Wingback Chair Upcycle

Wingback Chair Upcycle

I have a love affair with all things classic and the wingback chair is a great example of classic furniture.  The wingback chair dates back to the 1600’s and was used in England primarily by ladies to keep warm while sitting in front of a fireplace.   Today having a wingback chair in your home seems to say I am classy, but not too fussy.

Mission: Obtain a Wingback Chair for a nominal price to place in my home office a.k.a. the front room.  I was willing to paint, reupholster and do whatever it took to make it attractive and suitable.

 I am cheap and love a challenge, so I began my task of looking for wingback chairs at local thrift stores.  After passing up a few that would be too much work or that were too smelly. I met this lovely creature adorned with charcoal pinstripe fabric at Goodwill for a whopping $19.99.

The chair is not a vintage Wingback, but a modern copycat.  I am guessing that it was office furniture and appears to moderately used. I liked the fabric and it was a bonus to not even have to broach the subject of reupholstering it.  I hauled it home and gave it a good cleaning with a scrub brush and upholstery cleaner before moving it inside. Side Note- instead of waiting to have help to move it inside I clumsily did it myself which resulted me in throwing out my back.

 I tend to go where the project leads me when working on something (meaning… I don’t really have a concrete plan). My goals for this piece were to upgrade it as inexpensively as possible and while using materials that I already have around the house. I also wanted to give a feminine contrast to the pinstripe fabric.  The first idea that I had was to paint the legs a glossy white.  I like the Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Gloss White. We usually have a can and spray paint around the house. The legs were not that interesting and pretty scuffed up.

I lightly sanded them to remove any excess varnish and to ensure that the paint would adhere to the wood. Then I turned it over and gave the legs a few coats of the white paint.

While letting the paint dry I hunted for upholstery tacks in our storage room. I found some in bronze and that was not exactly the look I was going for. I pushed the tacks halfway through some cardboard that I had lying around the house, and spray painted the tacks white with Rust-Oleum spray paint. When spray painting small things I find that placing the item in a cardboard box helps prevent the spray paint residue from getting on anything else (including yourself).

Once the paint dried I began hammering the tacks along the front arm supports of the chair. I used a piece of ribbon to act as spacer between each tack.  The chair is starting to look pretty good and it doesn’t hurt that it is holding a cute baby.

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