Thursday, April 9, 2015

Plain Rattan Chair to Chinese Chippendale Chair

A few week's ago I sent David a picture of this rattan chair while I was out thrifting. I said, $10, but not really a fan of the back .. he instantly thought of transforming the back into a Chinese Chippendale style (isn't he a keeper?!) I loved the idea (obviously) and thought it was definitely worth a shot for just $10.





Ah, isn't it wonderful? I love how it turned out! Our original plan was to reuse the existing rattan back rods, but the scale was a little larger than we wanted, so we picked up a few thinner dowel rods from Home Depot.

To get started, David measured and cut the corners on the back, inverted them (taping them in place temporarily).


Glued and stapled in place. Next, we got started on the back. We measured and cut the dowel rods to fit.


To contour the edges, we used a Dremel with the sanding attachment, so that they would fit fairly flush.

We continued to measure, cut to fit and attach the dowel rods in place. 


For the seat, we made a template out of paper, then traced on a piece of plywood, and cut out with the jigsaw. We attached the seat underneath, with two thin strips of plywood and screws.

To finish the frame, we applied wood filler to the seams, sanded and painted with Zinsser Cover Stain Primer and Rustoleum Enamel Satin. I like this combo for durability and a smooth finish. Satin is a great choice to hide any flaws.




I cut a new piece of 2" foam (about 1/2" - 1" larger than the plywood so the edges are smooth) and upholstered the seat in Caitlin Wilson's Mint Fleur Chinoise. LOVE all of Caitlin Wilson's fabrics!! I've used both the cotton canvas and linen cotton from her line and they are both a favorite to upholster with - they are a nice weight and easy to work with!



One last before


and after.


I love love love how it turned out!!

I've passed by a few similar chairs at the thrift store, maybe you have too? Next time, think about what you can do to make them your own!

55 comments:

  1. Amazing! As always. And the CW fabric is icing on top.

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    1. Thank you Amanda!! :) Love all of CW fabrics!

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    1. Thanks Cassie!! :) We have 48 chairs (yes, David keeps a running list) so we need to start selling some in the future, maybe this one will make it's way to the barn!

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  3. That is IT, you guys are one of the best DIYers I have ever seen.

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    1. That is so sweet, thanks SO much Elisa!! :)

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  4. You both are so creative and talented! It's really amazing to see your transformations!

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  5. A brilliant transformation! It takes a good eye to see that potential in a chair ;)

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    1. Thanks so much Jen!! :) David knows my love for Chippendale furniture and he thought of it right away!

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  6. What?! This is such a smart update. I love that David's reply was "Maybe we can turn the back into a Chippendale style." Scott's reply to a similar text from me would probably be, "We don't need any more chairs :) "

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    1. Ha! Exactly! I definitely would not look at that chair and think to do that...I mean I wouldn't think it would be possible, but I don't have mad skills like Sarah and David either. ;)

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    2. You are too sweet! :) Thanks SO much!

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    3. One of the most brilliant diy makeovers.,,,and one of the most brilliant comments by a commenter @jennifer the chronicles of home... :) :) exactly what most husbands would say :)

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  7. 1st-He's a keeper for sure! 2nd-Yall should become furniture designers! I love seeing how you create and remake pieces!

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    1. We'd love to come out with our own furniture line someday!! Thanks so much Robin!! :)

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  8. Stop it!!!! Seriously! I had to keep scrolling back up, over and over again. Ridiculous!
    And my husband would have said the same thing as Jennifer's but he also wouldn't have known what a chippendale is. I'm jealous in so many ways.

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    1. That's so sweet, thank so much Julia!! :)

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  9. Incredible transformation! You are a genius!

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  10. Sarah, you guys are such geniuses! This makeover is incredible!

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  11. This transformation blows me away! You guys need to be chair engineers.

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    1. Thanks Mekenzie! :) We'd love to design our own line someday!

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  12. I am not sure how you do it but I am blown away more and more with each visit to your site. THIS my friend, is about the most incredible transformation I have seen.

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    1. Thanks so much Jen! That is such a big compliment coming from you!! :) Thank YOU!

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  13. He's definitely a keeper! So smart and it turned out lovely! xo

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    1. He really is a keeper :) Thanks Kristin!! :)

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  14. Wow! This looks awesome! Great transformation. What vision! :)

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  15. Amazing! Your creativity and execution of projects never ceases to amaze me. What a gorgeous chair!

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    1. That's such a compliment! Thanks so much Morgan!! :)

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  16. Possibly the most creative thing ever.

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    1. That is so sweet, thanks SO much Lori!! :)

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  17. You guys are so clever! That is an amazing before and after!

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  18. Unbelievable!! I seriously can't believe it!! Is there anything you guys can't do? Amazing! xo

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  19. SERIOUSLY!?!?!?! How ridiculously talented are the two of you?!?! You guys are uh-mazing!!

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  20. This post got me so excited!!! I've been wanting one of these chairs for years and I love that now its way more accessible than I thought, of coarse getting my husband on board will be a little harder:)

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    1. Thanks Suzanne! Perfect for those that can't find a Chippendale!!

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  21. Absolutely incredible! Mind blown Sarah!!

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  22. This is so awesome but I'm really worried about the strength of the chair. Is it sturdy to have a man lounge back in it? Great idea!

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    1. Hi Stella- Thanks! :) The back seems as sturdy as it was, the long staples and glue make it pretty strong. I wouldn't recommend kids bouncing on it or a heavy man (who's rough on furniture) sitting on it, but for average use, I'd say it's ok.

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  23. This is fantastic Sarah! Amazing stuff. I want to go thrifting with you next time you're back in the area ;)
    - Sabrina

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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