About a year ago, my husband found this chair abandoned in an alley and did what any chair hoarder’s collector’s spouse would do and brought it home for me. He’s a keeper, that husband of mine.
After that, it sat. And sat. And sat. Until I finally decided to get to work on it. Since the wicker seat was broken, removing it was the first line of business. I used a box cutter and started chipping away.
Once the wicker seat was removed, I began sanding the chair. Sanding, by the way, is the bane of my existence. I’m not good with nooks and crannies, and there are a lot of them in this chair. I did my best but didn’t worry about it being perfect.
Then the chair was just a skeleton and that posed one problem: there was no place to sit. Pretty important, don’t you think? To solve this problem, with my Dad’s help, we traced the shape of the seat on to a piece of plywood and cut it out of the wood. This left us with another problem: plywood doesn’t come bent to the curve of a seat.
To bend the plywood into a seat shape, I soaked the wood for hours in the bathtub. From there I placed it on top of the chair, clamped it down in the front and stacked as many bricks as I could on top of the seat (which ended up being 20 or so, like Jenga – brick edition!). I left it until the wood dried through and then removed the bricks. The first time didn’t do the trick so I repeated the process by soaking the plywood (for longer this time) and stacking bricks on top of the seat.
Eventually I was left with a decent dip in the wood, appropriate for a chair.
This is how the chair stands today, waiting to be finished. I was originally planning on staining all of the wood and upholstering the seat in a nice, durable fabric but the staining just scares me. Another solution would be to paint the main chair body, but stain the middle strip of bentwood.
The final decision really all depends on where I will use it. Since it will most likely be a multipurpose chair (desk chair during the day, dining chair when hosting family and friends), I’d like it to be cohesive with my other dining chairs. However, I have no plans for those either. Not until I narrow down a replacement dining table.
So for now it sits, collecting dust and waiting for it’s life to move on. What are your opinions?