Thursday, July 24, 2008

To Refinish or Not to Refinish?



You saw this child's small chair in previous posts. The chair was purchased for $22 in the neighborhood of The Bunny Bungalow. I asked, "Should I refinish the chair or leave it as found?”

Tall Husband asked the definitive question, "Where is the chair to live; in the Ranchburger or The Bunny Bungalow?"

The Ranchburger is modern (I do not mean "mid-century modern." I am not a fan of that design period, as I grew up with that style and have the Naugahyde burns to prove it.) By modern I refer to our licensed reproductions originally designed by
Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, Marcel Breuer and Eileen Gray. I also refer to original Wolfgang Hoffman (son of Joseph Hoffman). The Ranchburger has a touch of quirkiness to its interiors so the tiny chair would "fit," left unfinished. But The Bunny Bungalow with all its arts & crafts furniture, antique bunnies and birds' nests is a fantasy. So the tiny child's chair would find its home there, next to Harvey Ellis designs. It's yellowed, cracked varnish would not blend with the dark woods of the surrounding furniture. So "to refinish," is the answer.

After using a stripper and sanding, I used a mahogany Minwax with a sponge brush for the transformation. Of course age and price of the chair were considerations in my decision to refinish. At the Bungalow our really old pieces have been merely given a good waxing or have been refurbished by one of the best in the business, Robert Stallcup (who, with his partner, recently moved their business and residence to Brenham, Texas.)

I like the new look of this tiny chair but must confess that I miss the scratched and much used look it had before I intervened. Aah, there is no pleasing a woman!


  1. I love the refinished look of it. Modern but juvenile at the same time. I dig it. At some point I want to start changing over our living room furniture to dark wood like that. Thanks for the tips on staining. :)

  2. Hi Tara,

    Good to hear from you again! I like your new color and cut too!