What would you do with this chair?

I found it on the curb years ago but haven't figured out what to do with it. I don't have any country decor -- more updated traditional/transitional. (I'm also a beginner at all this.) It needs a LOT of wood filler, I think. The seat is truly cracked, not just distressed. Thank you!!!
q suggestions for chair upcycle, home maintenance repairs, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
q suggestions for chair upcycle, home maintenance repairs, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
q suggestions for chair upcycle, home maintenance repairs, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
  66 answers
  • Cindy Roehm Cindy Roehm on Jul 07, 2015
    I would leave it "as is" and use it as an accent to fill a corner. Heavily addicted to decorative pillows so I would add a cute one to the seat and let it just be.

  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 07, 2015
    to redo this chair,if the seat still strong enough to sit on,I would have the hardware store cut you a square to fit inside the seat then put a cushion on top.You can spray paint it a crazy color.you should spray a primer coat of paint first.You should sand the design on the top before painting,or it may come through.Have fun!send us a picture when you are finished!!

  • C C on Jul 07, 2015
    I agree with Cindy. I would leave it "as-is". Perhaps, if the paint is still flaking off a lot, give it a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper & clear coat it with a satin finish to stop the 'mess'. I would use it for my throw blankets.... maybe one folded & place on the seat... & another draped over the back :-)

  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Jul 07, 2015
    If the seat is really cracked ,they sell at the hardware store something called a mending plate.You can screw them into the bottom of the seat to hold it in place.Cost about2-3 dollars for a pack of 2-3 which is all you made need.If you don't want to do that much work,you can always spray it a color and stick a plant on the seat and use it as a decoration on a covered porch.If you put it outdoors, use outdoor paint.

  • Diane Diane on Jul 07, 2015
    This would be cute on your front porch, holding a flowerpot, maybe painted an eye catching color.

  • Lisa Bradley-Schroeck Lisa Bradley-Schroeck on Jul 07, 2015
    None of these ideas work with your decor. I would fill the cracks with a high strength wood repair resin, sand it down and paint it a high gloss black or steel grey, and throw a modern color block throw over the back.

    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 07, 2015
      @Lisa Bradley-Schroeck I like that idea. The chair, as is, would work really well in a country decor, but that's not my house.

  • SusieJen SusieJen on Jul 07, 2015

  • Laurie Mwakanandi Laurie Mwakanandi on Jul 07, 2015
    I agree with Diane! I may even cut out the seat and set the potted flowers inside the seat cutout and place on the porch or even in a garden!

    • Christina Dorrego Christina Dorrego on Jul 07, 2015
      @Laurie Mwakanandi I agree. The wood has such a nice patina already, putting a pot in the seat with a riot of green leaf shoots and flowers that echo the design...like yellow or tan.

  • Joan Revell Ryan Joan Revell Ryan on Jul 07, 2015
    I would take the legs off and hang it as a shelf on the wall

  • Alma Rosa Gonzalez Alma Rosa Gonzalez on Jul 07, 2015
    Lisa Bradley-Schroeck has the best idea.

  • Susie Moore Susie Moore on Jul 07, 2015
    Seal holes. Sand everything. Reenforce seat under neath with wood strips nails. Paint with chalk paint. Use to hold boston fern.

  • Mia Mia on Jul 07, 2015
    I'd clean the chair and leave it as is, using it as an accent. It's already shabby chic!

  • Barrbsie Watkins Barrbsie Watkins on Jul 07, 2015
    oh I love it! you need to leave it as is!

  • Christina Dorrego Christina Dorrego on Jul 07, 2015
    I am a fan of grey and black. I'd use the rings in the legs and back and paint those the opposite of the main color you choose. Grey base with black I think would be best. You could also disassemble the whole thing, use the back rods, the decorative rods and the bottom rods and somehow create an outside plant holder with those as retaining rails back and side. Use the rods in the garden after you paint them, for plant support. The groves in the wood lend themselves to some sort of contract color, based on your preferences, and I would simply paint them...then sit on the floor with them like a toddler and play with them. Something will jump out at you, matching longer to shorter or tall to short, criss cross....what have you. I love the rustic look, I hate the picture, and I would be inclined to use it in the garden.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jul 07, 2015
    I'd reinforce the seat. Finished.

  • Stila Stila on Jul 07, 2015
    I would cut hole in the seat. Place large terracotta flower pot in it,and fill with flowers. i would use it as an accent piece on porch or front door.

  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Jul 07, 2015
    @c-lo I don't think it needs wood filler, just a bit of wood glue & some clamping while it dries, & maybe something fun & funky inspired by Mac Kenzie Childs. https://www.google.com/search?q=mackenzie+childs+chairs&biw=1360&bih=599&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=dEOcVZTiNIfJtQXCtLHQDw&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg

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    • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Jul 07, 2015
      @C-lo whatever you do, just have fun with it, after all it was free so no loss, & it can always be repainted again! =)

  • Deborah Deborah on Jul 07, 2015
    Glue and clamp seat. To use in your traditional/transitional style you could cut to back rest at the top to simply the line. Paint glossy black or white, or if you are using an accent color you could use that color.

  • Kelly Kelly on Jul 07, 2015
    I would put a few coats of a polyurethane on it. Put outside as a plant stool or hang a seasonal wretch on the chair back. Use to hold Jack-o-laterns or other holiday decor.

  • Brenda hamilton Brenda hamilton on Jul 07, 2015
    It is too much work for repair but I love how aged it is .I would leave it as is .Find a large flower pot and fill it with geraniums .Set this on the chair seat on your porch a nice welcome for your guests

    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 07, 2015
      @Brenda hamilton I love that idea. If I had a real porch, I would use it!

  • Carole Carole on Jul 07, 2015
    I would do as @brenda hamilton suggests and leave as is. If it does not fit your décor, donate it to someone who has country style décor and can do it justice.

  • Terry Terry on Jul 07, 2015
    I have old chairs and I put them in my flower gardens. They just look nice and rustic just the way they are. Or add a planter of trailing flowers or make a hole in the seat and drop a planter inside the whole and plant flowers or herbs.

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    • Terry Terry on Jul 08, 2015
      @C-lo Oh C-lo I am sorry it is so hot for you. I guess my advice on the chair would'nt pertain to the south.LOL. or only the part about visiting the paint man. Wish you and Neva could come and sit on my deck for coffee this morning. You would the like the am coolness.

  • PerversePoet PerversePoet on Jul 08, 2015
    I'd paint it with duck egg blue chalk paint and get a cushion for the seat and use it in the garden

  • Claudia Grant Claudia Grant on Jul 08, 2015
    I have old left over chairs in my Garden...which i have painted and decked with plants...love the look...

  • Debbie Miller Debbie Miller on Jul 08, 2015
    Re-enforce the bottom for strength, paint it to match your decor, put a nice plant in it and sit it by a sunny window.

  • DJ DJ on Jul 08, 2015
    Have you thought of maybe taking it apart and reusing the pieces for a whole new project...like a coat rack, shelf etc.

    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 08, 2015
      @DJ great idea, but I'm not that handy -- at all!

  • Fran Fran on Jul 08, 2015
    Remove the decal, lightly sand, paint it with exterior black paint. Put it outside to compliment the corner or a garden or entry. Add either a cushion with a lumbar pillow or top off the seat with a big fern. Painting this chair black transforms it to fit into any decor.

  • Roxanna Clark Roxanna Clark on Jul 08, 2015
    Perhaps "Plastic Wood" to fill the crack (3 times stronger than wood).

  • Trudy Trudy on Jul 08, 2015
    Use wood glue in the crack. Tie something (rope, shoe strings, etc.) around the chair in between the rungs, insert a screwdriver in each one and twist to tighten like a tourniquet. Free clamp!

  • Nikki Nikki on Jul 08, 2015
    I have found that for really bad cracked wood, wood bondo from Lowes or home depot works the best and once it dries you sand it and can then paint or stain right over it.

  • Debbie Stevens Debbie Stevens on Jul 08, 2015
    cut a hole in seat.paint the chair a bright colour and put a pot of plants in it. Voila instant porch or garden art

  • Sondra McAnally Sondra McAnally on Jul 08, 2015
    Brace under the seat with metal straps.paint with chalk paint, wax .then make into a planter w/hole or just set a old enameled pot of flowers on seat or anything you want on the seat...even a bird feeder would be cute. Be sure and distress.

  • Marie Alesi Caruana Marie Alesi Caruana on Jul 08, 2015
    Definitely makes a great plant holder when you've fixed the crack and/or used the above suggestions. I have one in my garden from a sidewalk find and have used it for years. Have fun with it!

  • Carol Carol on Jul 08, 2015
    Fill the seat crack and than repaint/refinish it and use it as a porch chair for neighbors when they stop to visit.

  • Momama Momama on Jul 08, 2015
    I, too, would cut a hole in the seat and put a plant in it. I'm searching for an old chair to do just that!!

  • Shelia Shelia on Jul 08, 2015
    I would seal with a clear sealant, and not cut any holes. Just place a beautiful potted plant on the seat on your porch or patio or Sun room.

  • Ruth76114 Ruth76114 on Jul 08, 2015
    I agree with Shelia. You can switch out the potted pants for pumpkins, Easter baskets, etc.

  • Bre1692319 Bre1692319 on Jul 08, 2015
    Boy would I live to have that chair! Great find! I wouldn't do a thing and put it as a show piece with some other cool distressed pieces by it. If it doesn't match your decor just sell it!

    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 08, 2015
      @Bream67 I might do that! So many of you said they would love this chair.

  • Mes726852 Mes726852 on Jul 08, 2015
    Put wood glue in that big crack and clamp it tight. Let it dry for a day at least. Sand the loose paint off. Then decide whether you need to fill any places with wood filler. You can paint it and distress the edges where wear would happen. That crack in the middle looks to be where the wood was glued together when the chair was made. It would hold up better if you glued it rather than put filler in it.

  • EJS EJS on Jul 08, 2015
    Nothing, absolutely nothing! Beautiful chair that would cost a great deal to purchase it done this way, distressed on purpose. You have the real deal!!!!

    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 08, 2015
      @EJS maybe I should sell it, then! Aside from the castor wheels, it's a very comfortable chair. Distressed but solid.

  • Sonja Hartman Sonja Hartman on Jul 08, 2015
    Sell it to me! I would love to have a chair like that! Please don't cut a hole in it, can decorate w/the holidays!

    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 08, 2015
      @Sonja Hartman I'm starting to think I should sell it! lol

  • Janelewty Janelewty on Jul 08, 2015
    Take out a big circle in the seat at put a large plater in it, put in garden

  • Creative chic Creative chic on Jul 08, 2015
    OMG!!! Restore it. Yes, you want the distressed look but you also want people to be able to sit in it right? If your not looking to turn it into a real piece of furniture that you can actually sit in then dont restore it. If you want it for decor then you still need to do some work to it, sand it enough to just get the chipped pieces and more of an even level. Then yes, I would use paintable wood filler just to fill in the bigger cracks but for the decor look you would want to leave it a bit rustic. I would use an antique white chalky paint then on the decal flower and on the parts that have more of those defined lines, use a dark wax or antiquing paste to have those beautiful details stand out more. I would even paint them a different shade, maybe a duck egg blue or you can go softer with a light pink, not sure what your color pallete is, then with the antiqueing wax over those will make them just pop and stand out. No matter what, you just cant leave it, it will eventually crumble, always do some restoration if you want the piece to last. Diana Creativechicsrule.com Dianashomedecor.com

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    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 10, 2015
      What part of TN are you moving to? It's a beautiful state. Thanks so much for all of your help. I also love the piece Rachel did. What a beautiful shade of gray. My home has warmer colors as opposed to cooler, or I'd copy that!

  • Buster Evans Buster Evans on Jul 08, 2015
    Seal it with clear waterproof polyureithane or varnish dont change the look of it at all, It could be used as a plant holder on the porch (like in a corner), or even just by itself as an ornament on the porch!

  • Joan Joan on Jul 08, 2015
    This is a GREAT chair, just as it sits! But, if it doesn't fit in your house, sell it to someone who loves it and buy something that does! Don't put wood filler in it, and don't cut it up. If you want to keep it, you might strip the old paint and repaint it. I wouldn't mess with the seat, put a cushion on it.

  • Trudy Trudy on Jul 08, 2015
    GORGEOUS!!!!Leave it alone, use Thompsons Water Seal on it, sit it on your porch--put a plant, ababy doll, or just nothing---I would luv, luv, luv to have this---whatever you do don't cut a hole----display and enjoy---what a conversation piece!!!!!!!1

  • Diana Diana on Jul 08, 2015
    I found an old rocker in a resale shop. Sanded it down, filled any cracks and painted the whole thing with a mauve spray paint. I had a velvet mauve pillow of just the right shade which I put on the seat and the rocker sits in a corner of my bedroom. I can sit in it and read. The color surprises people and it has really become a central conversation piece of my bedroom. I drape a soft blanket over one side and it gives the whole room a homely look. So don't think you have to keep the distressed look or use it outside. Let it warm up a spot in your home.

  • Sonja C Sonja C on Jul 08, 2015
    I'd cut a round hole in the seat the right size for a flower pot, Seal the whole thing with some weatherproofing type of finish and then fill the pot with pretty flowers. Would make a great unexpected pop of folk for your yard or front porch.

  • Jaclinericher Jaclinericher on Jul 08, 2015
    je la peinturerait blanche Avec des décorations roses et je lui ferait non coussin blanc Avec de grosses de roses fleus

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    • C-lo C-lo on Jul 08, 2015
      @Maggie Ann haha! love that! wouldn't fit in my decor but cute idea!

  • Drprof Drprof on Jul 09, 2015
    Hi, I can see that chair, repaired and painted matt black. You could even consider adding gold accents in the areas where there are those circle like depressions in the wood. Those would be nice accents done in gold.

  • Jeannie Carle Jeannie Carle on Jul 09, 2015
    I sooooo agree! Thompson's and leave it be! That's a gorgeous chair! I would absolutely love to have it - just as it is!

  • Sheilah Riley Sheilah Riley on Jul 09, 2015
    I would fix any cracks and sand it to its natural wood leaving a halo around the picture at the top and then stain with a clear glossy stain so you could see its natural beauty. I would put the glossy clear stain over the picture at top to preserve it. Once you dp what ever you decide to do with it please put a picture back on so we can see what you did.

  • Karen Karen on Jul 09, 2015
    This looks like an old rocking chair with the rockers missing. You could possibly have someone make some rockers for it and antique them to match or strip and repaint the whole thing to match your home décor.

  • Before filling cracks you might want to put some reinforcement under the chair seat, a heavy person might fall through! I also think painting mat black would be pretty!

  • Sharly Sharly on Jul 09, 2015
    I have a chair very similar to yours but mine is a rocking chair. When we renovated our home the mahogny finish was out of place so we redid the chair with a mat black and added cushions. We have gotten many compliments on our new chair. Sharly St Albert,Ab Canada

  • Karen Howard Karen Howard on Jul 09, 2015
    I agree with Jeanie, unless youl'd like to paint it, or wood stain it & put a cushion on it. It's really your choice. But DO put Thompsons on it -esp. if it's going outside!

  • Jaclinericher Jaclinericher on Jul 09, 2015
    Aidez à répondre à cette question ...

  • Clearissa Coward Clearissa Coward on Jul 09, 2015
    This is gorgeous! So old and crinkly. Love it. Love your work.

  • Recycler Recycler on Jul 09, 2015
    cut a hole in the seat that fits a plastic plant pot you have around. Plant the pot with herbs and soon it will cover up unsightly parts. You could also make a moss chair...google it or pinterest it for how to's...

  • Bette Bette on Jul 09, 2015
    Cut a whole in the seat and put a bucket with flowers. Place on my front porch.

  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Jul 10, 2015
    First let me explain something about wood...it breaks along a grainline. If you notice, the grain of the wood on the seat of your chair runs from front to back (or back to front, depending on how you view it). The break in the seat is within the grain, which is natural. Putting filler in the break to secure the seat won't do anything other than to cosmetically close the gap. It will do absolutely nothing to keep the seat together. Unless you have the capability of drilling holes and securing the broken line with a series of evenly-spaced dowels or if you can biscuit-join it, other than screwing a piece of wood on the underneath side you are in a bit of a bind. However... We have a chair that is nearly 100-years-old and had/has a break in the seat quite similar to the one displayed by yours. I no longer have the tools and equipment to either dowel- or biscuit-join it, so I came up with what seems to have been a simple and effective repair. I consider it temporary until it can be repaired properly, but it has worked for over 6 years with daily use of the chair. The first picture shows the chair in the upright position. If you look carefully at the third splat/spindle from the right, you can see the break line. The second photo shows the bottom side. Near the rear edge and near the front edge of the seat, I drilled four small holes in which I screwed eye hooks. You have to drill pilot holes or you run the risk of creating additional breaks in the seat. Remember, this is an old piece of furniture and the wood is dried out due to its age. Once the eye hooks were in place, a piece of threaded rod was inserted and a square nut was placed on one end of each rod and a "cap/acorn" nut on the other end. The square nuts were tightened until the break in the seat closed. We used square nuts because that's what we had on hand. Feel free to use whatever type you want or have available. The threaded rods, eye hooks and nuts are essentially invisible unless you turn the chair upside down. The last two photos show the eye hooks, nuts and threaded rods up close. As I mentioned earlier, this fix has held and with an occasional check to see if the nuts are secure, we've had to do nothing else.

    • Nina Jordan-Smith Nina Jordan-Smith on Jul 14, 2015
      @Swan Road Designs I had the same idea when I saw the chair and was trying to figure out what tools to use to solve the problem. This is a great idea.

  • C-lo C-lo on Jul 10, 2015
    Thanks for you detailed reply, I really appreciate it. Yes, the crack runs north/south. In fact, you can actually see the floor through it. I'm not wieldy with a drill (to say the least!) but your instructions make sense. I should probably do that if I keep the chair. Thank you again!

  • Sandy Sandy on Jul 17, 2016

  • Armada157 Armada157 on Sep 26, 2016
    Some things are best left As Is. Have you seen another one of these?

    • C-lo C-lo on Oct 05, 2016
      No...it just doesn't fit into my decor, especially the color.

  • C-lo C-lo on Sep 26, 2016
    No, I found this at a yard sale about 25 yrs ago. Paid $5 for it. It's been in a spare room as it really doesn't match my decor at all, color or style wise. Now I'm downsizing bc of divorce and I don't know what to do with it.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Mar 31, 2022

    Repaint it and add a cushion