In the workshop- Bank Chairs



I have a confession.  I absolutely hate painting chairs.  There are so many surfaces to cover and it’s easy to miss a spot and it’s messy and it causes drips and ugh.  No thank you.  Chairs are a serious investment of time and energy.  They are not my favorite piece of furniture to work on.

So, for that reason, this pair of chairs has been sitting in the basement for about a year.  Yikes. Normally, I refurbish furniture almost immediately after purchasing it.

Well, with COVID-19 closing down all the stores and with social distancing, I have not been able to replenish my stock of furniture that needs to be refurbished. These two chairs were the last pieces needing work.

I went down to the basement and there they were.  Staring at me.  “Hey lady! It’s our turn.” Ugh.  Chairs!  Well, it must be done.

When  I took them upstairs, I did some research on them.  They are both from the First Trust & Deposit Company – Syracuse, New York.  Here is an entire article I found about the history of this company.  The bank was created in 1863 and was around until 1919.  Meaning, these chairs have some age to them.

Here is a photo of the chairs prior to doing any painting and upholstery:



The seats were in rough condition.



However, the frames were remarkably sturdy.

Upon removing one of the seats – I found was horsehair used as the “cushion” under the exterior cover. This was an old chair.

Being home the majority of the time means that I had plenty of time to work on the frames of these chairs. After removing the seats, I gave them a light sanding and a good cleaning using Krud Kutter.  Then I decided to paint the frames black.

The seats clearly needed to be reupholstered. So, I raided my stash of antique fabrics and found a hemp weave fabric from Europe.  The lady I purchased it from said the fabric would “wear like iron”.  It was thick, tightly woven and very sturdy.  Perfect.  However, when I put the fabric on the chair to get an idea as to how it would look reupholstered- the seat was just so blah. Boring.

I really felt as though these chairs needed more personality.  Lately, I have been loving the look of patches.  Patches sewn onto clothing or pillows or quilts.  So, I decided to use some antique French mattress ticking to create “patches” on the chair seats.

First, of course, I covered the seat boards with new cotton batting.  Even that made such a difference!



Here is a photo showing one chair with a newly covered seat and the other chair in progress.




After sealing the paint and attaching the newly upholstered seats to the frames, here is the final result.




You can see that although the chairs are the same scale and although they have a similar back, they are different.  My guess is that the chair on the left was made later and in a slightly different style.

The chair on the right had the horsehair in the seat cushion. I believe this chair is at least 100 years old.



Well, they certainly look much happier.  Thank you for stopping by the blog today.  I am sending you and your families wishes of good health!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *