Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DIY your mouldy old chairs

Now here's a project any of you keen DIYers could take on. TV chairs are possibly the easiest of 'retro' chairs to come by, we've found them on the side of the road, in dumpsters, charity shops, donations on our front verandah and on ebay. All that's needed is your elbows  - sleeves pulled up and grease applied (and your expert sewing skills of course). TV chairs are distinguished by their metal frames and shaped foam backs and (usually) beautiful wooden arms. These two belong to Thea and Sami and were looking very sad..

See that mould, well sand paper is its number one enemy and if you start with a 120 grade (80 is too rough and leaves scratches that take longer to sand out) and work your way up to 600 grade, you'll have wooden arms that sing to you when you obsessively and proudly stroke their smooth finish. Most of these chairs from the 60's and 70's have beautiful wood under their tacky varnish (if the varnish is thick, you may have to paintstrip it first), most are teak, Queensland maple or, as in these, Tasmanian blackwood. Finish it off with a couple of coats of Danish Oil. Try to get one with its cushion covers and base cover in tact then you can make a pattern from the pieces.

We've used Thea and Sami's 'Dotty About Roses' and 'Hydrangea' as the main fabric and 'French Stripe' for the borders and feather-filled lumber pads. It's a deep red printed on a beautiful natural linen. That's my restored Chiswell dining table that is now my conveniently extendable cutting table. Just sew, sew, sew...

The moulded foam backs are still available from most foam supply stores and fit perfectly and give lumber support and neck support for when you doze off in front of the telly.
Thea's taken some lovely photos of these and you can see them on her blog here.

Go on, give it a go!