It is far too often that I see pieces of furniture thrown onto the curb, still fully functional with just a few nicks, bruises and scuffs here and there. If there is anything that we have lost as a global culture, it is the desire and the skill to repair—to salvage and enhance rather than toss. Today’s delightful before and after, sent to us by France-based reader Charlene Lamy, takes a household problem that many face—cracked and chipping veneer on furniture—and provides an easy and beautiful way to repair and upgrade the piece. After a quick and affordable fix, Charlene’s midcentury chairs are just like new, proving that a little bit of work can have a big payoff! Check out the rest of the photos, plus Charlene’s design notes after the jump! —Max
“I couldn’t find any chair style that I really liked for months,” Charlene notes. “Actually—yes, but the options were outrageously expensive for my budget! I recently found five beautiful, but very damaged Baumann style chairs at a very low price ($10 each, I was lucky). I was looking for a Scandinavian-style chair to match with this amazing sideboard (that I want to buy one day!), so I bought them without any hesitation!”
“The hardest part of the work was to remove the old veneer because, on some areas of the chair, it wasn’t easy. But after, the re-veneering wasn’t so difficult! I removed the first layer of veneer with a wood chisel. To make it easier, I used a damp cloth with iron to soak the wood. I then cut the veneer roll for each part of the chair (scissors or cutter are fine). I used a rolling pin to spread it better and clamps for the edges (avoid clamp marks with protection!). I waited an hour for the glue to dry, then I cut any protruding edges with scissors. For a better finish, I sanded the edges with coarse sandpaper and the whole new veneer with fine-grain sand paper. Then, I painted the back panel in a white color, the seat in greyish-green with a part of the wood visible, and I left the front panel and legs natural with just satin varnish.”
Tip: For recovering the 3 old and rusty back panel screws, I put them in a lemon juice and salt mixture.