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Weekend Warrior, Whaaaaa? A How-to and What-not-to-do.

Remember this guy? Well….I made him my biyatch this weekend.

Garage sale find for $5

Garage sale find for $5

Actually, I think it was the other way around….but who’s keeping track? Buckle your seatbelts, because I’m going to take you on a magical mystery tour of the how-to’s and what-not-to-do’s of refinishing a really old chair.

Here’s what I used: 400 Super Fine Sandpaper, Elmer’s Wood Glue, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Watco Danish Oil (Medium Walnut), a Wood Stain Marker Pen and Howard’s Feed-N-Wax (like conditioner for wood.)

It started with this: The veneer was curling up in one corner of the chair. backrest. I decided to give this Wood Glue a go.

It started with this: The veneer was curling up in one corner of the chair’s back rest. I decided to give this Wood Glue a go. You had me at sandable and paintable.


Then I realized I didn’t have clamps. Suddenly, the MacGyver in me came out. Office binder clip. Ha! You can’t fool me, chair!


Sanded with 400 grain super-fine sand paper and fashionably clamped.


Murphy’s oil soap provides cleaning power.


Having a ninja helper oversee the Danish Oil bath is always a good choice. (Watco Danish Oil – 7 bucks at Home Depot)


Whoops. Even though I’d sanded down the glue, the Danish Oil slid right off my “repair” spot.


Not to be beaten by an old crusty chair, I had to get creative. Lucky for me, I had a similarly hued Wood Stain Marker. The marker worked wonders on the sanded and glued portion of the chair. VOILA!

Chair in waiting...

Chair in waiting for fabric delivery…

Here is what I would have done differently:

1. I wouldn’t have sanded the chair in my kitchen. My “Ah-ha” moment was realizing that I was quite possibly releasing really nasty crap into the air….IN MY KITCHEN…where I prepare food. Dumb.

2. I wouldn’t recommend using Danish Oil in conjunction with a repair job. But if not for my glue spot, the chair would have had a perfect finish. Alternatively, I would have sanded, cleaned and applied the stain BEFORE the glue so that there would have been some stain underneath the repair. Turns out the “sandable, paintable” glue isn’t Danish Oil-able.

This was a quick and easy project to complete. Most of the products I already had in my arsenal and so far, this project has cost a total of $18 in supplies, including the cost of the chair. Not bad for a weekend of DIY entertainment!

I located vintage 1960’s orange fabric on Etsy.com for only 10 bucks including shipping. If you’re not currently subscribed, please come back next week, as I’ll feature a seat re-covering tutorial.

Credit: rue23vintage on Etsy.com

Credit: rue23vintage on Etsy.com


About midcenturyobsession

My love for midcentury surfaced after inheriting a couple pieces of my very fashionable grandmother's MCM furniture. I'd always loved clean lines...and became obsessed. I'm currently in the process of redoing our entire home in Mid Century style. My husband would tell you "She's off her head." (Irish-speak for NUTS.) I am the wife of a Dubliner, a mother to an adorable little boy and two clownish french bulldogs Pig and Pearl. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. If there is anything I learned earning my degree, it was that I didn't want to pursue criminal justice. My heart just wasn't in it. I played 2 years of volleyball on a full scholarship and graduated a 4 year college in 3 years. I lived in Dallas for a very long time and left friends behind to be closer to family for my son. A native Californian, I have to say it's great to be back home.


9 thoughts on “Weekend Warrior, Whaaaaa? A How-to and What-not-to-do.

  1. Ooh, gorgeous chair! Thanks for the good info. I have a chair in my garage that needs lots of help! 🙂

    Posted by whitneyjc | July 30, 2013, 3:13 am
  2. Nice work. I am glad you share the learning process. I also learn on the job haha.

    Posted by Rebecca@MidCenturyModernRemodelr | July 30, 2013, 4:57 am
  3. Awesome! Perhaps I need a Ninja warrior too? Chair looks great. I didn’t even know the cushions came off. Hmm. 🙂

    Posted by Lola M | July 31, 2013, 12:33 am
  4. Splendid! Splendid! I love the chair backing. So RETRO! Good find and job fearless leader ;o)

    Posted by Senta of a Woman | August 1, 2013, 1:56 am
  5. Love love love!! For some reason, I’m not getting email notifications on your new posts. This must be rectified stat!!!

    Posted by Lin | August 1, 2013, 4:05 pm


  1. Pingback: Discovering Re-covering – a DIY Project | midcenturyobsession - August 10, 2013

  2. Pingback: Discovering Re-covering – a DIY Project | Midcentury Obsession - September 13, 2013

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