I must say, if it weren't for all of the wonderful and inspiring blogs regarding reusing and refabing vintage items, I would never have bought this stupid chair. Just what I needed was another chair.
I have a fondness for chairs and believe I have the ability to get them looking great again. I've done little upholstery projects and have done a whole lot of sewing. I've worked many years in and around the decorating business. SO...I should be able to pull this off.
I should admit, however, that this is NOT my first chair. I have others that are in various stages of reupholstering. Three of the chairs were acquired likely almost 10 years ago as I was planning the construction of the home we live in now. I knew that the house would be quite a bit bigger and knew that I would need chairs to fill in the space. Two other chairs were acquired when my husband's parents downsized into a condo. All of my chairs are wonderful and have great lines, but they all need reupholstered.
This particular chair was donated to our church for the annual rummage sale. I work the rummage sale every year because I have, "I would never say no" tattooed on forehead. So, like many of the other workers there, I sat in the chair to try it out. My butt liked the chair instantly. I knew I was in trouble. I could just imagine myself sitting in front of my computer working hard on some graphics thing while my derriere was cradled in the comfort of this chair. One of the older guys helping to run the sale asked me how much I thought the chair was worth. I told him that I would NOT pay more than $35.00 for it because it was a mess. He felt the chair was an antique, would sell for $350 in an antique store and should therefore be priced at $75. ???For a Rummage Sale??? I've learned that at 41, I don't know anything and I do NOT argue with the older crowd from the church.
Well as can be expected, that chair sat there the entire sale with not a soul interested in it. The price was dropped to $50 by Friday which was still well beyond my limit especially considering my last two chairs were free and the two before that were $4 each. The sale was over by noon on Saturday and a Salvation Army truck was there to pick up the items that did not sell. Still the elders of my church felt that this chair had value, so it was held back and someone was to take it to a local consignment shop to see if they would sell it. I was offered the chair at $40. I passed
By Monday I was offered the chair once more but this time for $30. The first chair I ever bought was $15 and that one was clean. This one truly was a mess. But it was for the church so I decided to buy it. What a nightmare!
I will agree that the chair is probably old. It's construction is oak and the wood that shows is cherry. I would have been a great chair...IF...someone had not reupholstered it and then re-reupholstered it two more times. As I removed the oh so vintage fabric with it's vivid orange gimp and oh so tacky tacks, I found that the gorgeous cherry wood looked as if some boring insect had constructed an entire condo development in the wood. It was not bug damage but simply damage from someone recovering the chair so many times. I also unearthed some cherry veneer along the front of the chair that was so badly damaged it can't be saved. I've also found strong indicators that the chair was tufted originally. At some point, someone redesigned the poor chair.
This chair really should be a challenge as I try to take it back to a state of grandeur. I welcome and suggestions or information.