Asked on Jun 19, 2014

What would you so with this old chair?

I got this today from a friend who was cleaning out a basement of an old home whose owners moved out. Nothing like a freebie! I don't know if I should upholster over the original upholstery or gut it. Aside from the torn upholstery it's in pretty good shape. It's solid and I can't wait to see it finished!
q what would you so with this old chair, painted furniture, reupholster
q what would you so with this old chair, painted furniture, reupholster, Look at that beautiful woodwork
Look at that beautiful woodwork!
  52 answers
  • Carole Carole on Jun 19, 2014
    Beautiful style of chair. I would personally at least remove the fabric. It may be dirty and musty and holding lots of germs and dust. You might be able to then make new covers for the cushion using the removed one as a template or pattern. If you do, just remember that you will need to cut your fabric on the generous side and not to the exact size of the removed fabric as that will have been stretched hard to fit the cushion, so leave yourself plenty of wriggle room with your fabric to make adequate seams and so on. If you find the seat is slumped, baggy or has springs poking through, then I would be talking to an upholsterer unless you know how to fix that yourself. The fabric definitely needs to go as the torn parts will ruin the finished look of whatever you put over it and it is a hygiene issue too.

  • Darlene Patrick Darlene Patrick on Jun 19, 2014
    the only reason i would recover it, is because its ripped. personally i would use maroon velvet with black piping, might even paint the wood black.

  • Elizabeth Sisson Elizabeth Sisson on Jun 19, 2014
    I'm with Carole.. clean up the wood... and find a nice fabric to recover it... beautiful piece!

  • Alice M. Alice M. on Jun 19, 2014
    Put new fabric on it and use it in a reading nook or place some pillows on it and have it in a bedroom.

  • Judy Lxn Judy Lxn on Jun 19, 2014
    please dont paint it black! recover, refinish...

  • Bibi Sweet67 Bibi Sweet67 on Jun 19, 2014
    I do upholstery and I would upholster this. I would take the old fabric completely off and also the batting and make sure everything is new or clean just incase of any bedbugs. If you don't want to keep it after your done you can always sale it.

  • Jackie I Jackie I on Jun 19, 2014
    I would start stripping in down layer by layer. Be careful about leaving the stuffing and padding to reuse. If there are any stains or signs of bugs I would strip it all off and replace it with new. Looks like it would be a great snuggle up and read kind of chair!!

  • Wendy G Wendy G on Jun 19, 2014
    It's beautiful. I would reupholstered over the old if you salvage it

  • Gwendolyn Jones Gwendolyn Jones on Jun 19, 2014
    MY GOD that is a stunning chair. The lines are so elegant

  • Sheryll Ellery Sheryll Ellery on Jun 19, 2014
    It is beautiful can't wait to see what you do wiht it

  • Debbee Winegar Debbee Winegar on Jun 19, 2014
    Such a gorgeous chair, please post what you did with it!! I would love to see it and I am sure so many others would too!!

  • JoDien Bamberg JoDien Bamberg on Jun 19, 2014
    Beautiful wood work. Worth gutting and new inside and out. Would love to see it finished


  • Lorraine Lorraine on Jun 19, 2014
    Please, please no Annie Sloan paint. This is a beautiful piece. If it were mine I would gently clean the wood with Restore A Finish and then oil it. Be careful if you plan to take the upholstery apart as some of the stuffing they used back then is a mess. Then reupholster the piece. I tend to be a purist when it comes to old furniture so I would stick with a fabric thst compliments the piece

  • Tamara Tamara on Jun 19, 2014
    The only reason I would paint it is because the wood is shot. It is chipped, mildewed, etc. Paint it silvery grey, reupholster it in purple or eggplant velvet and a grey or silvery piping. Or a silvery/grey velvet with purple piping.

  • Brenda Long Brenda Long on Jun 19, 2014
    Just don't paint it. Finish it natural.

  • Cynthia Tarver Cynthia Tarver on Jun 19, 2014
    Red Velvet and Gold rope tweed.

  • Miluska Del Valle Miluska Del Valle on Jun 19, 2014
    White frame with black leather or dark brown frame reupholster in gold fabric embroidered with leaves or something similar, good luck and please post the result

  • Toni Teague Toni Teague on Jun 19, 2014
    I think a French Provencial flower tapestry would be most elegant. I would use greens and cream or match you existing colors in your bedroom. I think this would make a great reading chair for your bedroom or a snuggle chair for your living room. I can see great potentiial. Please do not paint the chair. Make the original wood shine through.

  • Patricia W Patricia W on Jun 19, 2014
    Never reuse the old stuffing. No telling where it has been, how old it is and old stuffing can contain lead, dust mites, mold ( even though you dont see it) and asbestos. Always start fresh! Have fun with your fab find!

  • Lois Devilling Lois Devilling on Jun 19, 2014
    Please, please don't paint it!

  • Jeanee Rockweiler Jeanee Rockweiler on Jun 19, 2014
    Don't paint it, it's too elegant......this will be beautiful when it's reupholstered and the wood cleaned up.

  • Jennifer Lee Jennifer Lee on Jun 20, 2014
    Hello from New Orleans! I agree with most- please don't paint it as it still has its original beauty that once it is altered cannot be restored. And take out batting, etc., bc God knows what has been living in there! Would love to see the result in its new home.

  • Chris Knutson Chris Knutson on Jun 20, 2014
    Please don't paint/distress it. All fabric and batting needs to be replaced. White Brocade.

  • Alma Williams Alma Williams on Jun 20, 2014
    Please do not paint the wood!! Restore all that and have it reupholstered with a beautiful brocade suggestive of that era. It's a gem.

  • Judi Stump Judi Stump on Jun 20, 2014
    Restrain the wood and recover with an elegant tapestry. Even a black and white print. Definitely new batting.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 20, 2014
    It is rare to find a piece like this...much less a freebie. This chair is elegant. It would fit with any decor! I would take it to a professional and have it evaluated as to structure. I think these pieces are wonderful to use every day. Clean and polish the frame once you know it is sturdy...there are all kinds of polishes on the market these days. Then cover it to suit your style...a beautiful plush fleece type? A funky beautiful pattern? A sophisticated period fabric? It can be a comfy family room chair or something in a formal living room! Be sure and post a photo when done. Please do not paint this piece! In fact, until I knew the value of it, I would only clean it with a damp rag and oil!

  • Angel Abramski Stallings Angel Abramski Stallings on Jun 20, 2014
    I agree with Lois! Just re-cover and new stuffing for sure!! Elegant tapestry or a nice large, floral print! Beautiful!!

  • Sally holway Sally holway on Jun 20, 2014
    I paint! I'd use a great floral print on it.

  • Beckie Carson Beckie Carson on Jun 20, 2014
    I think you should do what will make it fit into your home to enjoy, if you plan on keeping it. If you plan on selling it, consider your market. And probably followwhat everyone else has said. I ddon't think I would paint the wood or stain it. I think it has a lovely color as it is.

  • Dana Myrick Dana Myrick on Jun 20, 2014
    It was probably headed for the landfill. So with that being said have fun with it

  • Margaret Dillard Margaret Dillard on Jun 20, 2014
    I agree with Becky, consider your market if selling it whether to paint or not but definitely gut it and start with new stuffing. Great find!

  • GINA SUSKA GINA SUSKA on Jun 20, 2014
    I would take it down to the frame, paint and antique the frame and then totally reupholster this beauty. Viola! A new chair!

  • Elizabeth D'Ettorre Elizabeth D'Ettorre on Jun 20, 2014
    Those legs are glorious! I just love them. I would reapolster it in a off white sick brocade with tassels on the bottom. What a find. Or you can go brothel with it an use Ailey brocade red? Yum!

  • Katie B Katie B on Jun 20, 2014
    I vote for gutting it. Start with fresh stuffing and fabric.

  • Sindy Todd Sindy Todd on Jun 20, 2014
    I would remove the old upholstery, clean the wood and redo in a funky new material. Have fun!

  • Jane H Jane H on Jun 20, 2014
    I would find a fabric as close to the one that is on it and give her back her grand life with lots of oil for the wood -

  • Ellen B Ellen B on Jun 20, 2014
    It has alotof potential. I have my MIL's chair in garage and want to redo it myself but don't know where to start. PLEASE show the finished product and let us know if is an easy redo. Can't wait!

    • Karren Brunell Karren Brunell on Jun 21, 2014
      @Ellen B its not that hard, take pictures while you are taking it apart then that way easy to put back together. Save the fabric so you can use it as a pattern for the new fabric to cut to match....good luck and post when you are done!

  • Kathie taylor Kathie taylor on Jun 20, 2014
    Make sure the fabric is kid friendly! Not knowing the rest of your furniture makes it hard to help. I'm with everybody else though, gut it and start over. I hope you don't paint it though.

  • Wendy Willey Wendy Willey on Jun 20, 2014
    Depends on if you use it yourself or plan on selling it! IMO, it'd look fantastic with the wood painted black and the chair reupholstered with a black & white Toile.

  • Bonnie B Bonnie B on Jun 20, 2014
    definitely do not paint that needs to be looking like wood when you are done!

  • Sandra Whittier Sandra Whittier on Jun 20, 2014
    That should be returned to it's former glory and if it don't fit in your house find someone it will work for. To re furbish is one thing but it's too awesome to let someone paint on.

  • Betty Latham Betty Latham on Jun 20, 2014
    @ Alicia, Restain wood trim a dark color. Re Upholstery....It will be BEAUTIFUL

  • Janie C Janie C on Jun 20, 2014
    can I buy it from you????

  • Janet McCall Janet McCall on Jun 21, 2014
    Reupholstered in a rich Grey silk fabric and paint the frame a shade or two darker grey. Stunning

  • Cathy Phelps Cathy Phelps on Jun 21, 2014
    Love the feet!

  • Therese C Therese C on Jun 21, 2014
    Oh my gosh!!! I just fell in love! What you do is wait till I get there with a truck and I will send pictures back to you when I am done..LOL..seriously though, you live in New Orleans, so let's think French. This chair and all of it's detailing are gorgeous. I could see oiling the living dickens out of the wood...keep that original..then re-stuff and recover in painter's cloth. Then you are free to stencil or free hand a French pattern on the seat. If you are feeling more towards the romantic side, I would cover this chair in either red or black velvet. (if it ended up in my home, it would be black velvet) ;)

  • Heidi Bertero Heidi Bertero on Jun 22, 2014
    nice shape, and nice décor under seat, definitely re-upholstery worthy!! take pics!

  • Starr Durrant Starr Durrant on Sep 24, 2014
    Beautiful design - would look great in a bright purple upholstery with a high gloss black paint on the wood

  • GINA SUSKA GINA SUSKA on Jan 27, 2015
    Love this piece, I would gut it!

  • Traci Darin Traci Darin on Jan 27, 2015
    Wow! I wouldn't paint the wood but I would use a modern pattern to make it more contemporary. It's just gorgeous!! Can't wait to see what you do with it!

  • Gloria Sheldon Gloria Sheldon on Aug 12, 2015
    I think it should come home to this mama! I love it! I'm sure you know you are gonna have to take all that upholstery off and use the old one for the pattern...or I'll take the pretty girl and get Miss Mindy down the road to make it real pretty. Priceless.