before & after: alicia’s chair + amanda’s ironing board

there was a lot of painted furniture going on in last week’s before & afters so i thought it was fitting to start today’s makeovers with a make under. d*s reader alicia murphy spotted this chair on the side of the road and, despite not having a house to put it in at the time (she was living with her parents), she scooped it up and stored it at home. when the time was right, alicia decided to make it over with a fresh coat of paint. but when she was sanding it down she discovered the beautiful timber and quality of the craftsmanship, so she set about stripping and restoring the wood to its natural shine. after cleaning up the wood, alicia finished the chair with a colorful amy butler fabric and voila! a brand new chair make under. well done, alicia!

[have a before & after you’d like to share? just shoot me an email with your images right here! (low res, under 500k per image, please)]

this next project comes from amanda at red jet whistle. amanda irons every day and does a lot of sewing so she prefers to leave her ironing board out. after finding a “new-ish” ironing board at a local thrift shop (with a stained and burned cover), amanda decided to tighten, clean, stain and seal the legs, replace the padding and sew a new cover! now she has a totally custom ironing board she doesn’t mind leaving out. great work, amanda!

  1. Carman says:

    Wow! Who knew that chair had it in it. I’m glad somebody saw through the paint.

  2. Dominique says:

    Beautiful. I would be in heaven if I ever found a chair like that…I’m very envious!

  3. Wow, that chair’s transformation is nothing short of amazing…

  4. Karen says:

    I love the chair, and Im totally going to do that with my ironing board. Maybe then I will feel inspired enough to iron!

  5. grammarpuss says:

    Check out the eerie similarity between Alicia’s chair and the chairs in the Deanne Cheuk story below! *cue Twilight Zone music*

  6. meg says:

    awesome on both. Would love to see a sewing 101 post on how to do an ironing board cover. The ones you can buy are always so ugly.

  7. Perfection! It’s so refreshing to see someone take the time and effort to strip paint rather than apply it. Wood is so beautiful! That chair really is fantastic.

  8. Dianne says:

    What a beautiful chair. I love it!

  9. sandy says:

    that chair is beautiful!! what an amazing find and renovation! makes me motivated to take a look at the trash i walk by everyday.

  10. Aracely says:

    yes, absolute perfection. I am always into painting wood, but to see how lovely these look, I will think twice when I make a discovery.

  11. Sara says:

    Alicia’s chair make-under is incredible.
    That wood is GOR-geous!
    Ahh the beauty that lies beneath…

  12. bridget says:

    That wood is so gorgeous! I want it…

  13. Kat says:

    Wow! That chair came out so beautiful! I think the make-under was the way to go.

  14. Becca says:

    That chair is sooooo gorgeous! Wow! I’d be more enthusastic about the ironing board, but I seriously hate to iron… Still pretty though!

  15. Danielle says:

    That is a great chair project!! What a lucky find!

  16. Julie says:

    That chair is amazing! So glad to see a natural wood before-and-after. I can’t believe what an amazing job she did restoring it.

  17. sarah b. says:

    That chair looks great! The wood is beautiful. What a nice save!

  18. kay* says:

    oh that chair make-under is wonderful! so glad do see it went back to it’s natural state. agree with the above – nice save!

  19. Heidi says:

    Fantastic work.

  20. That style of chair always looks better unpainted, I could kiss Alicia for restoring it – gorgeous! And I must find out how to do the cover for the ironing board. I’ve never seen one with wood legs before – I want it!!!

  21. mollie says:

    That chair looks so happy! What a fantastic B&A.

  22. ohh that chair looks beautiful! i know your wood enthusiasts are happy ;)

    great jobs on both!

  23. claire says:

    Oh, that chair makeunder is wonderful!! What a great find!

  24. christa says:

    the person who painted over that beautiful wood needs an intervention. great job on restoring the chair, wood like should never be hidden!

  25. Tanya says:

    I love that chair. Great fabric.

  26. Sara L. says:

    Amazing chair! But the ironing board is making me drool. I leave mine out all the time, too, and it’s a not so lovely royal blue metal jobby. A wooden one would be heaven!

  27. Bobbi says:

    I love love love the ironing board. I’m one of those weird people who actually enjoys ironing;)

  28. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments, you’ve made my day!

    I get a lot of baffled looks from my friends when they hear about my projects, so good to find people out there who appreciate it.

    @ Sara RSR: *Mwah!*

  29. jennifer says:

    excellent chair!!

  30. Thanks to everyone as well!
    ~ I’m happy to hear that other people iron as much as I do – my friends think it’s weird!

  31. jaine says:

    gosh, that chair is amazing! great job!

  32. Paula Swiss says:

    There’s no more need to hide the iron board in the closet – it can now be a legitimate part of the interior decor.

  33. Lisa says:

    Please the fabric on the ironing board?

  34. janet says:

    These are always so inspiring! The ironing board makes me want to iron–and that is no small feat.

  35. Emily says:

    I was raised in a house that is very wood-oriented, both in terms of grain and craftmanship. However well a paint job refreshes some pieces, the projects that strip it off and let the wood do the talking always make me super happy!

  36. Sophie says:

    Hey, I have an ironing board just like that (the before one). Amazing transformation, great choice for the fabric!

  37. Jen says:

    Both fabulous! The chair is just gorgeous. Well worth hanging onto for all those years before the true beauty could be revealed!

  38. Amanda says:


    The fabric is from IKEA, I got it a few years ago I think, I’m not sure it’s still available!

  39. Krystal says:

    I am in love with the fabric on the ironing board. You don’t happen to know what the fabric is called do you?

  40. Nicole says:

    Woah, this is strikingly similar to Hans Wegner’s wishbone chair!

  41. gosh, that chair is amazing! great job!

  42. Robert Barrientos says:

    I wish to tell you about your chair! Its call the “Form Chair” by the Norweigen
    designer Torbjorn Afdal. A 1956 Gold Medal Winner at Scandinavian Fair. The chair
    is solid teak wood, very valuable and listed between an $700 to $900 for one. I happen
    to have one and I found it painted pink. I love Mide century Modern pieces.
    Robert B.


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