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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What does $5 buy these days???

When MoS Washington posted about her $5 Craigslist chair, I couldn't believe her luck!  She found such an amazing chair, and yes, it took a little elbow grease, but she was able to make it absolutely beautiful. 

Her find inspired me to look for my own Craigslist chair.  And hey, when I am up at 3am feeding the baby, I might as well do some surfing with Craig!

Enter a chair on Charlotte Craigslist, priced at $5, with this description:  "In good condition, new hand-caned seat, but needs a new dial and some TLC."  You never know what it means when something on CL needs "some TLC."  And what on earth is a "dial" on a chair???  After racking my brain (and reading the description aloud) I finally realized that "dial" probably meant "dowel."  That sounded like an easy fix.  So I called the seller (and of course I referred to the "dial" on the phone so he wouldn't think I was a know-it-all and raise the price on me...) and decided that the 20 minute trip to get the chair would be worthwhile.

My husband went and picked up the chair for me.  Yes, the dowel was technically the only broken part.  What the seller hadn't mentioned was that he had begun stripping the chair, which had been painted several times, so it was covered in very thick streaks from whatever he used to strip it.  Still, the caning job was absolutely perfect, so I decided it was worth a little effort.

I absolutely loved the lines of the chair.  It looks like a Swedish style (to my untrained eye at least), and the caning on the seat is beautiful.  My guess is that perhaps someone had taken a caning class and used this old chair to practice on?  But I can never be sure...

It's a little hard to see in this picture, but the top of the chair had a hand-painted bee on it.  It really was beautiful painting, but the rest of the paint job was so awful (not to mention the hideous green color) that I decided that the bee just could not be salvaged.  Maybe one day the Keno brothers will tell me I was crazy to cover up the bee!

My sweet husband went to Home Depot and had a dowel cut that fit just right.  He sanded it and popped it in, secured with some Gorilla Glue.

As good as new!  (you can see the streaks from where he had stripped the chair- the entire thing was like this).

So, after replacing the dowel, it was time to sand.  And sand.  And sand some more.  I was truly shocked at how many layers of paint were on this chair.

I never quite got all of the paint off.  But I did get it to where it was even enough to repaint.  For a split-second I was tempted to leave it like this.  But I think this worn look is better-suited for the Wisteria catalog than in my house...

I had a sample leftover of my bedroom wall paint that I decided to use- it is a light blue with a bit of aqua in it.

Here is the seat once I started to repaint it.

And the finished product....  I just left the cane seat as-is.  I considered painting it but at least for the time being have decided to leave it its natural color.

Works great at my living room desk!

Just the right size!

Before and After....

Not bad for $5, right?!


Jaime said...

Bravo! Not bad at all :)

Averill said...

I'll looks fab!

Anonymous said...

You got a steal. That caning alone costs $$$!

Lacquered Life said...

I just love deals and steals like this one. So original!

bazaarofserendipity said...

You did such a great job! and it looks adorable next to your desk!

Brianna said...

beautiful job! It is too bad the bee couldn't be saved but it happens, it really looks fabulous, well worth the time

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