The Quest for Dining Room Chairs

One night probably two years ago the Hub and I were invited to dinner at a friend’s house. It was a very enjoyable evening with friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. Dinner wasn’t fancy but it was wonderful and I was full and content and the wine was flowing along with good conversation. During the course of the evening I noticed how comfortable the dining chairs were and I complimented the hostess on them. They were truly lovely to look at as well as comfy.

When I left I was inspired…..

My dining room chairs were bothering me for quite some time. They served me well for 25 years , but it was time to move on. I wanted more comfortable dining chairs.

We use our chairs every day. Our house does not have an eat in kitchen or a separate dining room. At the family gatherings we always end up sitting for hours at the table talking. I wanted to be comfortable and my guests to be as well.

And so the quest began….

Let me say this, I first looked at new furniture on line. I can not believe what they charge for chairs. I can’t justify such an expense. Most furniture today is not well made to begin with. The prices that people pay for things  like chairs should not be so ridiculous. It just shouldn’t. But I guess people pay it.

Not this chick.

This was NOT an easy task. I searched thrift stores and craigslist for months….no more like a year to be honest. Then hard core for about five months….because I HAD A GOAL.

The holidays. I wanted to be in my chairs by Christmas. I would have loved to have them for Thanksgiving but no later than Christmas.

Now usually I have an open mind when I’m on the hunt. This time, I had a specific list of demands. I wanted 6 chairs. They had to be high back and upolstered. Good wood with a style that would go well not only with the table I have but the other furniture as well since my home has an open floor plan.

If I found a whole set that would work , great! I would be willing to give up my table if need be.

Well let’s just say it was not easy to fill my little list of demands. Four chairs? Easy. Six? Not so much. And let’s just forget trying to match my wood color. It’s a dark oak.

I went to potential sellers with high hopes only to see that pictures are deceiving.Some were too big or too small. Sometimes there was damage that was just beyond fixing or the repairs were so botched I wouldn’t even try wasting my time to undo it. Sometimes people are dirty. If I can smell the dogs then my dog and cat will too. That’s just a recipe for trouble with who’s marking the territory next. Who needs that?

The more I saw, the more I realised just how nice my furniture was in comparison. How much better I treat things and take care of them. Here I was with furniture that was 25 years old and it looked and actually was in better shape than most of what I saw!

Then one day it happened. Something popped up on craigslist and I jumped on it. I rolled up to the sellers home. His garage was impeccable. The chairs were old but solid. The price was unbelievable….$15 per chair. And there was six of them!

Being the experienced junker that I am, I came prepared with cash and  my truck. Did the deal without haggling because the price was so great and I wasn’t about to play games after what I had been thru. I was grateful for the find.

Here is what I brought home….


As you can see, this is a French provincial style and color. It was just after Halloween.

So, ok I’m thinking Thanksgiving is outta  the question given that I have a job and plenty of obligations this time of year. Setting my sights on Christmas.


My first thought was to strip and sand.

But there was so much paint. Stripping furniture is not my idea of a good time. After purchasing stripper and  stain, and attempting to have at it….

I changed my mind. Which a girl is entitled to do, ya know. I’m nothing if not determined. Plan B was put into effect.



My attempt to strip the leg. Ugh. Never mind.

Back out to the store with a new vision. I was even more excited about this than my original plan.


Black Satin paint.


A good brush..nice and fresh is super important.

Now with the weather being unpredictable I rotate painting indoors and out on the projecting porch. We have had a very humid, rainy fall. Not good for paint drying.

Of course we must sand and prime first.


But before I could do anything I had to remove the welting. Yikes!

Stop right here. This was crazy. I never saw so many staples in my life! This was hard, hazardous and time consuming. I dunno if these were reupolstered at some other time in their life. But I can tell you 2 different people did the work. Some chairs had a few staples and glue. And some chairs were done by a staple happy angry person. I have seen construction jobs done with less hardware.


Some kind of gnarly mess!


All done! What an angry basket of tangled stickery staples.


My darling Bad Kitty. My constant, loving, loyal companion. You keep me company thru all my crazy projecting frenzies. What would I ever do without you and your quite support?

I need a break! Pulling staples out of wood with pliers for hours over several nights. Six chairs front, back and seats. Sometimes I get myself into situations. Then I wonder why I do this to myself. Then I rest for a couple of days.

Then I get back in the ring for another round.

Come back with me for more in my next post!





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