Friday, September 25, 2009
I picked up this vintage platform rocking chair this past June at an estate auction held for a woman who had passed away nearly 20 years ago. After her passing, the son closed up the large Victorian house that his mother lived in and walked away. Now, that once beautiful house is on the verge of being condemned, so all furnishings were sold at auction. I was fortunate enough to purchase several items at this sale. One of which I did not feel fortunate about was this chair. They couldn't get a bid on it, so the auctioneer sold it with an antique radio that I purchased. Now, I am one that really dislikes when people leave items behind after an auction, even if they got stuck with some things that they didn't want. Therefore, my feelings of guilt took over as I loaded up all of my other purchases and prepared to leave this chair behind. Guilt won out, and the chair came home.
When I purchased the chair it was nowhere near the condition that it is in now. It had been reupholstered many times in the past, and the last time that it was reupholstered, it was covered in bright green corduroy with blue designs flocked onto it. Not only was the fabric hideous, the arm had fallen off the chair and the wood needed to be refinished. I decided to try my hand at restoring this chair. I felt like I wouldn't be out much if I failed (I got the chair and radio, which I also restored, for $2). I stripped it down to the frame, finding along the way several live spiders and lots of old nylon stockings which had been used to fill in where the original padding had gone bad. I also found a lot of straight pins and a few needles. This must have been her sewing chair. Once down to the frame, I sanded and refinished the wood (I love Minwax Polyshades), reattached the arm, put the original padding back on along with new foam padding, and reupholstered it. I really like the fabric, which I got at Walmart for $5/yard. Yes, it is upholstery fabric! I trimmed out the edges with brass upholstery nails and it was finished! I also got a matching footstool that somebody did leave behind and I refinished it as well. It is really comfortable! The only thing that I still need to do is replace the springs in the rocking mechanism, as they allow the chair to lean back too far.
Posted by Missouri Michael at 6:00 AM