furniture

Refinish and Revive: Rustic Rush Chair

Saturday, April 23, 2011

So a bit more than a month ago now, the beau and I took a chance at a storage locker auction. We ended up with some junk, a huge assortment of comic books and pornography (yikes!), and a lovely antique chair (whew- at least we got something good out of it!).

That's the chair in the background: note the shabby wood and the broken rush hanging from the bottom

Though the chair was grey and weathered and had some seat problems, I saw some potential for this rustic old ladder back. I was certain I could bring some color back to that dull old wood, but I wasn't so sure I could fix the seat. After some poking around online, I was overjoyed to find that weaving a new seat for the chair was relatively inexpensive and as simple as following a few pages of instructions. So, I ordered a rush weaving kit and prepared to breath new life into this dull old chair.

Stripped of its rush

After stripping the chair of its old, broken rush, I got to work reviving that old dingy wood. After a few applications of tung oil, the chair started to glow a healthy honey color. I chose to work with the tung oil because I didn't really want to stain the chair or use anything really heavy on it- I wanted to keep it natural and a little rustic looking. I also wanted a product that would do well outside (as I intend this chair for the porch) and found that some other products I had in mind do not do well in hot, humid, salty air. We'll see how the tung holds up, fingers crossed it was a good choice!

After a tung oil rubdown: note the color change from the last photograph

After reviving the chair a bit, I began the arduous task of weaving the seat. I was surprised to find that once I got into a good rhythm the weaving went along pretty quickly. While this certainly isn't the best rush seat in the world, I think it's pretty good for my first go at it!

Voila! It holds a person and it looks decent!

 All in all, for less than $20 and a days effort, we have a new wonderful old chair for the front porch and I now have the ability to weave rush!
With this project all wrapped up, I'm back to sanding the shabby chic paint off a coffee table. Sigh. Hopefully it will be worth it in the the end. Look for that project to be posted soon.


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