Before & After: Mid Century Modern Teak Kitchen Chairs

You have seen the evolution of our banquette, so you've also seen our lovely rustic/industrial table from World Market. The only thing we needed to finish off the set were three chairs. In my dream world, I pictured tufted upholstered dining chairs, but you can barely find them for less than $150 a chair which translates to $450+ for just three chairs which is way out of the budget we set.

I have recently fallen in love with mid-century modern style furniture. The vintage feel, the clean lines, and the simplicity make me drool. I thought a mid-century teak dining chair set could be the perfect fit for our little nook.

Teak is an expensive wood, and I found prices ranging from $100-$400 per chair. This did not solve my problem.

Then the stars collided and the heavens opened up and shone a light on my little Craigslist app. A set of 4 Teak Mid-Century Style Dining Chairs AND small table on Craigslist for $75 TOTAL. I sent an email and asked if she would take $50 for the chairs and leave out the table. She said yes. SOLD.  photo IMG_5547_zps7ae2c466.jpg

That's right, my friends. $12.50 a pop for the exact style of chair I had been hoping to get. All they needed was a little TLC.  photo beforeafterkitchenchair_zpsd9ccea7b.jpg

Goals: - Stain the wood darker to match the table. - Recover the seat with a simple gray fabric and install new foam for the cushion.

1. Stain the Wood Darker to Match the Table

Wood conditioner makes a huge difference.

I wanted to darken the wood just a little bit, so I used a dark walnut stain over the existing color. After sanding with 100 grit to remove the varnish and then 220 grit to smooth it out, I applied the stain, and it fell into the crevices and looked pretty uneven. I like the rustic look but wanted to preserve the smoothness of the teak. On the remaining three chairs, I used wood conditioner before stain, and it made a huge difference.

The one on the left is with wood conditioner, the one on the right is without.  photo IMG_5606_zpsea98386c.jpg

The Dark Walnut stain added just the right amount of dark color to make the wood look more cohesive with the table.

Finally, I sealed everything with a gloss polyurethane, thought it was too shiny, and sanded everything down with 220 grit again before calling them finished.

2. Recover the seats

The original upholstery job was worse than I thought. I started with this rather tacky, very poorly upholstered blue vinyl fabric. I figured I would just remove it and move on.  photo IMG_5554_zpsecac67a5.jpg Then I found this.  photo IMG_5611_zpsc6041381.jpg Then I found this.  photo IMG_5560_zpsba02cec9.jpg Then I found this.  photo IMG_5612_zps17a9f55a.jpg It was like a really gross onion. (You know...layers. Shrek, anyone?)

I used my tried and true method of small flat head screwdriver + needle nosed pliers (see my first upholstery job here) to remove the staples and original fabrics. Then I pulled up the original stained, gross foam. I had to use a knife to scrape some of it off the wood of the seat.  photo IMG_5559_zps5359c580.jpg

I purchased 2 yards of 1" foam from Joann Fabrics during their 50% off foam sale and cut it to fit each seat.  photo IMG_5609_zpsfd6d6a51.jpg

Then I covered it in this lovely, sturdy, textured gray fabric. I was sure to mark where the screw holes were with a sharpie and then I cut the fabric around them once I was finished stapling.  photo IMG_5566_zps8bf9293e.jpg

VOILA!  photo IMG_5620_zps5b2cf84a.jpg

Put everything back together and presto--the perfect, small scale chairs that add character without taking away from the statement of the banquette and industrial table. The mid century style also helps to add a touch of modern to our space.  photo IMG_5622_zpsfaa928ed.jpg

Here is a rough price breakdown: 4 Chairs on Craigslist: $50 1.5 yards of fabric from The Fabric House: $17 2 yards of 1" foam from Joann Fabrics (50% off): $16 Miniwax Polyurethane: already owned Miniwax Dark Walnut Stain: already owned Sandpaper: $4 Wood Conditioner: $13 Foam brushes: $3

Grand Total: $103 ($25.75 per chair)

My budget for 3 chairs was $100. I got 4 out of the deal (one is going to be a desk chair in the office).

Just to make myself feel better, here is a set of 4 Vintage Danish Mid-Century Chairs on Etsy for $1,650. I'm not sure that mine are actually vintage, but I think a $1,547 savings is pretty good.  photo etsyvsmychair_zps9a2dd15f.jpg

And just one more picture for grins.  photo c4d35bf7-71a8-430f-83e9-5b7c88e1886f_zps5ef3b5eb.jpg

Dinner party, anyone?