Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Before and After: Wicker Chair

wicker chair
I have a great story behind this project that will probably reveal too much about me.

The Story: When we were making offers and looking at the house we now live in I instantly knew what kind of look I wanted for the front room. More specifically I knew I wanted a big grass or whicker chair, but knew they were pretty expensive and hard to come by. I told Ryan my plans several times, of which I am not sure he really "got it".

So the morning we were moving out of our condo to move into the new house I drove him to the truck rental place to pick up the moving truck. On the way there we drove down 7th East and there it was on the side of the road at a yard sale. I totally freaked out and begged Ryan to stop and pull over so I could look at it. He looked at me like I was off my rocker. He said, "woman we are moving this morning, what do you not understand about what we are doing right now." I knew he was right, but my thought process was just that it would be perfect because we would have a big moving van to pick it up in. He stressed once again to me that we were late and that people were going to be at our house any second to help us move everything we own (which is a lot sad to say). I dropped him off and he told me to take the free-way over to the grocery store were I needed to pick up donuts and drinks for our helpers. So I was over it. I was not going to pass it again and my chair was gone. I went the way Ryan had told me to go to get on the free-way, but there was no entrance. I called him and he told me to just go back the way we came. I could hardly handle it, the chair was back into play. I stressed about seeing it again and checked my wallet to see if I even had any money. I had twenty dollars and not a cent more. I hesitantly pulled over to the yard sale and jumped out of my car. I started running towards the yard sale and then saw a lady sitting in the chair asking questions about it. I turned around and ran back to the car nervous I was wasting my time. Then I figured what the heck. I ran back over and asked the lady how much the chair was. I had decided that no matter what she said I was just going to blurt out "twenty dollars take it or leave it". She said by way of miracle, "how about twenty dollars?" I practically threw her the cash and asked for help taking it to my car. I was petrified! I knew Ryan was going to be rounding the corner any second in a huge moving truck only to find his wife yard selling on moving day. I was practically running to the car with the chair, and dragging this ladies poor husband with me. I threw the seats down in the jeep, and tossed Jayna's car seat to the front (she was being babysat). The guy said "I do not think this will fit" and I just looked at him and said "oh, it's going to fit". Seriously though if this chair would have been half an inch bigger on any side it would not have fit in my car. I sped off and successfully avoided running into the husband. I confessed back at the house, and he was glad it worked out and that I was able to get my beloved chair.

The Project: I spent countless hours ripping off the old cushion or what was left of it after many years. There where hundreds of staples in the chair which I took out with needle nose pliers. I power washed the chair down, and got all the dirt and junk off the chair. Then I let it dry for 25 hours or so. Then I brushed on a clear coat of lacquer. The lacquer is important, because a poly would have dried too stiff for the wicker since wicker flexes. It worked like a charm at restoring the shine and luster of the reeds. I took some canvas type fabric and stretched it and stapled it to the base of the chair over the springs. I bought some foam and trimmed it down with an electric turkey knife and sewed a cover for it. I lucked out on the fabric, because it only cost me $2 a yard. I think it turned out pretty good though for my first box cushion. I just need to make pillows for the back now.

* If you have any questions on how this project was done just email me. Thanks.


  1. That chair is wonderful!! I would have had to get it too. I am glad it got to come home with you.

  2. You and I are a lot alike! I've got many of those type of stories to tell. Love the chair and I definitely would have stopped for it too!