Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Vintage French Carved Wood Chair Preservation and Mini Makeover

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As much as I love painting furniture, there are times when I think that pieces are better off left alone.  Such is the case with this sweet little vintage French carved wood side chair that found me a few weeks ago. Sometimes, I'm lucky enough to find a chair that needs very little work. This is one of those chairs. To me, this chair was perfect when we found each other in every way...except for one.




It's not what you might think. This gorgeous chair had her original needle point seat which only needed a good cleaning and minimal repairs. It had the original nail heads and the webbing and springs were in great shape. At some point, someone had carefully and thoughtfully  mended her broken back. All of these things add to the character of this little chair who was obviously well loved....


 Until she fell on hard times and came into the company of a decorative artist who, for whatever reason, couldn't see her simple beauty and decided to paint part of her carved back...with "realistic fruit and leaves." Lime green, forest green, pink, purple, and metallic gold. The poor, sweet, girl


Against the beautiful patina of the wood and soft shades of the needlepoint, the effect was garish at best.  When I found this darling little chair, she looked like she was wearing bad makeup for Halloween...or Mardi Gras.  

 There are times when simple is better. I'm thankful that her original needlepoint seat was still in place and all I needed to do was to remove the acrylic paint that had been applied to her back by using a nylon brush and furniture refinisher.


 After the surface was free of paint, I used a little stain and some white wax to blend the back in with the rest of the chair. There are gold highlights on the chair so I also added a little gold glaze which was brushed on and immediately wiped back with a soft cloth.


I gave the seat a good cleaning with wool cleaner and water and mended the needlepoint using clear thread.  I'm thrilled with how this little chair looks now.  She's the perfect size for our master bath or maybe my new closet. I'm not quite certain yet but I know that she'll have a permanent home when we finish the renovation.



For now, she's perfectly happy hanging out with my little French cabinet and some hydrangea from my  garden which I placed in a simple white ironstone sugar bowl.


Not all furniture makeovers are dramatic or take a lot of time.  This simple mini-makeover of my sweet little vintage French carved wood chair took about twenty minutes and used supplies that I already had on hand.  Sometimes furniture just needs a good cleaning, a little love,

                                                   ....and a few garden hydrangea in an ironstone sugar bowl.

Thanks so much for reading and

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