1950’s Mid-Century Chair Restoration

My Mom and I saw this 1950’s Mid-Century chair in Restore Montco retailing for only $12.00 and it caught our eyes instantly.   We both love this style of furniture and knew it would be a perfect fit in our Upcycle Challenge room.   We believe the chair was made by Stanley’s, and it was used in dining rooms and kitchens, but we had a vision for using it has a side chair in our bedroom.

My Mom led the restoration on this chair and the transformation is amazing!  She really does fabulous work.  Go Mom!  Below I’ll walk you through the restoration process along with some WIP photos.

Here’s the lonely guy sitting all my himself in Restore just waiting for a new chance at life:


The chair was a little rickety when you sat on it, so the first part of the restoration process involved taking the chair apart and re-gluing it with wood glue, so it would no longer feel like it would fall apart by sitting on it.  After this part was complete my Mom then used Citristrip stripping gel to remove all of the old finish, then cleaned using their stripping wash with a fine Scotch-Brite scouring pad.

After the chair dried it was then checked for any rough spots and used a 200 grit sandpaper to get them out.  Next up was to use an oil based gel stain- we used a walnut color- putting on two coats, and allowed each coat to dry overnight.


Last, a two coat application of varnish was applied and each coat was allowed to dry thoroughly in between.  A furniture-grade varnish was used, which is rubbed on and not brushed on.

Here’s the chair sans-the chair pad:


Next up was reupholstering the chair pad.  The old green fabric was removed from the seat and we added a furniture grade padding and marine white vinyl (leftover from a stool restoration we did and available online here) was used in its place using a simple stapler method to attach as you can see below on the underside of the chair seat.  The new white chair pad was then reattached using screws as it was previously attached.


Here are some close-up photos of the final chair:





 And here is the chair completely restored – he is looking more handsome than ever before!


And side by side (my only regret is not taking a better before photo of the chair, sorry):


What do you guys think?  Can you believe this is the same chair?

This chair just might just be my favorite piece we’re using in the Upcycle Challenge room.  After a little elbow grease and patience we now have one fabulous looking piece of furniture – something straight out of a West Elm catalog if you ask me.  And, what a steal at $12.00!  You never know how amazing something will turn out until you give it a try.

Go Mom, you rock, what an amazing restoration!

p.s. we also have a matching side table that was constructed from one half of an old desk – stay tuned to the blog for that amazing transformation as well.

Love, Kate

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  1. Reply

    Wow, the varnish really brought it back to life! I love the white you chose for the seat too. I really can’t wait to see this room all put together!! AHH!

  2. Pingback: Master Bedroom Upcycle Challenge Room Reveal – Busy Bee Kate

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