Friday, September 16, 2011

Old Outdated Desk Chair to Pottery Barn Perfect

I had the perfect plan. The problem was, the plan was in my head, not a reality. Do you know what I mean? I can visualize it all in my head...just how it will be, but I don't have the actual supplies or know if they even exist. I imagine a lot of creative people work like this...or it is what I like to tell myself to make it all seem "normal." Ideas are swimming in my head but it is sometimes impossible to find just what I am envisioning.

I wanted a desk chair for my daughters teacher. I was looking for a wood chair and I wanted it to have wheels. Ok, that doesn't seem like I am asking for to much. Did I mention that I didn't want to spend more than $20? Yeah...I'm cheap like that. I know it is possible to score deals, but usually you have to be patient. Verrrry patient. Patience is not a quality I really possess. And well, I was on a time crunch for Teachers Appreciation Week and I needed it right away.

I work best under pressure. I always have. I know there are people out there in the world who are careful planners. I am sure that people like me freak you out. You would have all the details carefully planned out before considering a project...yes, you know who you's just not the way I work. Sometimes it causes me to fail, and I am ok with that. This was not one of those days. I walked into a thrift store and was greated with this beauty:

I could hear music playing! The moment was magical. She was beautiful. Yes, the chair is a she. What? You don't see it? She had great bones and was well built. She met all of my criteria: made of wood, wheels...and did I mention that price tag says $14.95? Yeah, it was love at first sight! She took the dream list of qualifications I had and also brought a swivel seat and adjustable height! Really? I could not have asked for more.

Now, I know her skin color looks ok in the picture, but in reality she was a bit worse for wear. She had scratches and imperfections...who doesn't? It didn't matter, I was planning on giving her a makeover which would start with a good cleaning and a nice new coat of "make up." And her vinyl seat...well, I guess it would be easy to clean, but it is certainly not attractive. Functional verses stylish...isn't that the question woman have been battling for decades? Flats vs. heels? Blue jeans vs. cocktail dress? Let's get real, this lady needed a newer more stylish outfit.

The first step was to unscrew her tired old seat. I taped off all her mechanics, so I would not ruin any of her working parts. I gave her skin a nice buffing...ok, a light sanding. Then, I pulled out the best foundation any chair could ask for...Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Primer. It is definitely my favorite. It advertises to cover twice as well as a regular primer...I am a believer! Just look at her.

This is one coat of primer! She looks amazing! I then added a coat of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Heirloom White Satin Finish. I adore this color. I love to change the color in my house with the seasons, but I like my foundation pieces to remain neutral. Heirloom White is an excellent choice. It is a lot warmer than your standard white, which can often feel cold. It is a great base for this chair. It would be simple to change the fabric for a completely different look with about five minutes of effort.

Next I needed to change her jewelry. She had scratched up, shiny silver wheel covers. Paired with the plastic black just looked cheap. She couldn't ruin her new look with cheap jewelry. I taped off the wheels and sprayed the metal with a coat of Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze. She was just about ready for her big debut!

For her crowning touch I stenciled our teachers name on the top of the chair. I finished her off with two coats of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Matte Crystal Clear. Just look at her!

Pottery Barn offers a Swivel Desk Chair that looks very similar to my beauty. It has a solid wood seat instead of a cushion, but they could be sisters! Pottery Barn gives the adorable description "A schoolhouse antique inspired our swiveling hardwood chair." Sounds great. I love the write up...until I saw the price tag...$399! Wow! Plus another $19 if you want a cushion to sit on. I love the story Pottery Barn tells for each of their products, but let's be honest. Thousands of people walk into Pottery Barn or order this chair online. That is not inspiring. I want something unique, something personalized, something special. I loved my girl before, but now she takes my breath away!


  1. For $14.95??? Super love. That lucky teacher is going to die. Even though I'd be stingy and keep it for myself.

    P.S You can't even imagine all the things in my head that I'm fabulous at ;)

  2. Great Job! I bet the teacher was thinking this was THE best gift ever!

  3. It is a beauty! You have the eye to see what could be! Lucky Teacher!


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