Trash to Treasure - Old Blue Chair

Red's Rustic Rehab
by Red's Rustic Rehab
6 Materials
4 Days
I have had this old blue chair in the corner of my master bedroom since JUNE. I got it for free from Facebook market, what an adventure that was! I drive a small sedan, but I knew I HAD TO HAVE THIS CHAIR! I show up to get it and it was wider than I thought, I somehow managed to fit the chair in the front seat of my car! My Mary Poppins bag of a car, she’s been through some interesting adventures! Haha! Anywho! I was a little intimidated about how rough she was to start with, really rough wood, old nails and rusty seat springs, oh my! I didn’t know where to start, so there she sat for 7 months collecting dust, and laundry, and many other objects that got thrown haphazardly across her! So! Here is the journey to restore this little gal! If you frequent furniture restoration and have suggestions on how to make things easier next time I find an old gem, please, comment below! I love hearing from you!
Here she is, all blue and rusty. The bones were good for the most part, some spots that needed a good sanding or a little wood filler but overall a solid piece, and for free?!? What! Yes please! So I gathered materials as I went because honestly, I didn’t have a clue what I would need! I ended up using:
  • 1/2” sanded plywood
  • Tin snips
  • needle nose pliers
  • hammer
  • palm sander/sandpaper
  • wood filler
  • Folk Art Chalk Paint in Nautical
  • Seat cushion foam
  • 1 yard fabric
  • staple gun
  • drill/driver with drill bits and wood screws
This was the biggest challenge, I couldn’t get these nails out with a hammer, they just wouldn’t budge, so I ended up cutting them off and hammering in any parts that were left sticking up, I still wanted this chair to look old when I got done with it, so this wasn’t a big deal to me to have little imperfections. The goal for me, I wanted it to look like it belonged in Grandma’s house.... I’ll let you know why later.
After the battle of the seat springs was over I sanded it down really well, I wore a respirator while doing so, since I have no idea how old this chair was or the type of paint used, always wear your protective equipment! After she was sanded and cleaned I brought it inside to paint, it was damp out and I didn’t want to risk the paint drying and staying tacky.
I was blown away by the coverage of this paint! Such bold pigments, and this blue! Love! I received the 12 pack set of Folk Art Chalk Paints am from Home Talk and I’m obsessed with these bold colors! 1 coat was really amazing coverage!
Here is what the product looks like, its available on Amazon, I 10 out of 10 recommend trying it!
Here she is after 2 coats, the blue was a little too “royal” so I did tone it down with a black wax, which I made out of the Folk Art Creme wax and a few drops of black acrylic paint and mixed it well, this gave it just enough darkness to tone it down to the navy shade I was really hoping for!
I measured and cut the wood for the backrest cushion, this part was easy because it’s just a rectangle...
I upholstered the back of the board with no cushion, this would be on the back side of the chair, I could have probably saved some fabric and painted it, but I really like the look from the back of the chair with the pattern here. I just stapled the fabrics to the edges of the board. Then I added the cushion to the front of the board and did the same process, pulling and stapling the fabric to the edges of the board, that way when I rest the the back cushion all the staples are hidden within the chair.
I used some poster board to cut a template for the seat base, traces it onto my plywood and used my jigsaw to cut it out, this is the part that was the most challenging for me. If anyone has an easier method, please, help a girl out! Haha!
It’s not perfect! But once the cushion and fabric is added I think it will be fine!
To attach the seat back, I predrilked through the side of the chair into the plywood backing of the back rest, I then sunk the screw into the wood so I can cover it with wood filler and a little touch up paint and it will look like it’s always been there!
Upholstering the seat might have been the easiest part, cut the foam to fit, pull the fabric tight and staple to the under side of the seat and attach from the corners where it had supports already in place! She’s so pretty! I’m in love this fabric! I’m using this chair in my wedding, I’ll reveal for what after the big day, which, by the way, is exactly 6 weeks from today! Oh my goodness! Ready or not here we go! I’m so excited! Everything is coming together so well! My friends and family have been so helpful! It’s such a fun time! My posts here for the next few months may still be wedding projects because I have quite a few that could be useful to someone for a wedding or even just for gifts and decor!Let me know what you think of my “Granny Chic” rocket, and again, any tips and tricks you would like to share, I would love to hear! Follow my wedding DIY madness @redsrusticrehabs See you all soon!
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  2 questions
  • Sue Sue on Jan 18, 2020

    I have my great grandparents old rocker. It's been painted white over the years and the finish is not rough and needs to be sanded. The back and seat were once cane backing but gone long ago. I want to redo it like this one except different color to go with my decor. So you have truly inspired me now with a solution where I was down in the mouth before. Thank you, yours is gorgeous! I, too, love that fabric! where did you find it?

  • Linda masters Linda masters on Feb 01, 2020

    The chair turned out beautifully. Can you use a skill saw instead of a jigsaw to cut the seat back and the seat. It's gorgeous

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  • Linda Linda on Jan 01, 2023

    It's beautiful. I hope you used a good chunk of foam for the seat and back. Nothing like a hard chair to ruin a good "sit".. I have back problems so it's important to me. Happy wedding.. ❤️

  • Nona Nona on Jan 01, 2023

    WOW!! This chair is beautiful and that blue just pop with the fabric. I haven't read all the comments so this suggestion would be to "wear some of the paint off" where a person's hands and arms would rest as well as any other parts that would be be handled. As it is looks now it is too "new" looking; then again if that is the look you wanted she's perfect.