Monday, November 7, 2011

Reclaimed, Wooden Folding Chairs . . . The Solution To My Dilemma

A few months ago I cleaned up and stained an old wooden table from my father's estate.  I had been holding on to it for a few years and finally decided to put it to use.  I had the table only; no chairs were included.  My dilemma was finding the perfect seating accompaniment for the table's style and wood color.  I kicked around the idea of benches and also saddle-seat stools.  The table has been sitting in my kitchen without chairs for a few months.  I liked the openness without chairs and knew I wanted seating that could tuck underneath without being too obtrusive in the space.

Many years back, my mother purchased some old wooden folding chairs (circa 1940s?) at a yard sale for $1.00 each.  They ended up going to my sister which she has used as accent chairs around her home in various rooms or as extra seating during holidays.  Most recently she had been using them on her front porch as decorative accents.  They have gotten a little weathered but were still in relatively good condition.  I asked her if I could have them for my table (hey, it doesn't hurt to ask!)  She said, "yes".  Yippee!  Could these be the missing pieces to my puzzle?  

The chair in the foreground has not been conditioned yet.  Note the Before and After finish.

I cleaned them up with a damp rag first, let them dry and then applied butcher block conditioner to them.  This stuff is amazing - made up of mineral oil and natural waxes, it's a safe wood conditioner with no harmful odor or toxins.  I have used it on many wooden implements and vintage wooden bowls too.  Great for those of us who like to repurpose old items!

A great product to try for conditioning old wood

The conditioner gave the chairs a deeper, more rich finish that closely resembled the wood tones of the table.

Not bad, eh?

Another angle

Unexpected, similar design elements help establish cohesion

Another great similarity between the table and the chairs is the "X" feature of the chair legs to that of the support bars at the table's base.  Talk about a cohesive element - as though the chairs and table were intended to unite as one!  Every time I walk through this area I have to marvel at the completed ensemble.  I'm quite pleased with the new seating additions and the overall look.  Hard to believe the set was essentially free (to me).  Must be Frugal Design!

Have you found some old, unique chairs that you have paired with a table.  Perhaps some mismatched ones that you have unified with spray paint?  Share your thoughts!  Craigslist can be a great source for free, "throw-aways" you can breathe new life into.

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  1. Nice....Free Table&Chairs Look. I'm a big believer of buying wooden items especially for one dollar. All you need is a vision and behold vintage items transformed and "Reused" once again. The butcher block cleaner certainly made your chairs look like new, good product. Thanks for the update.

  2. Hi John, your table and chairs look great. You really did a fabulous job on them. Too bad I didn't know about Butcher Block conditioner a few years back, before I painted mine dusty rose, LOL Thanks for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


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