Rocking chair refinish, take one

I really believe that being involved, even if in a small level, in your community is important.  I think that the idea of giving back is more than just a cheesy sentiment. There is something to be said for being a contributing part of the place you call home.  In my pervious life, before I became a stay at home mom, I was lucky enough to work for our local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate.  Of course, when you work in fundraising and volunteer coordination, it is pretty easy to feel like a connected part of the community.  For four years I didn't have to think much about how to feel invested in my community, in fact, I got paid to do it.  When I made the choice to be a stay at home mom, I knew I still wanted to feel engaged but it was just a matter of how.  Of course, Alex came and I've pretty much spent the last year as an island unto myself.   Forget community involvement, most days this year I have just been happy to brush my teeth.  But things are starting to settle in and I've been thinking about how to go about being an active participant in my little town again.  It just so happened that an opportunity sort of fell in our laps.   Jason's work, Ace Hardware of Cleveland, was asked to submit a refinished piece of furniture for a local fundraiser that benefits art education.   It was a no brainer, we jumped at the chance.  The fundraiser, Chair-ries Jubilee, is an auction that takes place annually.  Each year they ask different artist to submit furniture pieces designed around a theme.  This year was AnTweaks Roadshow.  The idea was taking an old chair and tweaking it.  Since, we can't do anything simple, we ended up working on two pieces.  We are gluttons for punishment.  We are in the home stretch now and I am tickeled to have photos of the first rocker.

Before:

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After:

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This was totally a team effort, besides the fact that this chair was ugly, it was also falling apart.  Jason screwed and glued to get this bad boy stable again.  He also had to cut and plane the slats for the back of the chair.  Then, we had to get them to bend to get them in place.  Do you know how to bend wood? I didn't.  He put the slat in a pot of boiling water for several minutes.  The steam and heat gave the board just enough give for him to be able to pop them in place.  Thank you google.  You really can find the answers to anything online.

Side note:  This is also a little before and after our yard that I've been rambling posting about.  The two pictures are taken in the same place.  You can see our flower beds that I have built.  Hooray for playing in the dirt!

As for the chair itself, here are some close ups.

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I was singing Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zreos as I painted this.  I thought this chair belonged on someone's deck. It has a very "homey like" feel for me.

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See how shiney?  Jason has polycoated the fool out of this chair.  Did you know that commerical furniture has a crap ton of layers of polycoat on it?  That is why DIY refinishined peices aren't alway as durable.  We've learned this the hard way.  Coat baby coat.  This is the hardest part for me, because it is the most boring.  All the fun stuff has been done.  You have to seal, sand and repeat. Over and over again. I might try to talk Jason into quitting with every new application. But the end result is some durable furniture, so he presses on.  There were two more coats of poly put on the chair after this picture was taken.

All in all, I am pretty happy with it.  I am more of a plain jane kind of gal when it comes to my furniture.  I probably would have skipped the design work, but painting on the chairs is kind of what everyone does for the fundraiser.  This little puppy will go up for auction on Friday (if you are local, you can get tickets at the Red Ribbon).  And, being completely honest, I am terrified that no one will bid on it.  Wouldn't that be awful?  I think I am going to pretend that I didn't make it, that way I can bid on it if no one else does.  Tomorrow I'll post the second chair. It is my favorite.   In the mean time, I will leave you with this photo which shows a hint of how gross we look when we are in the middle of a project.

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We were debating how on earth I was going to get a decent picture because the chair was so stinking shiny.   I know my pants don't look as bad as Jason's, but I totally had on a gross old shirt, no makeup and stringy hair.  Just keeping it real folks.