Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Tale of the Thrifted Tufted Chair

Say that three times fast!

A few weeks ago while I was hitting up our local Goodwill I spotted this chair and literally push-sprinted across the store to take a closer look at it.  Good, the tag was still on it, meaning no one else had claimed it yet!


It was in amazing shape.  The velvet was still full and soft with no stains, the wicker on the back was in pristine shape,and the wood frame was sturdy with no nicks or gouges.  Best part?  It was $9.99! 


You’d better believe I ripped that tag off fast.

Then I thought about it as I shopped around the rest of the store.  Did I really need a chair like this?  Would we use it?  Would it become a misfit chair that takes up space in the garage?  In the end, I knew I could easily find a new home for it if we ended up not using it (and I knew if I didn’t buy the chair it would move to the top of my Thrifting/Garage Sale Regret List!) so OF COURSE I bought it.  Don’t worry, I never seriously considered not buying it. :)


It has this fun Greek key design on the arms:


Then I got it home and as I was lifting it out of the car I smelled a bit of funk…oh no!  I hadn’t been totally sold on the color originally so I knew that I might want to re-upholster the chair--but then when I smelled that I realized re-upholstering might have to be prioritized.  I decided to give the chair a good cleaning and see what I thought after.  I know there are lots of people out there who would never buy used upholstered furniture but honestly I have never bought a new piece of furniture nor do we have the money to do so.  I feel comfortable buying used upholstery if I know I can clean it in such a way as to kill all the surface germs and to get out any stains. 

First I vacuumed the chair really really well, making sure to spread out the tufted parts to expose all the fabric. 

I looked at odor-removal tips on the internet but I didn’t have any vinegar on hand (the recent pickle-making had depleted my supply!) so I decided to try Oxy-clean.  I use Oxy-clean instead of bleach most of the time and I’m really a big fan of it so I thought that might kill the odor and really clean up the chair well.  I sprayed it down with a strong mixture of water/oxy-clean until it was soaking wet.  I wanted it to get really deep into the chair in case the odor was coming from the foam.  Also, it was in the heat of the summer here so I knew I could leave it outside in the sun to dry quickly.  I blotted the chair with clean rags and then blotted the chair with fresh clean water to remove some of the Oxy-clean solution.  Then I put it out in the sun for the day. 

If I had spent more money on the chair I would have been more careful to test the Oxy-clean on the velvet first for color-fastness, but in this case I didn’t really care.  I knew I could always re-cover it in another fabric.  It ended up being fine—the color didn’t fade or change at all—it actually looked brighter afterwards. 

The next day I still could smell a little something on the chair so I decided to sprinkle it liberally with baking soda.  I left it out again in the hot sun, and again the next day.  Then I vacuumed the baking soda from the chair and wow, what a difference!  It smelled fine!!!!  I was so happy that it worked.  :)


I put the chair in our “music-room” for now.  Who knows, I might still re-cover the chair (I could really picture it in a navy velvet with a white frame) but for now we’re enjoying it as is. 

I’m planning to start a house tour section on the blog soon…it will take a while for most rooms to look photo-worthy (if they ever do!) but the music room is getting close.  :)

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