Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nursing Chair

It's not a recipe, but since someone asked, here's something I made.  We bought this chair at the charity shop. I really wanted somewhere to sit to nurse the baby that had a high back and arms. I loved the shape of this chair but knew it needed some work. Now that the baby is moving onto solid food, I finally got around to fixing it.

Piece of glass (from a broken bottle)
Sandpaper (4 A4 pieces of 60 grit)
Wood stain (Teak colored)
Danish Wood Oil
Screwdriver and pliers (to remove fabric staples)
Rags (to apply stain and oil)
Staple gun and staples
3 1/2 yards of upholstery fabric
Thread, straight pins and sewing machine
Needle and string (to sew on buttons)
3 buttons/button cover kit

Initially I just thought we'd reupholster the chair.  However, the arms were worn so I realized I need to work on the wood as well.

I really liked the dark finish, but didn't feel like I could only redo the arms and have them match the rest of the chair.  So I decided to strip the chair back and start from there.  I didn't want to use a chemical stripper.  A guy at the hardware store suggested a piece of glass, so I broke a bottle and took and used a broken piece that was about three inches long.  It was fantastic.  I used the glass to strip off as much of the finish as I could (I thought it might scrape the wood, but it only scraped up the lacquer), then I used sandpaper to smooth off the wood.

To remove the upholstery I used pliers and a screwdriver to pry out the staples.  I really should have used a specialized tool.  The inside of the chair is stuffed with springs and burlap (jute).  I didn't want to have to restring the springs so I left part of the old fabric attached.  Here's the stripped back chair.

The Eco Centre down the street suggested a water based teak stain.  I applied four coats with a rag, letting each coat dry for about an hour.  I really liked the water based stain because it did not smell.  I would have liked the wood a little darker, but the stain was starting to build up and I didn't want the finish to be too tacky.

I used a rag to apply the Danish oil as a seal.  I did two coats, letting the first coat dry eight hours and the second I left overnight.

I sewed a new cushion cover (reusing the zipper and stuffing from the old one) and reupholstered the chair, using a staple gun to apply the new fabric. I tried using regular staples.  But the wood was quite hard, so I switched to heavy duty staples and it made all the difference.  I didn't quite make the fabric tight enough in a few places, but here it is.

I covered three buttons and sewed them into the chair back and then put on the back fabric.  We might have been better off buying a new chair.  (The entire project cost about 100 GBP.  Chair-35, Fabric-50, Supplies-15.)  It isn't perfect, but I think overall we're pretty happy with it.  Niall sat in it last night without complaining.

1 comment:

AM said...

i love love love that when you click on 'someone' you see a photo of you. This chair is perfect!