An old banker’s chair

January 23, 2009 at 10:24 am | Posted in Before, Furniture, Our Home, Our Study, Projects | 10 Comments
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Check out my recent craigslist find:

It’s an old wooden banker’s chair in need of a little love!  I’m hoping to make it look like this:

Pottery Barn Swivel Desk Chair

I’m going to clean the wood and then paint it white, add new casters, and recover the seat, probably using a cute green fabric.  When she’s done, she’ll have a place in the study, along with the curtains that I purchased a month or two ago from Urban Outfitters (I actually purchased two “tapestries” for $10 each on sale, so I will have to cut them into 2 separate panels and sew them into curtains)… stay tuned… (and wish me luck!)

Urban Outfitters Birdie Stamp Pattern



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  1. Ooh! My current fave fabric! Good luck with this project…it’s going to be fun, for sure.

  2. It’s cute… and the wood looks so nice! I’d be tempted to keep it natural, and add a really funky cushion and casters. No need to cover nice wood with paint (I’ve stripped SO much unneeded paint!). Pain is for covering things that can’t be salvaged.

  3. Great find! Did the listing have a photo or do you just luck out based on the description? Good luck with the transformation.


  4. Hey girl – thanks for voting on a paint color for the inside of my cabinet…we love new faces over at Bower Power 😉 And seeing as how you look like a DYI kinda girl – I am gonna have to add ya and then go back and read every single post 🙂

    love the chair – it is going to look divine – can’t wait to see AFTERS!

    XO – Katie

  5. Thanks for the nice words, everyone! This is only my second furniture rehab project… so I’m crossing my fingers that it will be a success!

    hmm. Per Jennifer’s request, maybe I will keep it it’s original wood tone and just re-stain… I’ll have to think about it. I think I want to put a white desk and white shelving in the room that this will go in (which will be painted a very very light blue with white trim). Do you think it would look okay to have a wood chair when everything else is painted? Or maybe I should revise my plans and buy a desk in the same wood tones? I was originally trying to keep everything light because the room is VERY small.

    And, John, we definitely got a hint of what it looked like via pictures on craigslist (I rarely look at ads that don’t have pictures…). But the chair is in much worse shape than we anticipated. The seat was originally canned, but the caning has broken off… Also, some of the original casters are broken, which we didn’t anticipate. But don’t worry, I haggled with the seller to bring the price down! 🙂

  6. Jennifer you are sooo clever. Did you inherit that talent from somebody? Don’t worry about having a wood chair in a white room, a little accent piece never hurt!

  7. I agree with GGG, I think a white desk with a natural wood chair might look even better than white desk/white chair/white woodwork/white shelves. Of course, I can’t see how much work might go into refinishing it. If you don’t like it after, THEN you can paint over it!

  8. If you do decide that painting it is the best option, clean it up real good and coat the whole thing with a couple of coats of orange shellac before you paint it-it closes the pores of the wood and seals it-it’ll take less paint, look more uniform, and be easier to strip and refinish down the road.

    Neat find!


  9. It was probably great as a cane chair! I wish I paid attention when my parents were caning our chairs. I love the real cane chairs, not the sheets you can buy.
    I’m sure it will look great white or natural.
    You will appreciate your house so much more because of all the work you are putting into it.

  10. My Uncle Bob caned all our chairs. I don’t know if he still does that but I can ask him. I know the last time he said it was getting hard for him to do it but just maybe he’d try. I’ll ask if he still can do that. It’ll mean getting the seat to Chilton.

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