Have you ever sat down in a vintage or antique chair and wondered who owned it previously? Where it came from? What the owners were like? This may be crazy, but I do that all of the time. I want to know the history of a piece. There have been times where I find a piece on Craigslist and the owner has a difficult time selling it because it belonged to a family member or loved one. They sell it because it needs reupholstering or it has sat in a garage or storage unit for years.
This got me to thinking.
Vintage/Antique furniture deserves to be reupholstered
– they’ve earned that right,
don’t you think?
Yes, I know they are tattered with outdated fabric now, but they can be transformed into treasures that just need a fresh start. Antiques and vintage pieces tell a story. To me, that is worth the extra effort it takes to reupholster a piece.
Most of the items in my home are hand me downs or vintage finds. The hand me downs are my favorite because they have true meaning to me. They remind me of loved ones passed and bring back memories of the times we had together. I don’t have a lot of these pieces, but the items I have – I cherish.
Let me show you how I transformed my grandparent’s chair into a chair that has a story to tell.
I have always loved the vintage furniture you see in Parisian Interiors. They have a worn patina to them that is pretty difficult to recreate. I have tried and can’t seem to find an exact way of making a piece look like it has natural patina. I gave it my best shot here and am happy with the end result.
I started with a can of old paint, it was thick and really should have been thinned or thrown away. I decided to give it a try and use it with a very dry brush and rub the paint off as I went. This was a look that evolved and truthfully it is very hard to tell you how I achieved it as it took me several attempts. At one point I took off the paint and sanded it down to the bare wood and tried a dry brush technique again. If it wasn’t the look I was going for, I would distress and dry brush again until I had a look I was happy with. Finally, I was satisfied with the end result.
Once the painting was completed, it was time for reupholstering the chair. When I took the upholstery off of the chair I was wishing there was something left behind the upholstery or in the crevices.
Something from my grandparents that they didn’t know had fallen between the cracks.
Unfortunately, there was nothing.
This got me to thinking. I needed to tell a story for the next person who would like to save the chair and reupholster it. I want the next person to find an unexpected surprise underneath the upholstery and learn something about who owned the chair and where it came from…
a chair with a story to tell.
That’s when I grabbed a Sharpie pen and got to writing.
I wrote my grandparent’s story on the cardboard inside the back of the chair. This included their history, what I loved about them and a little about who I am too.
I also added the date.
Then it was time to cover up the message. I started with the back of the chair adding burlap.
Then I used drop cloth to upholster the remainder of the chair.
Instead of purchasing welting, I made mine and decided to go with a
flat welt as you see here.
I am glad I held on to this chair.
It has seen storage units, garages, and almost got thrown away. Now it is a chair with memories attached and a story to tell. It’s updated for our interior and now we can treasure it for many more years to come.
What’s underneath your upholstered seat?
You’re a little curious, aren’t you?
Do you have a piece of furniture that needs to tell a story?
I am glad you stopped by today.
Thank you for continuing to let me share all of my stories with you!