Summer Projects: DIY Antique Chair Restoration

Friday, 9 August 2013


A year or so ago, I nabbed a beautiful but grotty Victorian Thonet Bentwood Rocking Chair for £15 from a furniture clearance. This was an absolute bargain considering one of these can sell for over £500 in decent condition. To say that Ed and I had a few arguments over this purchase would be an understatement. His dislike for it matched by my extreme love for the same. I love antique dark wood furniture and this chair (despite being Victorian), reminded me of lazy summers spent with my family in Kerala. I had to bring to back to its former glory, and a few days and 50p was all it took. Here is how I went about it...



Step 1: Thoroughly clean the chair. A bag of antiseptic wet wipes is what I used to do this. I also used liquid soap and cotton buds to clean the crevices.

Step 2: Sand the chair down.

Step 3. Wait for a year (joke). We actually did take forever to get to step 4.

Step 4: Use dark varnish and paint the chair. It took a minimum 3 coats plus touch-ups to get to to the shade I wanted. I also nabbed varnish for 50p in a clearance sale which added to the smugness I felt with the finished product.



Step 5: Sit down and rock yourself whilst doing a  bit of crochet, knitting or reading.

I must add that Ed is now a fan too. I'm not an expert at furniture restoration by any means and so I hope this encourages you to do some yourself. Why buy expensive furniture when you can salvage old bits from charity shops, car boots and eBay and restore them yourself?! I'm now going tor raid my huge bag of fabrics to make some cushion covers to go with this chair.




I'd love to hear your furniture restoration stories too! Ann x

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