How to Refurbish a Good Form Chair

One of the best perks of teaching upholstery classes all week long, and doing three day bootcamps for out of towners is getting to meet like-minded people. Where else could I find kindred souls who have a passion for chair restyling, rescuing and just plain good old upholstering? One of those people is Peggy Markle, who is originally from Hickory, North Carolina, but now lives up the road from me in Anderson, Indiana. Peggy writes the blog, notestoanne.com.
(Unlike me, she enjoys the cooking part of Home Ec. Ha!)
Peggy attended Bootcamp IV in February and redid a beautiful white side chair with a bleached out drop cloth and burlap bag. It was very understated and elegant. I love the way that she adds her own little details to make her chairs special. See how she featured the burlap bag tag on the outside back of her chair.

Last week, she sent me a link to her latest and greatest undertaking, a complete makeover of a classic Good Form Chair. Yowza! This tutorial is gold, pure gold! I bet there are more than a few chair scavenger folks who need to see exactly how to fix up one of these 1950’s-1960’s gems.

Here, you can see it’s an original.

Have you passed up one of these on your thrifting trips?

Can I tell you how gratifying it is to see one of my upholstery students using Bootcamp skills in their civilian lives? Peggy was a natural, so I really can’t take any credit here.

Oh, how I love chiseling off petrified foam rubber. Look at her garden digger used to scrape off the hard, crunchy padding.

After the nasty tear down, she started in on spiffing up the aluminum frame. I’ve never heard of this product, but you can be sure I’ll be adding it to my stash of furniture fix-up concoctions.

All cleaned up, now she’s ready to upholster the seat and back.

See Peggy’s thorough step by step process that turned this beat up has-been into a fresh, refurbished showpiece. I’m going to have to stay on my toes, Peggy’s got IT going on and she’s not that far away.

Don’t miss this. You’ve just got to click here to see the detail she added to the back of this chair.

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One Response to How to Refurbish a Good Form Chair

  1. Dee says:

    I love good form chairs- I have 6 of them! But here is what I don’t understand from her tutorial. She basically took all the neat vintage elements and turned it into any chair you could get at homegoods. The weird suit fabric is nothing like the original vinyl, and I would also guess it is not that sturdy unless she used a heavy-weight sportcoat. The clip has got to be the strangest element of all- it will be annoying if you sit in the chair (clank clank every time you move), and it is not remotely attractive either. Why is it there? Do you attach it to the wall when not in use? And I suspect it will tear off if you do try to use it.

    Anyway, I hate to say this, but it seems like she essentially butchered the chair and took out all the interesting elements. But that’s just my opinion. But seriously- if you could explain the clip that would be great.