reader's found treasure: shawn's "new" chair

I know you’ve probably seen and/or undertaken bigger projects, but here’s my little do-it-yourself experiment.


I found this chair on the street, walked by, left it, then went back and carried it home. I stripped the layers of gunky, yellow paint — I needed to get creative getting it out of the cut-outs, etc.  It took around four after-work night sessions to strip. There was a LOT of paint. My friend Curtis helped me with the cushion (I was clueless) — but in the end, it was easy. It would probably take one day if someone had the time to just sit there and scrape paint, and didn’t choke from the thinner. I the end, I stained it mahogany and then re-built the cushion and staple-gunned brown mohair (purchased at Zarin’s) and voila! I wouldn’t necessarily buy a chair like this, but it’s not bad considering it was cost me practically nothing. — Shawn T.

From our partners

Wow, it looks great, what a difference.


fantastic job. Though I wouldn’t call that many man hours ‘practically nothing.’


wow, it looks brand new. very impressive!

It’s gorgeous and I soooo love anything with mohair!


Aw, am I the only one who loves the “before” version? With a little TLC, of course. I think it’s fun and funky and has a lot of personality!

There’s something cool and funky, yes, about brightly painted furniture etc. like the “before” version. But I’m starting to find going the other way, and re-staining as you’ve done to be such a great look! Love the new chair.


You might be, Tasha…I suppose you could patch up the white paint and go with a bright colored cushion to make it an ironic, eclectic piece, but I like the elegant, sophisticated remake. The fabric choice is perfect, and the monochromatic color scheme really highlights the carving and those awesome curved back legs. I totally *would* buy a chair like this, so I’m really jealous you already claimed it!!


LOVE IT! Totally makes me want to run out and find something just like it!

ellobie in Chicago

The After looks sooo beautiful, but I’m with Tasha. The Before would fit in with my style much better, even without touching up the paint (though I probably would recover the cushion if only to remove the fraying edge hanging down).

You did a great job. That darker, richer color looks a thousand times more elegant.