Sunday, April 14, 2013

Quick Antique Ladder Back Chair Makeover

 Don't you love a good tag sale find and a quick makeover? Tag sales are slowly starting up again in Massachusetts, although I have to say that it is completely freezing here today.
I went to just one tag sale Saturday afternoon after I saw it listed on craigslist. They were selling the most amazing antique dresser (which I also happened to score), a few miscellaneous items and this cool, antique ladder back chair.

And, I can totally attest to the ladder back of this chair, because Figgy did, in fact, attempt to climb it like a ladder when I had it lying down. Cats!
The before was very worn and dated and in need of a serious gluing on all the joints. 

I like to work pretty quickly when I am refurbishing furniture, especially items that I plan to resell.  And, I think I have a rather efficient process for chair updating.

To start, I clean the chair and remove the seat. I repair any loose joints using wood glue or tighten any necessary screws.  While the glue dries I remove the old upholstery, evaluate the padding (replacing if needed) and reupholster the seat and set it aside (in this case I used a drop cloth remnant).
I then lightly sand the piece and give it another good cleaning. When I am using black paint I find that I only need one coat to give it a perfect worn look. (Amazing detailing, right?)

When the paint dries, I sand the entire piece using a sanding sponge to distress and add in a time worn look. Then I wax and buff and reattach the seat.

I'm so glad that I bought this amazing chair! I had actually been so focused on the dresser that I was totally ignoring the comments my Mom was making to me about the chair. I was literally getting back in the car when my she urged me to go back and take a look at it.  Mom's know best!

Have a great week!



Linking to: 
DIY Show Off Mod Vintage Life My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia52 MantelsBeyond The Picket FencePhotobucket A Delightsome Life vif187 Boogieboard Cottage”Fall

Green Willow Pond
Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. work fast! And the chair is just beautiful! Thanks for the tips and I can't wait to see the dresser!


  2. So pretty! Is it my eyes or is the back of the chair looks especially tall? You and you mom make a good team!

  3. I clearly type faster than my brain spells!

  4. This came out beautiful! Great work

  5. Looks great ! It's real similar to the two chairs I just redid .

  6. This is gorgeous. You really made her shine!

  7. This turned out beautifully! So gorgeous! I popped over from Alderberry Hill--thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

  8. You do work fast:0 Love the dropcloth seat and how you distressed the black paint!

  9. Looks so great, and I am with you...I like to be efficient on my furniture updates to sell. You have to be, in order to be profitable. ;) you just reminded me that I have some drop cloth, and need to cover a chair! ;)

    Char @

  10. Thanks for sharing your process for redoing great old chairs. Very efficient. Love the final result.

  11. Just beautiful! I love this chair. Wouldn't the cushion look great with a black monogram?


  12. Just gorgeous and I love the cloche next to it in the one picture.


  13. Great chair, and great cabinet!

  14. Angela, what a gorgeous find and fabulous before and after! I would love for you to share your redo at the Pretty Things Link Party at twelveOeight!!

    xo, Tanya

  15. That is a wonderful chair and your dresser in your other post is gorgeous!! You do great work and I love that you move quickly. I like quick....

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  17. Too cute! It turned out beautiful..... I would love for you to link up at my craft party! Just follow the link....



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