We got this chair at a garage sale for $2. Aside from the disgusting stained seat, I though it was rather pretty. It is more or less sturdy (no wobbly legs) and made of what looks like mahogany—just needs a bit of sanding and some finishing oil. No problem!
We huffed it home and I took it apart to inspect the seat. It had four layers of totally disgusting fabric and about fifty billion disintegrating staples, which I pried out with a screwdriver. Joshua came to check on me an hour or so after I had started and was surprised to see me still bent over the seat-back, pulling bits of metal out and swearing (well, he wasn’t surprised about the swearing). Look at this fabric; can you even imagine the splendor of what once was? The mind boggles.
Here are the seat covers I removed, each more stained than the previous layer. As I picked broken-off staples out of the crumbling fabric, I thought about a lot of things. Ancient diaper leaks, spilled chicken juice, bedbugs; and I ask you: what sort of person picked out the striped yellow fabric and said, “Yes. This is the one.” It gave me the shivers.
Of course then I had to sand it. Because I didn’t have a vibrating sander (left it in Texas), we had to go out to the hardware store and buy one. Then I made Joshua bring home paper because I guess I used all the paper I thought I had at home, or else I lost it. Then I sanded and sanded and sanded out all those nicks and scratches and asked my dad for refinishing advice and discovered that I should sand at a finer grit so I resanded and resanded and with a tear in my eye had to ditch the sander and use my fingers and bent-up bits of paper and I sanded and sanded and bitched and griped about how easy it is to forget how much one hates sanding all those weird little nooks and crannies and that dry scritchy flimsy bits of paper. But then it was finished and I got to apply the finishing oil (I had to go to two different stores before I found the right stuff, naturally). Putting oil on wood is so satisfying, like creating jewels out of dust. I painted on the oil, painted on more and sanded it wet with really fine grit black paper, then wiped it off and painted a final coat the next day.
Et voila! I thought Ronin would dig the fish.
Soooo pretty. Totally worth all that sanding.