Lesson in Textiles II: When Bad Things Happen to Good Furniture

Lesson in Textiles II: When Bad Things Happen to Good Furniture

Just an example of how the wrong fabric can completely ruin a piece.
I actually thought these were being sold with the intention of being reupholstered. Okay, this may be the right fabric if you have a jungle theme or are a thirteen year old girl, but I generally wouldn’t choose cheetah print for something I’m selling. They kinda had a Flinstone’s vibe, but the fabric was so totally fake…
Surprisingly (to me), a lady was flipping for these and actually jumped on me for asking the price ($100 for the set- a more neutral fabric could double the asking price, IMO).
At the end of the day, these chairs sold because the right buyer came along, but it was definitely a risk.

A Lesson in Colors and Textiles

So it’s pretty basic that color and fabric can completely transform a piece of furniture. The right combo can take something you want to hide in the corner to a showpiece that everyone loves. The wrong picks can make a piece that was already pretty good look pretty terrible. I saw a lot both today at the Long Beach flea market.

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Not as big (therefore not as intimidating) as the Rose Bowl flea market, Long Beach still had a wide variety of stuff. It had great vintage clothes, dishes and colored glass as far as the eye can see, lots of pieces of furniture sitting there just waiting to be rehabbed, and some really creative finished items. It didn’t seem as crowded as Rose Bowl or even Fairfax, but I went at the end of the day, so it may have died down by then. Anyway, I left feeling super inspired.

So, walking down the aisles, searching for that perfect piece for my next project, I nearly choked when I stumbled upon chairs just like my roadside find I recently finished. Remember this post? These chairs?!

Finished chair

Well, they were just like them but different. Different fabric, different paint, different feel.

I loved mine so much I couldn’t bear to sell them. These just weren’t my style… but it was cool to see someone else’s take on the exact same piece. It really goes to show how much difference the paint and fabric can make!

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Another view of the chairs in Long Beach. I wonder if they found them on the side of the road, too?

Roadside Finds: Dining Chairs

Roadside Find: Before

Recently, I was found these babies in the parking lot of an office where I was interviewing. When I was leaving, I snuck around to where they were sitting and stuffed them in the back seat of my car. They were in bad shape- moldy, stinky messes. They have good bones, though, and I just knew they were save-able.

Here’s a breakdown of the process:

I started out by taking the seats off. I ripped off the fabric and discovered that the foam couldn’t be saved. I pulled out all of the rusty old staples and sprayed the wood bottoms of the chairs with a bleach solution to kill the mold. Getting new seats was simple- I went to a foam store with the wood and had new cushions cut. Sanding the chairs was a real pain- my electric sander wouldn’t fit into some of the curves so there was a lot of hand sanding. There were a couple of unsightly holes in the sides of the chairs, so I filled them with layers of plastic wood.When it came time to paint, the finish wasn’t coming out quite right. I did a quick web search and made a little discovery. These two words will change your life. Ready?

TACK CLOTH! (Hey, I’m still learning here!) Normally, I would just wipe off pieces before painting, but tack cloth makes all the difference- it makes paint go on super smooth. Since I had decided to give the chairs a little sheen, this was really important.

After a couple of coats of paint, they were ready to be covered, and before I knew it, they were done. I originally intended to sell them, but love them so much I can’t bare to part with them quite yet.

Finished chair
Finished!