What The Hay

Crafty Hayseed Goodness!

Retro Chairs April 6, 2007

Filed under: house stuf,projects — clothespin @ 10:50 am

Thrift stores are great! I was in a local one looking for some mismatched china for a gift (it went over really well) when I spotted 3 of these:

Retro Chair

Two were in red, one was in blue. The lines were cool, kind of a retro-modern and they looked old. I sat in one, trying to talk myself out of buying them… They were comfy. A bit springy with a slight backward rock. The one in the picture was solid, too and aside from needing some love on the wood and a redo on the seating, the bones were in great shape.

retro chair sideretro chair back

I resisted, tried to remind myself that my tiny house, a mere 450 square feet and home to a hairy dog, a fat cat and one tall husband was already full to the gills. Where ever would I store them and WHAT would I do with them?

I asked the shop keeper how much they were, hoping that the price would be unreasonable and thus prevent my lustful cravings for cool retro things. $25 for all three, yes we take checks. Needless to say, I wrote a check and then left them there, returning today with hubby’s truck to cart them home.

Currently, they are sitting in the back of his truck (the weather people swear it isn’t going to rain tonight) waiting until he returns so that I can put them in the field lab at work. (He has the key.) They will sit there waiting until the glorious day when he finds/gets “the job” and we get to move away from our tiny, yet cozy, home into a slightly bigger house with a garage.

Until then… I need a bit of help. In looking at these cool chairs further, I realized that what I thought was old and peeling vinyl was in fact a slip cover velcroed over the original seating! The good news is, I can take that cover and use it as a pattern for new covers if I decide that that needs to be done. But, then I realized that the former owner had then PAINTED the chairs, vinyl and all it seems, first to blue and then to red. The paint covered the original seat part, too.

retro chair velcro

So, does anyone know how to get old paint off of a seat and edging material like that? I get the bad feeling that I may have to redo it all… and that may not be bad as I’m not the greatest fan of light pink, which is apparently their original color. But, I am concerned that my sewing machine is not capable of such heavy duty sewing and that it might cost a bit to have a professional do it..

(This is the blue chair with the original pink edging and webbing showing through the paint.)

.retro chair seat paint

Thoughts? Advice? Hay, I know I won’t be working on this soon, but would like at least two of them to go into a future house… Thanks for any help you can give!

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2 Responses to “Retro Chairs”

  1. jeff Says:

    Try a damp magic eraser before you do anything. It won’t do any harm and it’s good for getting paint off stuff. You may wish to experiment with goo-gone and the eraser if it isn’t working.

    The wood appears to need a good cleaning with fine steel wool and perhaps some briewax – it looks like the wood should glow, not shine.

    If you are unhappy with the results of your find, I’d suggest a car repair restorer for that vinyl.

    This will sound stupid, but you may want to consider creating your own slip covers out of a heavier modern fabric. You would glue strips of rug pad to the vinyl so that the slip covers wouldn’t move around. This means ruining the vinyl.

    Or…go batshit crazy with some acrylic paint – a lot of pattern will forgive many sins. Just finish the whole thing up with some clear gesso.

    Best of luck.

  2. Chair-Guy Says:

    Sell it on craigslist so I can buy it! LOL – I love it, and your blog too 🙂


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