August 17, 2012

Client Commission: Vintage Metal Peacock Chairs

These chairs belong to a customer of mine who had purchased a chair from me at my first market stall here in Australia.  Often when someone buys a piece I have refurbished, that leads to a conversation about other items they may have that they want something done with.  That is what happened here.
She had some old metal chairs that she wondered if I could do something with.  Here they are.
They needed more than a little bit of help!

I did wonder for a while whether the rust was holding hands to keep this chair from collapsing into a heap!

I sought the advice of my favourite local paint counter on how to treat these.  They suggested I treat the rust with a White Knight product called Rust Guard Rust Converter.  They recommend this over the other brand (cannot remember what it was sorry) as this product treats the rust and seals it in one step.  I just brushed it on after I had scrubbed the chairs with hot soapy water and let them fully dry.  The rust converter did take quite a while to dry (a couple of days, and the days were sunny and around 20 degrees).   Once the chairs felt fully dry I primed them with metal primer spray paint.
Looking better already, I think!
Now, Cass wanted one chair to be black and one to be french cream with an antique glaze.  She had chosen some fabric for the black chair pad but the cream one, she left up to me to suggest something.  She also left it up to me as to which chair would be which colour.  I decided to paint the less rusty one black, as I had plans to use the lumpy rusty bits to my advantage for the cream chair.
Here is the black one, all done.  I cut some new bases for the chair pads out of MDF.  I topped these with a piece of foam rubber, then stapled on a lining fabric.  Over the top of that I placed a couple of layers of dacron to give it more softness.  I stapled the chosen fabric over the top of that, trimmed it, then stapled the same fabric underneath to finish off the bottom.  The pads attached differently to each chair - for the black one I put a bolt through the MDF before I put the foam rubber on, then screwed the nut on tight from underneath once all the upholstery was done.

Eight new rubber chair tips finished it off nicely.

Now for the cream one...
(chair tips still to go on this one)
This is where I used the lumpy rusty bits to my advantage, with the antique glazing.  See how it adds character and depth?  My husband said ' cleaned the chair all up, then made it look all grungy again??' 
Why yes, yes I did.  And your problem with that is.....? ;)
I LOVE this is the cream version of the blue fabric I used on these chairs.

Here's the underside of the cream one.  To attach the seat pad I just screwed into the MDF from underneath, through the bracket on each side of the chair frame.
Here they are together.  Both quite different styles but I am sure that Cass will have a special spot reserved for each of them in her home.