DIY Chair Restoration

We used some elbow grease and Howard Feed-n-Wax to give an old chair a second chance.

What you Need

  • An old chair (or any piece of furniture that could do with some TLC)
  • Howard Feed-N-Wax wood polish and conditioner
  • A piece of 9mm plywood about 500mm x 500mm
  • A piece of fabric, about 700mm x 700mm
  • A piece of 30mm foam, about 500mm x 500mm

Tools

Festool pendulum jigsaw, Tork Craft cordless mini sander, Tork Craft sanding glove, Tork Craft stapler, scissors, large flat screwdriver, permanent marker, microfibre cloth, pencil

Our chair was old and in a terrible state, but the bones were good – it is made of oak, and only the plywood seat had disintegrated. Remember that if you’re doing a similar restoration of a chair to measure the seat before buying and cutting the plywood, material and foam.

What you Do

1. Remove the existing seat. We used a flat screwdriver to pry it out, but the wood was so perished that it came out very easily. (Try to keep the existing seat in one piece, as much as possible, to use as a template for the new seat.)

2. Sand the rest of the chair, removing the layer of old varnish. We used two products for this: a Tork Craft sanding glove, which allows you to sand curves so easily, and a cordless mouse sander, which gets into corners really well.

3. Wipe the chair to remove sawdust, then apply a generous coat of Howard Feed-N-Wax wood polish and conditioner using a good-quality cloth. This product soaks easily and quickly into the wood, feeding it and leaving the surface residue free. Allow to soak in and then do another coat.

4. Using the old seat as a template, trace out a new seat on the piece of plywood.

5. Cut the seat out using the jigsaw.

6. Using the new seat as a template, trace out its shape on the foam and cut it out with scissors.

7. You don’t need to attach the foam to the seat. Just place the fabric on a work surface, then align the foam and the seat on top of it. Carefully and neatly staple the fabric to the underside of the seat, pulling it tight before applying every staple.

8. Pop the seat back into place, pushing it firmly so that it seats well in the groove that holds it snug.

Howard Feed-N-Wax is a top-quality wood food and polish that enhances the natural beauty and grain of wood, and prevents drying and deterioration of wood with a coating of natural waxes. Feed-N-Wax is a special blend of beeswax, carnauba wax and orange oil that polishes to a beautiful soft lustre. It should ideally be used every month or so to maintain the natural beauty of wooden furniture.