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Rebuilding "Daisy" the Discarded Chair

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Pretty Handy Girl: Rebuilding "Daisy" the Discarded Chair

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rebuilding "Daisy" the Discarded Chair

I have a serious problem. I can't bear to see a piece of furniture being thrown away. It could be the ugliest, most broken down chair and I still feel the need to save it from Mt. Trashmore. That was the case with "Daisy" this poor ugly chair that I found on the curb awaiting the trash trucks a few weeks ago. I threw her in the back of my car and brought it home.

Two missing parts

 Only when I got home did I assess her condition. Moldy seat, chipping and peeling paint, structurally falling apart, cobwebs, missing parts...

GROSS! Stained and moldy seat.
 ...and then a dead roach dropped out! Ewwww! I must be insane.  But, I still saw potential through all the disrepair.

This chair had some serious structural issues. I knew it was a case of tear her down and rebuild. This intro kept playing in my head the during the whole process:

I pulled apart the chair (mostly with my bare hands and then with some assistance from a hammer.)

Until I was left with a skeleton of a chair.

I stripped the paint layers off the chair using the same technique as I did for this chair (see details here.) Unfortunately this chair had 5 layers of paint, therefore it took several hours and several re-applications of Citri-strip to get down to the wood.

If you remember, there were several missing parts on this chair. I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that I could used the spindles from the chair back for the missing parts to connect the legs.

I removed the back spindles.
Almost a perfect size and I had two of them!

I cut down the spindles on the miter saw (but these could easily be cut with a hand saw).

And then notched the ends so they would fit into the holes on the legs. (I did have to enlarge the holes on the legs slightly using my drill and a 3/4" spade bit.)

Notching the spindles. Cut around the diameter, then cut from the end in towards the first cut. Repeat on all sides.
After dry fitting all the pieces back together, I used Gorilla glue to glue the chair back together.

I clamped the chair tight by using rope to wrap around the chair.

Daisy had also lost one of her decorative corner finials. So, I bought two new finials at Home Depot for $5.

In order to screw on the new finials in, I had to plug the hole with wood. (As promised: a tutorial on filling holes in wood.)

I also filled the holes where the spindles used to be with wood putty.

Next, I primed Daisy. Just a side note here, one reason the original five coats of paint on Daisy were peeling and flaking is that the proper prep work wasn't done. No sanding to scuff up the glossy polyurethane and no primer. It is so important to sand (rough up your surface) and use a primer. If you cut corners here, you might as well kiss your beautiful finish goodbye in a few years. Especially if the chair is exposed to the elements.)

Finally, I added two coats of white paint (sanding lightly between coats.)

The chair seat was in really bad shape. Therefore I decided to cut a new one out of plywood using my jigsaw.

Trace old seat on plywood, use ruler to make straight lines, cut out seat using jigsaw.

I checked my fit and then re-upholstered my chair. Check out this post to see how to re-upholster a chair seat.

Then for the finishing touches or the frosting on the cake. You can definitely do this step! The inset carving controls your brush for you. Kind of like bowling with bumpers.

And my chair is finished. Isn't she beautiful!

Hard to believe that 48 hours ago this chair was definitely worthy of Mt. Trashmore.

The chair is super solid now, and doesn't move at all thanks to the Gorilla Glue.

How about one last look at the before and after pictures?

Want to see more furniture in my guest room? Take the tour here!

Completed just in time for The CSI project, Roadkill challenge.

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At July 28, 2010 at 1:05 AM , Anonymous Becky@OrganizingMadeFun said...

LOVE the chair! That's fantastic! I also think Gorilla glue is so the best stuff!

At July 28, 2010 at 2:26 AM , Blogger Chic Creations said...

Your chair is beautiful. You did a great job. I am so glad you rescued her. Thanks for sharing.

At July 28, 2010 at 2:37 AM , Anonymous Stephanie said...

You definitely live up to your name of being a handy girl! Some of my friends tease me for liking power tools and loving to rebuild/rescue things, but to each his own, right!
I love the chair! Great job!
Just discovered your blog by the way. I think it was from CSI Project. Thanks for sharing!

At July 28, 2010 at 4:59 AM , Blogger gnee @ Singing With Birds said...

Love are amazing!

At July 28, 2010 at 5:01 AM , Blogger Stephanie said...

I love this! Thanks for the inspiration!

At July 28, 2010 at 7:11 AM , Blogger ChRiS said...

oml i would have never even thought a mircle would save that chair. what a beautiful outcome

At July 28, 2010 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Laura's Rose Garden said...

Good Morning Brittany,
You are soo clever!!! The "new" chair looks marvelous! Isn't it wonderful what you can do with a little imagination, stripper, sandpaper, glue, paint and a piece of junque from the side of the road or the dump?!! I have salvaged many pieces of furniture myself over the last 35 years. I still bring home "lost causes"!!!
Hugs, Laura
Hugs, Laura

At July 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM , Blogger BATrombetta said...

I love it! What a transformation!

Did you get the fabric recently or have the source for it? It is just what I have been looking to use in my home office renovation.

Can't wait to see what you tackle next!


At July 28, 2010 at 8:58 AM , Blogger - Brittany said...

Thanks for all your compliments.

BA, the fabric I bought was by P/Kaufmann called Bertie Candy Cane
I bought it locally at a mill outlet, but here it is:


At July 28, 2010 at 9:20 AM , Blogger idesign said...

geez, i thought i was handy! haha you definitely blow me out of the water! amazing!!

At July 28, 2010 at 9:47 AM , Blogger Jane @ Going Jane said...

Great transformation!! I love people who can see something's potential even when it looks hopeless! :)

At July 28, 2010 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Amanda@The Hand Me Down House said...

Brittany, that is amazing! What an awesome tutorial! (I love your Mt. Trashmore comments - haha!) And that fabric is JUST perfect! I love P/Kaufmann designs! :)

At July 28, 2010 at 10:03 AM , Anonymous Renee said...

I love it! Man, you did such a great job. Where did you put your bench that was in that spot?

At July 28, 2010 at 10:13 AM , Blogger Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

Wow, that looks amazing!

I love the fabric you chose for the seat. Would you mind sharing who makes it???


At July 28, 2010 at 10:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job with that one! I love how cute and girly the new chair is! I give kudos to another woman who can use power tools!!:)
Check me out on

At July 28, 2010 at 11:00 AM , Blogger Tru@TRU TALES FEATS said...

Most excellent. I hadn't even noticed the design in the back until you painted it. I applaud other women who use power tools. It's pretty fun isn't it?

At July 28, 2010 at 11:13 AM , Blogger Kim said...

Totally amazing transformation. I was enthralled reading through all of your steps. Wow, you have a lot of vision and patience. I'd love for you to link this with Fabric Fun Thursday (in your case, it would be fabric and a whole lot more!) :)

At July 28, 2010 at 12:56 PM , Blogger Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

It ended up looking so sweet. Great job!

At July 28, 2010 at 1:07 PM , Blogger Gabi said...

Yes, she is =D

At July 28, 2010 at 2:30 PM , Blogger Mandy [Mandy's Yellow Corner] said...

Wow, this is fabulous! You did an awesome job - I love cute chairs! Thanks for sharing and for participating in my link up! ♥

At July 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM , Blogger Sarah @ The Pumpkin Patch said...

WOW!!! I can't believe how great this turned out. I wish I had your ability to see the beauty behind the trash. I'm getting better, but still have a long way to go.

Thanks for linking to Messy Monday. I can't wait to snoop around your site and to see what you link up next!

At July 28, 2010 at 3:44 PM , Blogger Life in Rehab said...

No wonder you hopped over to see my chair! Brilliant bit of work there, Dr. Frankenstein, she looks brand new and just stunning.

At July 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM , Blogger BB said...

that chair was at the end, until you rescued it.. if only it could talk .. the story it would tell. You're like Dr Handy ..

At July 30, 2010 at 7:54 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

Holy macaroni! That is a wonderful trash to treasure! I'm crazy about it. (LOVE THAT FABRIC... we're looking for something like that for the daughter right now...)

I found this through gnee at Singing with the Birds. I'm so glad I did. I love the hanging mason jars on another post too.

At July 30, 2010 at 10:05 AM , Blogger Su said...

MY WORD!!! I need to go back and reread this whole post slowly. I skimmed and took in all the pics. . I love that you take so many pics and post them. I am like wow. . .what time, what perseverance, what vision, what patience. . .I think I got overwhelmed looking at the pic where you took the whole chair apart and then sanded it down. . .I think you are crazy!! Crazy in a good, kindred spirit kind of way.


At July 30, 2010 at 2:15 PM , Blogger Jessa Rodenburgh said...

I love the chair! Wow! You're really talented. ; )

At July 30, 2010 at 9:15 PM , Blogger Cassie said...

All that work stripping paid off! She's pretty!

At July 30, 2010 at 9:47 PM , Blogger Busy as a Bee in Paris said...

amazing! it really is pretty in the end! you're brave and creative!

At August 1, 2010 at 12:44 PM , Blogger Biljana said...

Wow! Such a wonderful makeover, it looks so preety, bravo. I am your newest follower, come to visit, my blog:))
Greetings from Europe, Biljana

At August 2, 2010 at 3:29 AM , Blogger decdiva1 said...

that is a beautiful chair now! all you hard work and ingenuity paid off! i too, cannot resist a piece of furniture laying in the trash, just waiting for someone to love it again!

At August 2, 2010 at 8:08 PM , Blogger ★All Thingz Related★ said...

My goodness, you put alot of work into that chair! It looks fabulous! We appreciate you joining us this week for Anything Related!

At August 6, 2010 at 5:39 AM , Blogger Its So Very Cheri said...

That is a GREAT project and you followed all the rules perfectly.
Tnanks for linking up your misfit chair it turned out beautiful

At August 14, 2010 at 7:53 PM , Blogger The DIY Show Off said...

Amazing job! Thanks for sharing all of your hard work. Daisy is a diva now!


At August 14, 2010 at 8:53 PM , Blogger Holly said...

Your chair is beautiful. I love how you made it all work and reused pieces.
504 Main

At August 15, 2010 at 12:29 AM , Blogger Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

So pretty! You have brought it back to life. Amazing job! Thanks so much for linking to the DIY Club! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! ~ Stephanie Lynn


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