Red Hot Chairs May 26 2014, 0 Comments

Influenced by the number of designer chairs reusing tweed and wool patterns in the fabric of their chairs and having had a good root around some vintage shops in London I was on the lookout for my own pair of fireside chairs. Originally I was thinking I would pick an unusual shape with a low seat and then choose a fabric and have them recovered.

(Vintage Inspiration found online)

Finally, I came across two that attracted me but the fabric was putting me off and they were fairly shabby looking. It was the shape of the arms that attracted me; I just couldn’t resist those curves. I tried originally with a medley of greys, then greens, all of it looked a little insipid and lost and did nothing for the chairs, even if I was recovering. 

(Before Image and after I had tried a paler green option..)

I needed something that would really provide a “pop” and accentuate the curve of the arms as this is the most unusual aspect of the chairs and something we do not see in mass produced furniture today. So it was back to the old reliable, Emperor Silk who can always transform a piece and cheer up a room. So I repainted the arms and legs with two coats of Emperor Silk Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan and touched up again on anywhere that looked patchy when first two coats dried.

(Final Outcome)

I then sanded again, as I had originally sanded more than usual as the varnish on the original arms was worn in patches and I didn’t want that to show through. Then I generously applied clear wax, left it and went back, buffed it off and repeated the process. At this point I had steam cleaned the fabric and sprayed it with a fabric cleaner as well as leaving it outdoors when it was not raining (difficult recently!) to air as much as possible, so much so that I decided I would keep the original fabric for now.

(Courtesy of RescuedRetroVintage on Etsy, if you are feeling more adventurous )


ps: I had originally picked a very unique green wingback chair from the same second hand furniture dealer but he went ahead and delivered when I was not home, deciding that three chairs would be safe in my front garden. When I got home the green one and the most unusual was missing! It looks like somebody thought as they were second hand/preloved ! that I was putting them in my garden enroute to the skip, so they helped themselves, which brings me onto “Skip Diving Etiquette”. There is a plethora of articles online about the etiquette for helping yourself to skips, roadside finds etc but if it i actually in someones garden, it is expected that you knock and ask as you are on their private property and cannot be sure they are actually dumping it !


For some really funny and interesting blogs on dumpster diving and buying used furniture, see below: