Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My $1.99 Goodwill Chair

My $1.99 Goodwill chair.

I knew this chair was something special when I saw it marked down and down again. How on earth someone else didn't snag this chair for that price is beyond me. But, I saw it and fell in love. Seriously, one ninety nine. Unbelievable for a solid wood chair.

And, after further inspection, I found all the original tags and markings on the chair and determined that W. H. Gunlock Chair Company has made chairs for libraries, government agencies and several United States Presidents. Now, that's something special to say about my bargain find.

Needless to say, after finding the original paperwork on the bottom of the chair, researching, and realizing that chairs like this are selling for $399 at Pottery Barn, I decided I couldn't wait any longer to refinish this chair.

My first step was to sand the chair, fully dissemble the chair and remove the cushion. For my first step, I tried something new with this chair - liquid sander.

However, I was not that impressed with the product because it left a funky texture and residue on the chair. If you look close in the picture below, you can see the residue building up. The overall time process to use the liquid sander felt like it was double the work because I still had to sand the entire chair after using the liquid sander.

However, with the sanding and liquid sander, I was definitely able to strip the paint from all original coats of varnish/laquer or whatever the heck was layered on that chair.

After the sanding was finished, and after closer examination, I realized the base of the chai was actually brown, instead of black. The solution - tons of cleaning and a few simple coat of spray paint!

Let the painting begin. I decided on the paint with primer in it from Home Depot. Great choice for the chair and great to cut paint time in half! Thank you Home Depot.

Almost there.

The final results. Ahhhhh-mazing! My $1.99 chair looks much better.

Clear as mud, right? Overall, a much easier project than anticipated. Taking apart, sand, paint, recover chair, put chair back together, and enjoy!

One more note -- thank you to my lovely assistant (my mother-in-law) for all of her help. You can probably see a few other projects in the background that I'll be posting about in the near future. During her recent visit we were able to refinish a few furniture pieces and cross them off my to-do list. Thanks!


  1. I would have walked past that chair too .... How do I look past the ugliness to see the real beauty like you do!!!

  2. It's very nice, but I like the original wood look better.