When I was picking up something that I had bought from the thrift store one day, I saw this chair sitting at the side of the building. It was in the “waiting zone“ to be priced. I asked if I could find out the price and buy it and the lady told me that it needed to go through pricing and that probably wouldn’t happen until later that day. It was almost the end of the business day so I figured the chair would not be on the floor until the next morning. I decided to show up when the store opened the next morning, and lucky for me, the chair was priced and still available when I got there! I paid $25 for it, and to me, that was a steal!
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I knew I wanted to deconstruct the entire chair and give it an updated and more bleached or rustic look to the wood. I started off by taking out every nail. There were decorative nails, and then under the decorative nails there were more tack nails! So many nails! So many nails! So many nails! My hand still hurts thinking about it! This tool does save my hand so much when removing the nails. When deconstructing, it’s kind of like removing the layers of a bed that is made with lots of blankets, except they are all nailed down, haha. It just takes removing one layer at a time…and slowly, little by little, the chair become bare. Yay!
It took me hours just to remove all of the fabric and the tack nails that were existing. There was everything from horse hair, straw, cotton bunched up batting, and I even found a penny, bobby pins, and a paper clip. It was a whole bunch of yuck! Sometimes when I’m getting ready to deconstruct a chair, I think to myself, I’m going to keep some of that original burlap or fabric in there…every time I end up tearing it all off because it’s so dirty and gross! This time I did keep the canvas that they had used for webbing… it was in really good shape and very clean.
I was so happy when it was all deconstructed! Now for the even tougher part, removing the stain. I started off using my Dremel and it was taking forever! The dremel does work amazingly but there were just too many small spaces and I was having trouble getting into all of the areas with it.
I have a soda blaster and I love the results of it, but mine tends to get clogged and I have to continuously shake the tank to get it to work sometimes. It was worth it and the headache that it causes from the frustration! It took out all of the stain inside all of the detailed areas! It’s very messy, but I was glad that I used that instead of my Dremel! I showed on my Instagram stories how the soda blaster works and I added it to my saved stories, if you missed it. The sofa blaster attaches to our air compressor and then sprays soda medium out through the nozzle to remove the stain.
After I was done soda blasting, I sprayed the chair down with some water from my hose to get the soda medium out of the tiny parts. After it dried, for some reason, some of the parts turned a little greenish. It was hard to see the green areas, but it was bothering me so I added some outdoor bleach to the chair. I used the same bleaching technique as I did in this post. I added three coats of the bleach and it lightened it up a lot!
Below is another picture of the “before”, compared to the picture after that of the “after”. I love the raw beautiful wood that was under all of that stain!
This chair has so much character! I love the faces and the birds and all of the other detailed areas!
The back of the chair is just as pretty!
I am a little nervous to spray down the chair with the hose again after what happened the first time. That has never happened before, and I have sprayed down a lot of furniture! I may just end up wiping it down with a wet towel to get the bleach off. I think it would probably even be OK if I just left it without wiping it, but I know the bleach is pretty strong and I at least want to wipe it off.
I am just amazed at the beauty of the chair after everything was taken off!
Below is an example of the chair in the indoor lighting, with the lights on inside. It’s pretty dark in our hallway at the end of the day so I flipped on the lights. It does look a little darker inside.
When I started out using the Dremel, I thought there was no way that I was going to be able to get the stain off of the birds area. I love how it turned out after using the soda blaster!
I love the curves and the legs on the chair too! I thought about possibly leaving the sides open and just covering the middle of the top and the seat when I reupholster it. I want it to look very deconstructed. I will share more of that process in another post.
Now to decide if I want to add white wash and glaze, or just leave it. I’m leaning towards adding the whitewash and glaze to warm it up a little and make the nail marks blend better. I think I will probably just put some neutral, plain fabric on it. I don’t want to use a pattern fabric and take away from the character and pattern on the wood.
If it was your chair, what would you do? Would you leave the raw bleached wood? Or, would you add white wash and glaze!?