I am always finding nasty old furniture dumped around my trailer and dumpster at the apartments. But when I spied this little beauty sitting by the dumpster I knew it was something special...even in the deplorable state she was in!
When I found her, she was bleached grey/white and was pretty rickety. But I could tell from the construction it was a solid wood primitive chair and from some of the red "bleeding" on the underside, I suspected it was mahogany.
I brought her home and the first thing I tried to do was glue the loose joints. Problem was the wood was sooooo thirsty, it literally sucked the moisture out of the glue, so the glue wouldn't hold!
I knew I was going to have to "moisturize" the chair before I could get the joints to hold.
So I stripped off what little was left of the old upholstery and began sanding her down. As I sanded, the color in the wood really began to shine through!
I called a friend of mine, Caleb, who is kind of a "wood guru." He told me to try Danish Oil on her.
Man, oh, man.
Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
No stain in this picture....just oil!
The wood was so thirsty it took an entire can of Danish Oil...maybe 4-5 coats! But the natural color of the wood was amazing!
This is where I need to remind you that I think one of the most beautiful things on earth is wood....I just love the color and the texture and the grain. And the smell!
And it is one reason I have such a difficult time painting over wood....because once you do that you potentially hide something beautiful! Even some finishes can mask the texture of a wood grain...and I hate that!
So I am very careful when deciding what the best treatment is for any piece of wood furniture. Sometimes paint really is your best option. But not always...even if it is all the "rage."
I am sure there are a lot of people who, if they would have even given this chair a second look, would have immediately slapped a coat of paint on her. Because let's be honest, she was pretty nasty to begin with.
But the natural beauty of this chair was there...just waiting for someone to care enough to bring it out!
This is where I really wish I was a better photographer! I am just not doing this chair justice with the pictures!
After oiling and glueing, I set out to find the "right" upholstery. Again, this is a tough process when you are talking about an old chair. I wanted to do something that might resemble what might have been on it originally, but since I have NO idea what time period this chair was, I knew I couldn't even begin to guess. And my research online turned up nothing. I suspect this chair was hand made by someone loooong ago!
The upholstery I settled on is actually an old linen blanket I found at a garage sale. I loved the neutral color and simple texture. Again, I could have painted the piece and upholstered it in a bright, funky fabric....but she is a simple old chair and this is just one of those times I thought the piece needed "simple."
She now sits proudly in my flea market booth....waiting on someone to fall in love with her like I did! But it will take a very special person who will recognize her for what she is.
A VERY special chair steeped in a history we will never know, but will cherish and honor just the same.