Thursday, November 15, 2012

Office Chair

Since our office is getting a brand new desk, we thought it was only fair that we got a new desk chair to go with it.  We began searching for inspiration, we quickly came across this chair at Pottery Barn.



As much as we liked it, we thought $399 too much to spend on a chair that we probably won't actually sit in all that often.  So continued our search for the perfect desk chair.  After little success at the usual places - Craigslist, Home Goods, Estate Sales, etc. - we were feeling a little discouraged.  Lucky for us the Kane County Flea Market was coming up!

As we walked around the flea market we kept our eyes open for old chairs.  We had both agreed that $40 was about as high as we wanted to spend so imagine our surprise when we found this beauty with a $20 price tag.  


The chair was in pretty rough shape and in need of some serious re-finishing.  We pointed out the obvious flaws to the seller and were able to talk her down to $15.  Score!  The only down side was that since one of the wheels was missing, I had to carry this solid oak beast all the way back to the car (instead of rolling it).  


As is the case with most of our projects, we came up with the idea to re-finish this chair but then we got side tracked / felt un-motivated.  I'm a little embarrassed to say that the chair has just been sitting in our basement since April (alongside the partially finished desk)... Here's our rationale:

1) We wanted to finish the landscaping while the weather was nice before we started working on the office.  
2) We wanted to finish the paint and trim in the office before we finished the new desk.  
3) We wanted to finish the desk before we finished the chair.  

With the office prep-work nearing completion we knew that it was time to start thinking about the desk and chair, so while I was hanging the trim, Deanne took apart the chair and sanded off the old finish (or at least what was left of it).  A few of the pieces were in pretty rough shape so I re-glued and clamped them as needed.



With the old finish gone, it was time to stain.  We ended up going with two coats for this project.  We used Minwax Special Walnut for the first coat and  used Minwax English Chestnut for the second coat.  The first coat gave it a darker-brown color and the second coat added a little reddish-orange color to the finish.  After staining, I added two coats of polyurethane and wet-sanded everything using 300-grit sandpaper and some lemon-seed oil.




The only thing that was left at that point was repairing the chair base.  As you can see it was missing a small piece of wood on the bottom so I picked up a scrap piece of red oak at Owl Hardwood, cut it to size/shape, and applied stain/poly to match the rest of the chair.  Last but not least, I replaced the casters (wheels) on the bottom.  


So there you have it.  For $15, some supplies that we had lying around the house, and a little bit of elbow grease; we were able to get the Pottery Barn chair that we wanted for less than we would have paid in sales tax in the PB store.  If everything goes according to plan, we'll have a desk to sit at very soon! 




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