Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover | The Interior Frugalista: Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover

October 22, 2013

Antique Balloon Back Chair Makeover

Like our Nesting Tables, we also inherited this antique balloon back chair several years ago. When we got her she had a few scratches and the upholstery had a faint stain but otherwise she was in pretty good condition. Instead of having her tucked away in a corner for show only, she was well used. She sat at our sofa table desk in the living room and during gatherings she was used for extra seating. But this old gal, much like her owner, was looking pretty tired and worn lately.  It was time to bite the bullet and give her a makeover (I'm still waiting for mine).
Before and After picture of antique balloon back chair
When she arrived in the workshop the plan was to touch up the scratches, give her a fresh coat of paint, and paint the upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Duck Egg Blue. Ha, if only it were that easy!

This is a better shot of what she looked like before I started.
Before picture of antique balloon back chair

Then I gave her a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Old White and her details just popped! Oh, I should mention I was noticing bleed through so I gave the entire piece a coat of shellac before applying my next coat of paint - worked like a charm!  I waxed her with clear wax followed by dark wax in the nooks and crannies and distressed her a little with fine sandpaper.  I was tickled pink with the results!
Balloon back chair painted with Old White chalk paint

I pulled out my Duck Egg Blue chalk paint and was ready to start my first attempt at painting upholstery when I discovered something nasty was going on underneath that fabric. Oh oh!
Old cotton batting layer on antique balloon back chair
So far so good!

Straw stuffing in antique balloon back chair
I was expecting horse hair but surprise, it's straw! Dusty, stinky, messy straw.

Decayed burlap layer on antique balloon back chair
After removing the layers of straw I noticed the burlap cover was ripped and disintegrated. Okay, so I replace the straw with something else and I apply a new layer of burlap - I can handle that!

Deteriorated cording detached from springs in antique balloon back chair
Oh oh, that ain't look'n so purdy! Yikes, now I started to get nervous. Have I told you, I've never upholstered an old chair before?

Innards all cleaned up inside antique balloon back chair
I gave her a good clean with the shop vac and was thankful to see the strapping was in good condition and all four springs were still tightly attached. Upstairs to grab a coffee and back down to stare...and stare...and stare some more while scratching my head. "Okay, so now what"?

Upholstery 101 - here we come! Then I remembered I had bought The Complete Guide To Upholstery by Cherry Dobson several months back. THANK YOU CHERRY DOBSON!! I highly recommend this book chalked full of easy tutorials.

Putting the antique balloon back chair together again - 2013 version
Mr. Frugalista came to the rescue and together we made our little Antique Balloon Back Chair all pretty again!

 New fabric and gimp on antique balloon back chair

Painted, dark waxed, and distressed wood on antique balloon back chair

After picture of antique balloon back chair makeover

Remember I mentioned in my Four Drawer Dresser to Faux Secretary post that we were going to use this chair with the Faux Secretary in our guest room? Well here they are together at last!
Back of antique balloon back chair makeover

Antique balloon back chair united with 4-drawer Dresser to Faux Secretary

Antique balloon back chair in the guest bedroom with the faux secretary

The guest bedroom makeover is coming along slowly but surely. In the meantime I've been diverted to my office where we removed furniture from the guest room and are re-purposing in there. Posts of that makeover soon!
This is not a sponsored post nor did I receive any financial compensation.  I am merely sharing a helpful resource that I used during this project.



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