
I put together a video of the process, which you can watch below. In a nutshell, I applied the stripper, and left it on overnight. It literally lifted right off the wood, very easily. There was some sanding to be done afterwards, to get the wood as light as I wanted it to match our new floors that we were going to install. That meant I also got to try out the electric sander(of which I had never used). Yep, total newbie to this type of thing!!!!
After sanding the arms and legs down with 120 grit sandpaper, I wiped them down with mineral spirits to clean them well. I used a small bristle brush to clean out the areas around the bolts, so I could then spray them down with a clear polyurethane, or so I thought. I didn’t do my research and used the spray polyurethane on one of the chairs, and quickly found out that since it was oil-based, it turned the light wood a yellowish tint. After lightly re-sanding it down again, I went back to the store and then purchased clear polycrylic spray. This is what you’ll need to get the appearance of white oak and not have that yellowing effect, like the other spray.
I allowed the first coat to dry overnight, then sprayed it down a second time. My timing was perfect, because my upholsterer then called and said she was ready for the arms/legs, because she had the main body finished on the chairs. A few days later, she called saying they were all finished! To lay eyes on them in the first moments of seeing them, they looked simply amazing!! Better than I had even pictured in my head. She also found that the chairs had original horse hair in the cushions! She did add some padding, which made them so much more comfortable than before!
They turned out gorgeous, and they look incredible with our new floors. What do you guys think? To top it off, I taught myself how to strip(insert joke here…lol) and sand furniture! I am someone who loves learning new things, and it is very satisfying to take something old and redo it/and give it new life! I think Grandma & Grandpa would be so proud!!!
Mid Century Chair DIY Project
In case you’re looking for chairs similar to these, I have found them on this site and also here, are similar ones. Two of my favorite sites, besides this place! I’ve listed all of the items I used for this project, below. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask away!!!