Before and After: Valet’s Chair

It’s almost July and I’m getting a little panicky at all the projects in my garage. Luckily, most are of the smaller nature so I can get them wrapped up with a few days’ work. This valet’s chair is one of them.

Valet's Chair BeforeI wish I had taken a better before picture to show its terrible condition. All of the finish on the metal parts was discolored, and the vinyl had some tears and questionable stains. Pretty much everything needed to be redone.

Valet's Chair Tray SuppliesThe little wood tray that sat at the top of the chair was completely worn and dirty. So I used my trusty Watco Danish Oil to brighten it up. Have you bought some and tried it out yet?

Valet's Chair Tray Halfway RefinishedThis is with just one coat rubbed on. The difference makes you feel like you’re making some real progress and that everything you touch is gold. I did this same process to the chair legs and the scuff marks disappeared.

Valet's Chair Upholstery ToolsNext up was the seat cushion. All I had to do was remove the staples and nails. Pick up a tack strip puller (top tool) at your local hardware store and you’ll never look back. It changed my life.

Valet's Chair Upholstery ProcessThe foam was in really good shape which surprised me. Usually when I take old fabric off the foam is stained and crumbling and falls all over my rug never to be seen again. This time my project was going so smoothly and I was a happy camper. Then I stapled away with my trusty PowerShot stapler from college.

While I don’t have any process of spray painting the metal, it went something like this: Sand the metal with steel wool, wipe the metal with a wet paper towel to get all the dust off, then spray light even coats. Except don’t spray when the cottonwood trees are about to inundate your area with snow-like seeds. And make sure your pieces are securely standing up and won’t fall over if you try to move them. And make sure bugs don’t land after you’ve freshly painted a coat. And cover ALL the metal with spray paint so you don’t have to come back 72 hours later and apply another coat. And when you’ve missed a few places, make sure it isn’t supposed to rain right after you put on the finishing coat.

Above all, avoid throwing the entire project in a trash can. Spray painting has never been more problematic for me. Oh well, the more you know!

Valet's Chair AfterWhew! After all the spray painting fiascos, you end up with something cute like this. And no one is the wiser.

Valet's Chair Fabric Valet's Chair Effects

I wish my husband had a vintage suit so I could style this baby up, but we’ll have to make do with an eyeglass case and some fancy vintage cufflinks. In all honesty, this project really did turn out great, and I learned some valuable things along the way. Such as, we need a big warehouse to safely refinish our projects. Maybe one day!

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  1. Posted June 29, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I mean really. Wow.

    Watco oil, huh? I bought an awesome mid century 9-drawer dresser at the thrift store last week for THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS and tried some brush on poly+stain, but am not happy with it. I knocked the finish off first, but you can really see the areas where I was, let’s just say, less thorough than others. I’ve only done the top and sides so far, too nervous to tackle the drawers since I don’t want to take them down to bare wood. They’re in moderate shape, some nicks and grime, but otherwise okay.


    • Angela
      Posted June 30, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Deb :) Oh my goodness $35?! That’s amazing. Was it a one step poly and stain? I’ve never used something like that, and have used stain only finished up by poly only. And now the only time I completely strip down and stain is if the finish is exceptionally bad and after I’ve tried the Danish oil in an inconspicuous spot. I would clean the drawer fronts off with either Murphy’s oil soap or Formby’s Almond Lustre then try the Danish oil. Sometimes wood won’t take the oil, but I’ve only had that happen a handful of times. I’m working on a dresser now that is a dramatic transformation using the same steps so stay tuned.Hopefully I’ll finish it this week and post the following week! When your project is finished feel free to share too :)

      • Posted July 1, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Oh thanks!

        …off to Home Depot….

        • Angela
          Posted July 4, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          Let us know how it turns out! Make sure to have it dry completely. I think it says 72 hours or something, but in our humid climate I have to wait even longer.

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