Habitat Luncheon Chair Makeover – After

Today I have for you an awesome furniture makeover.  For those who are new around here, I have been chosen as a featured designer for the Habitat For Humanity Woman Build Luncheon on May 7th.  I was given a budget at their Restore thrift store and then asked to refinish three pieces that will be auctioned off to raise funds for Habitat.  Last week I showed you the desk makeover and today I am excited to show you the rocking chair.

A few weeks ago we talked about how this chair started out.   Here is the before picture.

Ridiculous Redhead Habitat Chair Before

I loved the clean lines and how comfortable the chair was.  I disliked the color of both the wood and upholstery.  That upholstery turned out to be leather but it was pretty damaged and well, salmon.  Oh, and the worse part?  It smelled like bad liquor.  Yes, liquor.  Like whoever sat there rocking was a very sloppy drinker.  It made the whole process of taking it off just lovely.

Once the leather was off, I sanded the finish off of all the wood.   Underneath the red stain was a beautiful almost white wood with a really cool grain to it.

Ridiculous Redhead Habitat Chair Sanded

Before sanding I was thinking of going with a walnut stain to keep the masculine feel, and to cover any red stain I couldn’t get off.  Red stain is so hard to get rid or cover with paint.  It bleeds everywhere.  But once I sanded all the red away I was excited to go light!

So here is the after!

Ridiculous Redhead Habitat Chair After


I was looking for a beachy worn gray color but I didn’t want to hide the grain.  To test out my ideas, I used the bottom of the runner with Frog Tape parking off sections (I just sanded it off later).  I tried the vinegar stain I used on the desk (which made it almost black) and here it did nothing.  There are almost no tannins in this wood so there was nothing to react to.

I ended up with a gray color I custom made from Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.  This is a mix of Grainsack and Trophy.  I started out making careful measurements but it kind of went out the window.  All I can tell you is I used a bunch more water than the regular mix so I would get a more translucent wash of color. I am a big fan of her blog but this is the first time I have used her paint.  Just when I was almost out of time to figure out the gray I thought of the new Paint Passion store in Red Bank that carries the paint.  It just so happens that the owner of the shop, Patty Seaman, is one of the other designers for the luncheon.

Ridiculous Redhead Habitat Chair After Arm

To seal and protect the wood and paint I used Pure Tung Oil from the Real Milk Paint Co.  I am a big fan of this stuff and you will be seeing it a lot around here. (Maybe even a giveaway?!)  Tung oil is very thick so it usually needs to be cut with a solvent (and always on the first coat).  The ratio is usually about 50/50 tung oil to orange solvent (an eco version of mineral spirits). Since this wood isn’t very porous I thinned it a bit more for the first coat.  More to come on tung oil but check out the Real Milk Paint Co.’s tutorial video.

Next came the upholstery.  When I brought this home it looked simple enough so I wasn’t worried. I had redone a back like this one on the Vintage Folding Chair.  The thing I didn’t realize was the seat wasn’t simply a square I would staple on.  The seat fabric was made of three pieces that needs to be cut properly and sewn together with some level of accuracy in order to not get bunching of sagging.  Once I realized that, I put this off longer than I probably should have.  I have no pictures of the process since I was using all my brain power to figure out how to do this correctly and not find out I had made a mistake until after I had cut the fabric.  I ordered the 100% cotton fabric online and there was really no time to order more.  So slow and steady was the plan.  I took a billion pictures of how it all went together and then ripped the seams out to use the leather as a pattern.  (Again the smell was awful.  I could actually taste it.) Luckily my mom had offered to take Lincoln for the day so I could focus.  After way longer than it should have taken, all the upholstery was done.

Ridiculous Redhead Habitat Chair After Side

Once I put the cushions on and called TB to take a look I knew it was all going to work out.  The look on his face was all I needed to know that this was his favorite.

Ridiculous Redhead Habitat Chair After Back

The gray paint and blue and white fabric totally changed the whole feel of this piece.  Instead of  something so heavy, it has a lightness that would be perfect for a beachy house.  Or a baby’s nursery.  After all tung oil is food safe so you can literally eat off this chair.

This rocking chair will be up for auction on May 7th at the Habitat for Humanity Women Build Luncheon.  Tickets are available here.  Please come join us and definitely say hello.  I love to meet my readers!!

Linking up at:

My Repurposed Life

French Country Cottage

Ivy & Elephants

Miss Mustard Seed


1 Comment

  1. Laurena

    Love this chair! Great choice in fabric. The paint effect and colour on the chair frame worked out nicely. Beautiful!


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