Spit and Polish

Well, more like paint & fabric, but you get the idea.

A few weeks ago, I took a trip down to Charlottesville, VA – home of the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  I always think that you can find the best deals in college towns considering the majority of the clientele is under 21 and eating ramen noodles to conserve going out funds.  While there I came across two fantastic and affordable antique/consignment stores close to campus.

The first, Circa, is 4 store fronts + 3 trucks full of furniture, artwork, lamps, and all types of accessories.  I found everything from a vintage Knoll Pollock Desk Chair ($100) to adorable french bistro furniture to old library pieces from the local public library.  I did pass on the velvet art scene for my bedroom wall, but hey, maybe one of you can go back for it.

The second store, Possession Recycled, was not as large or as varied in product, but I did find a set of 4 dining chairs for $85.  Now, yes, there is a reason that these guys were $85, but with a bit of paint, fabric, and a staple gun, we now have brand new dining chairs for less than $35 each.  Check out these before and after shots.

The original chair.  I liked the lines of the chair, but the upholstery was completely wrong for the chair, my house, and well, pretty much everything.  It is a very simple design, and while I like contrasting modern and traditional elements, this was, to politely put it, not a successful choice.





My first step was to find a new fabric for these little guys.  I like this pattern because it doesn’t compete with the chair’s design, and it lends itself to the clean simple look of the piece.  It also doesn’t clash with the 4000 colors that I have placed in my living/dining room. Each chair took about half of a yard, but depending on your chair seat, fabric choice, and repeat, this can vary.


Since the wood of the chairs had seen better days, I decided that for my first attempt at rehabbing furniture, I would go with paint instead of a full out refinish.  A few coats of Behr’s Premium Plus Paint in Starless Night, and Voila!  My new set of 4 dining chairs!

Practically artwork, right?  We thought so.  Our space saving solution for two of these guys is the wall above our staircase.  I have to give credit for this incredibly efficient idea to my partner in crime.  Those Army ingrained organizational skills really do come in handy some days.

Wouldn’t these be fun with this Saarinen style dining table found at Cannon’s Online Auction House in Richmond, VA.  You can find great deals from these guys if you watch their online auctions.  Furniture rarely goes for over $100, and their “Buy It Now” options step down as they keep them in inventory.  If you can wait until the end of September, you can get this table for $87.50.  Crazy, right?


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