finished (for now) banker’s chair

May 18, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Antiques, During, Furniture, Projects | 9 Comments

Over the weekend, I puta few coats of polyurethane on my old banker’s chair, and then I managed to put all of the pieces back together.  I am pretty proud of myself, so now I’m going to share a million pictures with you.  It still needs a seat (obviously) and is missing casters on the bottom, but those will have to wait until after the big move.

What do you think?  A little bit better than this (the before), right?

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that old bankers chair

May 4, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Antiques, Before, During, Furniture, Projects | 20 Comments

My main project for the weekend (involving tools!) was working on the old bankers chair I found on Craigslist.  You know, the one I blogged about finding months ago and has since taken up residence and collected dust in the basement. (I should also note that I was inspired to revisit this project thanks to the Inspired Room’s Project Procrastinator’s Party)

Last time you saw my chair, she looked like this:

I was going to paint her, but a few of you talked me out of it.

So instead, I stripped and re-stained her.

My chair-stripping supplies

The stripping process was pretty easy since she was old and neglected and didn’t have much polyurethane on her.  I used about 3 coats of stripper.  For the first 2 coats, I spread the stripper with a paintbrush and scraped it off with a plastic scraper.  For the third layer, I used a green brill-o pad with a bit of stripper and lightly scrubbed the chair, pressing a little bit harder on some of the darker spots.  I washed the stripper off using a different green brill-o pad soaked in water.  Then, I wiped down the chair one last time with the odorless mineral spirits (to make sure all of the stripper came off).

Next, I used some wood filler to fill in the gaps on either side of the chair back.  I then sanded down the entire chair, using my handy-dandy mouse (detail sander) and some 120 grit sandpaper.

Finally, I dusted off the chair and applied some pre-stain conditioner to make the stain adhere evenly on all parts of the chair.  I used a dark stain – red mahogony – and only applied 1 coat.  I may go in and apply another coat later, but wanted to see what only one coat would look like.

I also removed all of the metal pieces from the chair, and boiled them with water and baking soda to remove old paint and dirt.  This worked like a charm, but most of the pieces were a bit rusty.  So I rinsed them and then let them sit in distilled vinegar overnight.  The next day, I scrubbed them with steel wool and a metal brush and rinsed them again to get most of the rust off.

I wasn’t able to get all of the rust off, but the large flaky pieces came off, and the base was smooth enough to be primed and painted with Rustoleum.  I was particularly excited that after all of the cleaning and scraping, I was able to move some of the springs and other apparatus that allow the chair to swivel and recline!

I also discovered the the chair was made by the Milwaukee Chair Company, and patented in the 1914s.  The markings on the metal had been rusted and painted over so many times that they were un-readable.  But the hot water and vinegar baths solved that problem.  I can’t find much information on the Milwaukee Chair Company, but I do know that they made chairs from the 1880s-1940s, and that they supplied the chairs found in the House and Senate chambers of the capitol.  The Milwaukee Chair Company eventually branched out and produced wooden phonograph cabinets, and created Paramount Records, a record label known for blues and jazz in the 1920s and 1930s.

The wooden rectangle to the right of the above photo is the seat for the chair.  It was cained and covered with leather.  And it was completely falling apart.  I plan to cut a new seat, pad it with foam, and recover with a fun fabric.

I will also have to apply a few coats of polyurethane to the wooden parts of the chair, and reassemble all of the metal goodies above.  The chair also needs new casters, as a few of the originals were broken.  Stay tuned… I hope to have it all finished before the move!

Adventures in Antiquing

March 18, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Antiques, Miscellaneous | 13 Comments

As I mentioned yesterday, Jason and I hit up the Canal Park Antique Mall in Duluth on Saturday.  I’ve recently been following the adventures of Eddie Ross and other bloggers who have managed to score amazing finds at flea markets, so I thought I’d document what we found on our little antique mini-excursion.

First up:  I used to play with a set of these when I was little.  I’d make all sorts of awesome (and pretend) things in my yellow-ish beige metal kitchen with these bad boys.  Does this mean I’m old?

Jason spotted this acrylic cowboy hat.  I told him no.  No acrylic cowboy hats in our house.

You can’t tell from this picture, but this plate is a really pretty blue glass.  I’ve recently been loving colored glass plates with designs in them.  If I ever have to get to host an Easter brunch, I might be tempted to pick up a few of these lovelies in light blue, green, or pink, and pair them with our very neutral china to add a little color and charm to the table.  Or?  They’d be perfect for serving dessert after a dinner party.  Note to self: upon arrival in Michigan – become reacquainted with an oven, – make friends, – invite said friends over for dinner party.

Again with the colored glass.  I saw a few different sets of these, and thought that the low glasses would be perfect for ice cream sundae dishes.

This lovely lamp was Jason’s pick.  Again, I had to say no.  The deer/hunting theme wouldn’t have meshed well with the rest of our decor.  (But if the price would have been right, we would have certainly picked it up for a White Elephant gift exchange.)

I dig these old pyrex mixing bowls.  So bright and cheery!

I have a thing for cows lately.  I’m not sure why.  I just do.

I also thought these striped glasses were pretty fun.

Since we’re moving, I’m on a mission not to buy anything that I’d have to pack up.  So I felt a little torn when I spotted these pewter lovelies.  I usually try to pick up some sort of household something when I’m on vacation, so that later, when it’s sitting on my dining room or hanging on my walls, I am reminded of that particular adventure.  In the end, I ended up snagging them for $18, deciding that they are small and unbreakable enough to be easily packed when the time comes.  Until then, they have a new home on my dining room table!

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