Thonet Chairs Refinishing Complete!

Well Happy 2016 to you all! Over at our home we had a very busy Christmas Holiday with our normal household of 3 humans and 2 dogs increasing to 9 humans and 4 dogs!!! It was crazy and lots of fun, but I’m glad we’re back to normal capacity now! Believe it or not I did get the Thonet chairs finished by Thanksgiving and I would have posted about them earlier, but with all of the blogosphere hyper focused on Christmas decorating I felt like this little post might get lost in the shuffle and I totally think it’s worth checking out… just saying Open-mouthed smile

So you may remember that I started off with this set (plus a couple more I picked up later) of Thonet chairs. (If not you can check out the post I wrote on the refinishing process here) Man have I forgotten how ugly these were to begin with!!

Vintage Thonet Chairs

This is where I left off while I moved on to refinishing the farmhouse table, see I wasn’t 100%sure how I wanted them finished so they sat here empty for a couple of weeks as I thought on it…

Vintage Thonet Chair Update

I had initially thought I wanted to use faux leather on the seats to help with the inevitable cleanup, but after looking at several (let say 10 or so) samples I couldn’t find one that I liked enough… they were either too shiny, too fake looking or just not the right shade. So I ended up finding this very extremely soft grey crocodile embossed velvet.

Velvet Croc Zinc Fabric

Of course this fabric was the most expensive fabric I looked at (isn’t that how it always goes!), at $28.00 a yard, but I only needed 3 yards. The cost breakdown of the chairs is: $80/set of 8 chairs + fabric $92 + paint $25 + $10 repair product = $207 or $26 per chair, which is pretty freaking awesome don’t you think!?

To reupholster the seat cushions I just cut the fabric off, using a sharp knife and cutting as close to the staples as possible. There were a ton of staples and honestly I just didn’t want to remove them, had I been upholstering these for someone else I would have probably started with a new wood seat and foam as that would have been less time consuming than removing all of the staples.

Reupholstering chair seats

I chose to leave the original bottoms (less the previous owners address stickers) and stapled the fabric right near the old staples, it worked like a charm and only took me about an hour to do all 8 seats. Having said that though I should mention that I do have an electric stapler that uses very fine staples, I would never have been able to recover them so quickly with a manual staple gun, you know the old saying about using the right tools for the job!!

Look at that gorgeous velvet!

Reupholstered Thonet Chair Seats

Originally I was thinking I would paint the chairs grey (which is why I used a grey primer) but once I found my fabric I decided to paint the chairs Benjamin Moore’s Linen White in Advance Satin. I sprayed about 4 light coats on each of the chairs, which would have been less had I primed them with white primer instead of gray Baring teeth smile but oh well!

Updated Thonet chair set, new upholstery and paint

I tried to get a good picture of an area that I repaired, I will say that the repairs are about 99.9% invisible! I think they look like they were built this way originally and I’m pretty proud of the job I did…

Repaired Thonet chair backs

Updated Thonet chair set

I’m really digging the different shades of “white” I used, it helps make the table feel like it is less of a set and more of a collection… if that makes sense?!

Thonet chair set and farmhouse table updated

Now that I have all 8 chairs in they really are a little snug around the table, but one day I will be able to used both ends of the table and it will be the perfect amount of chairs! I love the finished look of the chairs and I am so happy I took the time to update them. I hope this post may inspire you one day to take on a project like this, it really was pretty simple!

Thanks as always for stopping by! By the way I’d love to hear what you think about this project!

K

About Susan @ Uniquely Yours or Mine

Hey there! You want to know more about me? Well here's a little bit... I'm the lucky wife of a Super Awesome Husband (SAH) and a mother of 3 wonderful girls. We moved to Louisville, KY in 2013 from Richmond, VA where I was refinishing, repairing and painting furniture as a serious "hobby". Since moving I have been spending most of my time designing and updating our new-to-us home, but I do enjoy getting out and exploring my new town as much as possible!

Posted on January 4, 2016, in Design, DIY, Furniture refinishing, Interior Design, Louisville Kentucky, Refinishing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hi Susan – I love the fabric it is my kind of style – they look beautiful 🙂 I would admit that one chair either end of the table would look ‘less crowded’, but if you haven’t the space to do that, then needs must – hey 🙂 but, as you say when you can place them at each end, then you will 😉

    Like

    • Thanks so much Denise and I totally agree with the crowding, I would usually only have 3 on each side due to make space restrictions, but I’d rather have them sitting there instead of my storage area which is in desperate need of a purge!!! I just couldn’t resist buying all 8 chairs…

      Like

  2. Hi Susan, love the chairs as my favorite is gray and white. Sue

    Like

  3. Love the transformation! Very airy and clean looking. Awesome job!

    Like

  4. Silvina from BsAs

    I love your talent!

    Like

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