Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Rehab

This weekend we celebrated my brother's 21st Birthday. When I asked him what he wanted, he said he needs stuff for his house. There is honestly so much that he needs, I was trying to keep things simple and get some real necessities, instead of fun decor stuff. You can always add the details later, but staples, like chairs and rugs, are what he needed most.

A few weeks ago, while my husband was working outside, our neighbors across the alley put out a bunch of furniture they wanted to get rid of with a large FREE sign. So I went over there to check out the goods crap. I did come upon an old swivel chair that had brown vinyl upholstery, wood armrests, and chrome frame. While it was in pretty poor condition, it had good bones that I thought I could clean up. I rolled it across the alley and put it in my garage until true inspiration kicked in.

My brother needed a desk chair for his new kitchen, one that had wheels so that it could move easily on the new wood floor. At a trip to Joann's one Saturday, I found some great blue woven fabric on clearance for $3 a yard (I bought 1.5 yards), and decided to make over the old office chair. The photo on the left shows the true color, but the one on the right shows the weave of the material.

Next, I stripped off the old vinyl off the cushions, and surprisingly, the foam underneath was in great condition. No smells or major stains, and I think this is because of the stain resistance of the vinyl covering. I liked the brown armrests, but due to some scrapes and damage to them, sanding them way down and staining was not really an option to get them to look good. And I was limited on time, so I gave them a quick sanding and wipe down, and primed them with Kilz Latex Primer. 

While the primer was drying, I took the back cushion inside and began to recover it. I used a staple gun to secure the fabric around the old foam, as the staples would be disguised by the mounting of the cushion back on the frame. No need to sew when you don't see the seams anyway! I had plenty of material to cover both cushions.

Next, I took the frame out into the grass  to spray paint the arms (we my husband had a little issue with spray paint overdraft on our his patio pavers last time, so I have been banished to the grass for all spray painting projects) with a glossy white Rustoleum paint I already had in my garage. I used some Frog Tape, also already owned, to take off the chrome as to prevent any residual spray on that too. 

And just to show you the condition of the chrome, it was not in terrible shape, but definitely had some pitting and rust spots. So, after the arm rests were really dry, as to not screw them up like I do my nail polish, I proceeded to clean up the chrome frame.

For this, I used one of my most favorite products that I already had on hand, Brasso. I use it to clean up my vintage brass pieces, anything chrome, and sometimes even silver. It can be found at most major home improvement stores. I dab it on with steel wool, let sit for a few minutes, and then rub in circles with the steel wool. Then get a clean rag or paper towel and wipe off the excess. It took off about 98% of the rust, with the exception of two small amounts in the corners, and made the chrome look shiny and new! It gleamed almost as bright as the new white arm rests!

The bottom cushion was originally covered with the vinyl stapled directly to the bottom of the frame, so I used the same technique with the new blue fabric. I just stretched the fabric over the foam, and stapled the fabric tightly to the underneath. I them trimmed any excess fabric off of the bottom.
And here it is!!! The finished chair, looking bright, shiny, and new! When we first got it to his house, the chair was a little too tall for the new desk, but thanks to it being a vintage chair, it could be swiveled down to the right height. Who knew?! Here it is as the perfect fit in his new desk, and the entire project cost me a whopping $4.50 in material, since all other items were already owned! And check out the new rugs we got for the kitchen from HomeGoods for $20 a piece. I love them because they are sisal, but have the rubber backing on the back for a no-slip grip!

We also got my brother some plants for his house, to warm up the space a bit. He still needs a few more, but we need to start small to see if he can keep them alive. The one in the gray pot (also from HomeGoods $3) is an air purifying plant from Home Depot, that I thought would be not only good for the desk/kitchen, but also his allergies. The other plant is a tropical plant that loves sun and requires little water. The pot was also from HomeGoods for $5, and both plants were under $10 each. And finally, his last gift was a large sisal rug for the living room. While it is not my favorite rug, he needed something in there to break up all the brown from the wood floor and leather couches, until we can find a larger rug with more color.

So there's the rundown of the weekend rehab project! I guess it was really two projects in one, since I not only rehabed a chair, but brought some more life to my brother's house. Check back soon for a few more rehab projects this summer!

1 comment:

  1. Join me to discuss the joys of home design and wine country style at my Napa Style Q&A Sept 14 at 10 am PDT. RSVP:

    Would love to hear more about how you helped your brother bring some style into his new place! :) Love the chair you re-designed!!