DIY: Chair Recovered (from boredom)

Saturday, March 14th, 2009
Meet my boring dining room chair. Decent queen anne style, nice quality cushion, drab fabric. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Remedy? New glam fabric, nailhead trim, and decorative pillow.
Ingredients for makeover: fabric cut to size, staple gun, screwdriver, nailhead trim, decorative pillow.

Every DIYer needs a few power tools. I rob Mr. CG’s stash in the garage. I’ve got a crush on this power cordless screwdriver for its muscle and speed.

Remove cushion. Center seat on sturdy flat surface on the fabric pattern. Staple once at top, bottom, and sides, then work your way around with the staple gun positioning fabric just right. Corners are tough so reduce speed of stapling as you go around the bend.

Reattach new seat cushion. Add nailhead trim. (I used a french natural nailhead trim kit that includes 10 yards of nailheads. Easy to use because you only hammer every 5th nailhead.) Don’t forget to use rubber mallet to hammer in nailheads.

Add decorative pillow. Here’s my instant makeover in about one hour.

Queen Anne is much improved after the royal treatment, don’t you think?

Here are some other nailhead trim chairs available out there:

Ballard Designs Louis chair, $559

Overstocks ‘Montgomery’ dining chair with nailhead trim, $520

Salisbury & Manus ‘Louise’ Chair, $850 without fabric

Carrington Court leather dining chair, $300

St. Germain chair by Ralph Lauren Home, $1,725


Albemarle Dining Chair by Tomlinson/Erwin Lambeth, $2,725

DIY: Salvaged Dresser

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I was at the Goodwill store with my sister-in-law the other day and she spotted a very abused dresser. She very much wanted a dresser for my nephews who share a room, and she was particularly fond of the “piratey” hardware. Unfortunately, it looked like a hunk of junk.

Centsational Aunty to the rescue! I promised I could bring it back to life. Daring me, she plunked down the $15 listed on the price tag.  Accepting her dare, I bought the following supplies: MinWax tinted stain in Antique Red ($8), some medium grade sandpaper ($3), and one new pull in chrome for $3 (which I later spray painted ‘antique bronze’ with Rustoleum to match the existing hardware).

First step: Get rid of hideous water marks and stains all over top of dresser. Did you know that mayonnaise takes out water marks on wood? No kidding. I’ve used this trick before when “oops” you leave your water glass on wood and it leaves a stain.  Mayonnaise usually gets it out in just a few hours.  Below, you can see Mini CG helping me in the mayonnaise application.

Second step: Get rid of disgusting burn mark on top of dresser. I gently sanded it out using medium grade sand paper, working with the wood grain, not against it. The picture shows what it looked like before I sanded it. After getting rid of the burn mark, I then gently sanded the rest of the dresser before applying the stain.

Third step: Apply tinted stain to sanded wood top and drawers. Amazing how one coat of Minwax tinted stain completely changed the piece, it was so easy ! I used a sponge, and followed the directions on the can. You can see in the first photo how the stain dramatically changes the raw unhealthy wood into an even smooth surface. The stain transformed the dresser to give it a rustic red stain, perfect for my nephews!

Final step: Apply one coat of polyurethane to top (for protection).  Reattach “piratey” hardware!


It’s done!

You can imagine what a dresser like this costs retail!  My 9 year old and 7 year old pirate loving nephews are going to love it ! I can already picture their pirate ship and treasure chest sitting on top. Aarrgggh.

Dresser $15
Tinted stain $8
Sandpaper $3
New pull hardware $3

Total cost: $29  – sweet! 

[4/29/09 Author's Update: This project won the Minwax company's Showcase Project - see this post.]