Before & After: Two Thrift Shop Chairs Get A Floral Upgrade

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Of all of the wonderful quirks that my boyfriend has, one of the most irritating charming is his unwavering insistence upon entering every single Goodwill store we see. If we’re walking through a new neighborhood and there’s a Goodwill on the block ahead of us? We’re going in! If we’re on a road trip and we pass a Goodwill? We’re pulling over! If we’re driving a friend in labor to the hospital? The baby can wait, there are bargains to be had!

It has taken me a while to understand this particular obsession. While I love a good thrift store find as much as any design enthusiast, the act of sifting through the oftentimes “miss” items of Goodwill’s Hit-or-Miss inventory can be pretty demoralizing. I know that I should approach the whole experience like a treasure hunt, but after ten minutes I begin to get stir crazy and anxious to get on with the rest of my life. However—after dozens and dozens of trips to Goodwill with my boyfriend, I  have come to realize (somewhat begrudgingly) that this seemingly futile treasure hunt can sometimes, occasionally lead to treasure. Really, really, really awesome treasure.

Take these fabulous Danish chairs that blogger Kate Lavender stumbled upon at her own local Goodwill. As you can see from the “Before” picture, they were in rough shape and could have been passed over by many a shopper. Kate, however, seems to have her eyes trained to spot glorious midcentury items and was able to snag these babies for $14.99. For the pair.

“I took them home,” she says, “removed the upholstered seats and backs, sanded and washed the frames and then rubbed them down with a couple of coats of teak oil.” The seat cushions presented somewhat more of an issue—likely because they were original to the chairs, they disintegrated as soon as Kate removed them from the chair. Undeterred, though, Kate simply replaced the original padding with some new, 1-inch high density foam, spray-adhered to the seat of the chair. After covering the seat and back with a layer of dacron, Kate covered them with a stunning poppy-patterned fabric. The end result is a pair of eye-catching chairs that are worth well above their asking price. Check out more photos, plus a breakdown of Kate’s DIY budget after the jump! —Max

 

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Project Budget

2 Chairs : $14.99
Tung and Teak Oil : $14.99 ( about $3.00 worth used)
Antique Brass Furniture Nails : $3.99
Spray Adhesive: $7.99 ( about $3 worth used)
Dacron : $4.50
Small Finishing Nails : $2.59
Staples : $3.30
Extra Fine Sand Paper : $1.99
High Density 1 inch Foam : $31.59
Material – 11/2 yards : $43.20
TOTAL: $112.15
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  1. These look amazing, the material really makes these stand out.

  2. Looks totally amazing :)

  3. Tonya says:

    How adorable.

  4. Casey says:

    Those chairs came out so great! I like how the larger flowers on the upholstery alternates corners on the backs and the seats. Nice attention to detail.

  5. Ryan says:

    I really like the care that was taken in the placement of the fabric. It looks casually placed, but perfectly done.

    Thanks for the run down on the price as well. At a glance, I couldn’t figure out why it would be that expensive, but upholstery projects add up so quickly! I still need to buy half the supplies for my current upholstery project. It’s going to be spendy.

  6. Catherine says:

    Awesome. It’s stories like these that inspire me to continue being a Goodwill shopper, you never know what treasures are to be had.

  7. Camille says:

    Thank you so much for including such a detailed budget (including sandpaper!). So often I see “My $14.99 chairs!” and I totally underestimate the money I am going to spend on any project. This detail helps me so much. Great finishing work!

  8. emily says:

    so fun. i love the nailheads. well done.

  9. Vanessa says:

    Well done Kate. I think the wall of frames is as good as your chairs. I too am a goodwiller. Except for the smell, I love that place!

  10. Jeanella says:

    “Off I go” to Goodwill! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Hiroko says:

    I like that fabric!

  12. Bold choice in fabric, and it totally works.

  13. Eileen says:

    They’re fabulous. I wouldn’t have thought to go with that pattern but it’s great. Oh, and Max? I’ll go Goodwilling with your b’friend….
    : )

  14. missitaly says:

    There is no Goodwill in Southern Calif. where you would ever find those 2 chairs for just $14.99

  15. Those chairs are stunning. I love the pop of color that your chosen fabric brings to this classic style. You have a great Eye! I love the thrift stores, so many times I do find great deals like those chairs. I would suggest that anyone who thinks that it is not possible, should start visiting the thrift stores near them regularly. You can’t just visit one time.

  16. Yet another fantastic face-lift. It’s amazing what a little fabric and some Tung and Teak Oil can do. Nice job.

  17. andrea says:

    I think these are the prettiest chairs I’ve ever seen!

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