Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Great Grandpa Peter's Chair

I am so excited to share this with you. Years of work have finally paid off. 

A few years ago I got a chair from my grandpa. It had been his father's chair, but had been neglected and was in the basement collecting cobwebs. He didn't want it anymore, but wanted it to go to a good home where it would be loved and appreciated. I jumped at the chance to have a family heirloom. I knew it would take some work to get it looking good again, but I also knew that my wonderful dad would be just as excited to fix it up as I was. So, the process began.

This is the chair before. My grandpa had re-upholstered it himself at some point, so the fabric is far from close to what I imagine it originally was.

He had also added some stuffing to make it a bit more comfortable. As you see, this isn't normal chair filler.

Yes, that is insulation.

It was originally built with a spring seat. 

First, we had to dismantle it and mark all the pieces so we could put it back together.

We were excited to find the tag still attached from when it was made. We didn't put it back on afterwards, but I did keep the tag.

Then came stripping off the old finish.

Once that was done, we could fix any problems and put it back together.

There was one problem we decided to keep. At some point one of the arms broke and it was fixed with a long bolt. We loved the look so much that we left it alone and put the bolt back in place.

Then we got to put some new stain on it.

Unfortunately, at this point in the project it had to sit a while before getting finished. Dad and I had reached the end of our knowledge and were not sure how to finish the upholstery. Plus I got busy meeting Andrew and getting married. As much as I wanted it finished, we didn't really have a place for it at our last apartment anyway. So, it waited for a couple years. 

But, not anymore. Just yesterday we got it done. 

We didn't want to re-use the springs. They were old and untrustworthy. So, we put some plywood down for a seat and cut out some 4 inch thick foam.

It was a messy business...

...and required a number of tools. (Sorry mom. We used your knife!)

Then it was time for the fabric and tacks.

Only the corners left. 

And here she is all done and in her new home. She isn't perfect, and Dad and I definitely learned a few things along the way, but I am happy with how she turned out and so happy to have been able to save her and keep her in the family.


  1. The chair turned out beautifully, Heather. What a treasure you have. Happy May!

  2. Oh I LOVE it! I didn't know you took that chair. It turned out so nice. I may have to stop on over and give it a try.

  3. First of all - you are in such trouble! That is a brand new knife which had never been used yet! I'll forgive you though!
    The chair turned out so nice and I'm glad it's preserved for another generation. My Grandpa would be happy!

  4. Oh it turned out so beautiful! You did such a great job!

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE Heather!! So glad you have kept a family heirloom!

  6. looks great- you guys did awesome!!!

  7. My OH MY! You really did a makeover on that chair! It is beautiful! Happy May!

  8. It looks amazing!!! Grandpa will be so happy!