In the workshop – French Button Back Chair


I am so excited.  After months of not having any furniture to refurbish, I have stumbled upon a project to work on!  Let me introduce you to my most recent vintage find – a French button back chair.

If you look closely, you can see that the upholstery is worn and needs to be replaced.  This is common in vintage furniture that is decades old.  For example, if you look closely at the arms on the chair, you can see where it is a bit dirty from years of use.

The chair is such good quality.  The craftsmanship of this piece of furniture is spectacular, and I love the little wheels on the front legs.  As you probably guessed,  I am not crazy about the reddish tone of the wooden legs or the shiny finish on the wood.  That will definitely be changing.



As of now, I don’t have a clear vision of how I want this chair to look after it is reupholstered.  I am not sure of what fabric I will use nor do I yet have a complete understanding of the technicalities involved.  All I know is that I will use antique fabric that is suitable for upholstery and it will more than likely be from France.

The biggest technical challenges with this chair are 1. the complex manner in which the upholstery panels are assembled and 2. the tufting.  As you can see in the photo below there are at least 3 panels for the sides and back of the chair. So, I will need to carefully deconstruct the chair to figure out how the panels come together. No doubt, recreating that tufting will result in some sore fingers.



It will be interesting working on this project in the apartment. Whenever I work on an upholstery project – the room looks as if a bomb went off.  There is an air compressor, assorted tools, a sewing station complete with sewing machine, piles of batting everywhere, pieces of foam scattered about  and an ironing station set up.  I am not sure yet how I will use the air compressor in the apartment since I don’t want to disturb the neighbors.  So, perhaps I will use it outside.

Regardless, I will keep you informed as the project progresses.  I am just so happy that New York has partially reopened so I can start working on projects again!

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