The old saying “They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To” DEFINITELY applies to old chairs. The Real Truth About Deconstructing a Chair is those things are put together to stay! However, this DIY Deconstructed Chair looks great now.
Are you a jump-right-into-the-middle-of-a-project kind of person? This practice has served me OKay over the years. However, I seriously made a mistake when deconstructing a vintage chair.
Since I did not realize this beforehand, I jumped into the project with a flathead screwdriver, hammer, needle nose pliers, and A LOT of skin. This was a mistake, for sure! Although I’m thrilled with the results, the scars may be a reminder for the rest of my life. LOL
Before and After DIY Deconstructed Chair
Here is the result of all my hard work, including fun pillows.
Then what the chair looked like initially!
Seeing this cute vintage chair for only $5.00, I jumped on the deal. Proudly, I brought it home to begin the adventure of deconstructing it. Little did I know what was in store for me! LOL
Check out another favorite DIY here!
The Project Begins
Tearing the dry rotted fabric off the frame was the easy part. Because the fabric was somewhat dry-rotted, it pulled away quickly. Check out all the staples left behind as the material is torn away. At this point, I was excited. Not discouraged at all. LOL
Down to the Frame – DIY Deconstructed Chair
Now we are down to wood and staples on the DIY deconstructed chair! Although there was a moment of disappointment when I saw the large gap in the back of the chair, quickly, a solution came to mind.
Still optimistic that the project was almost finished, removing the staples began. Boy, what a miscalculation.
Finally, all the staples have been removed! This is the part that took hours and hours to complete. Your hands and fingers will pay the price when you don’t use the proper tools.
My husband helped me to fit two pieces of wood into the back of the chair. Because we don’t want anyone falling out the back of the chair, do we?! LOL
Because this is a deconstructed look, you don’t need wood filler. Just sand with a fine-grit sanding block until the areas are smooth to the touch.
Why Stain the Raw Wood?
Why should you stain the raw wood? If you want the paint finish on the piece to apply evenly, it’s best that all the wood matches before adding paint.
Therefore, you’ll want to stain the new wood and any unstained portion of the chair and choose a stain to match the stained areas of the chair as close as possible.
For this step, I used a quick-drying gel stain in Walnut.
Paint Chair Frame
Next, paint the entire deconstructed chair frame with your choice of color.
I used Old White Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. If you want some of the original stain to show through, paint one full coat and a light wash for the second coat.
See an easy tutorial on how to use chalk paint.
When using a dark wax, you need to be cautious.
To achieve the desired color, mix 50/50 clear and dark wax to age the piece! Add a 1/2 teaspoon of Mineral spirits to the wax and brush it over the piece with a chip brush.
When you wipe away the excess, the mineral spirits remove paint from the edge of the piece for a perfectly aged look.
Because this is a distressed finish, you want to allow the dark wax mix to settle into the crevices on the carved legs and arms.
The springs were in great shape but needed to be covered. Here is a cushion of burlap and batting to cover the springs. Because you will still add another cushion over the top, this is a flat cushion. You can use a staple gun to attach it to the frame.
A distressed ruffled cushion from Navy Ticking Fabric was added to finish this project. A hand-painted pillow and a farmhouse-style lumbar pillow add comfort to the back of the seat.
Using proper equipment
Here is the loose change found in the chair; however, it wasn’t enough to compensate for the lack of proper tools. Because I learned from my mistakes, I have since invested in appropriate tools for removing staples and tacks from upholstered furniture.
DIY Deconstructed Chair Today
How do you like the DIY Deconstructed Chair?
It’s exactly how I envisioned it, but removing all the old upholstery materials was a lot more than I bargained for. Because I now have property tools, believe it or not, I’m already starting to pull some staples from another thrift store find.
Thank you for stopping by! Hopefully you are not discouraged to try a project of your own. I have learned from my mistakes and hopefully given you the tools and encouragement to begin a project. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions and your comments are always appreciated.
Sunday 29th of August 2021
Rachel, I’m about to undergo a transformation of my parents’ first piece of furniture, an old rocking chair with an upholstered seat. I was trying to see what you placed under the springs. I’m not sure if I need to use a thin (fiber?)board to support the cushion. Everything is completely deteriorated and I suspect Mickey moused over the years. It’s hard to imagine the original arrangement of support and upholstery. Please advise what you used as the bottom support. Thanks, Pat
Tuesday 31st of August 2021
Pat, My springs were very secure and I didn't add any support underneath the springs. If they are deteriorated, I'd probably add a piece of plywood to the bottom of the chair to support the springs. You might want to check with a professional upholster for advise to be safe.
Sunday 18th of April 2021
You are soooo right, the tools are a game changer!. I covet my staple remover, but adding the gloves is a must. Thank you for the great pictures and easy to follow directions! Beautiful job 🥰
Monday 19th of April 2021
Robin, Yes, I will jump right in without getting the proper tools. Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your input.
Wednesday 2nd of September 2020
Where can you purchase the tools you suggest?
Thursday 3rd of September 2020
Jan, If you click on the highlighted description of the tools, it will take you to the shop. Any of the highlighted words are linked. I hope that helps. Rachel
Saturday 23rd of May 2020
Love that chair!!! I would love to make one I'm going to keep my eyes open for one. Once good will reopens.
Tuesday 26th of May 2020
Carolyn Thank you for stopping by. I can't wait to see how your chair turns out. rachel
Saturday 23rd of May 2020
Lovely. You are so talented. You truly must enjoy doing things like this. Keep up the good work. Carole
Tuesday 26th of May 2020
Carole, I appreciate these sweet compliments. I hope you enjoy exploring more of my blog. Rachel