A tale of dauntless DIY-ning

If you asked my Prince Charming, he’d say I’d rather DIY another day.

Once upon a time, this was delivered to our front door. Six of them, to be accurate.

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After a long and intense search for the perfect dining chairs, we finally found some that were ripe for upcycling and in line with our mid century fixation. Even better, they didn’t cost $500 per chair. They have great bones, I thought. They will give us backaches, he thought.

When I told him a stripper would be involved in our project, he willingly accepted the DIY challenge.

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I know, I’m a cruel biatch.

Seriously, this stuff came from heaven. It was as non-toxic as strippers can get, and didn’t have that unbearable product stench. It actually smelled citrusy. And it worked.

Let the crafting carnage begin!

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We applied the gel generously and scrubbed off the old veneer with a combination of steel wool, coarse sandpaper, and core work (fitness fanatics, I have a new workout! It’s called the Do or DIY, and you’re rewarded with a beautiful piece of furniture unlike crossfit-kinectic-yogalates).

Ta dah!

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Then came the sanding. We used a sander, sandpaper, steel wool, emery boards, pumice, coral, Durian skins, the bottom of Uncle Ned’s foot……you name it, we used it.

The next task was replacing the old upholstery. I removed the old bottom layer and found the original label. I love discoveries like this.

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B̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶I̶’̶m̶ ̶l̶a̶z̶y̶  To make it easy, I didn’t remove the old upholstery entirely. But I had to remove the old piping since I wanted to replace it for that snazzy finishing touch. The piping was created using burlap string and sewing the fabric around it, then attaching it to the outer edge with a staple gun and a strip of heavy stock paper (as reinforcement).

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Back to the chairs…

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We went with a walnut mahogany stain to match our newly purchased dining table (the search for that piece is worthy of another post). We applied three coats of the water-based stain using old scraps of cloth (easier than a brush since the cloth absorbs more stain), then applied a polyurethane finish as protection.

Six looo-oong months later, we went from frog…..

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…..to prince!

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And so, the family was complete in the castle on Potrero Hill.

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Now that’s what I call happily ever after.

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4 thoughts on “A tale of dauntless DIY-ning

  1. I freeeaking LOVE what you did!
    What did you use to apply the stripper to the chairs? I started a similar project a few weeks back and put the kibosh on it because the spray on stripper was messy, toxic, and kept burning me through my heavy duty gloves. NIGHTMARE!

  2. Oh how awful!! We used brushes to apply the stripper. Definitely don’t make contact with it. This stuff wasn’t as harsh as I’d expected for the great job it did (and fast, too!) but we still wore gloves and kept it at bay to be safe. Try it next time!!!

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