Over the weekend, Scott and I tackled Phase 1: Disassembly of Operation Lovely Chair. (Not to be confused with pre-phases choosing fabric, take 1 and take 2.) We mentioned our fear of messing with old wood screws, caps and creaky joints, but to our surprise, it was easy. As in, we rolled up our sleeves, prepped our work space and set aside a few hours – and it only took 15 minutes.
Once we got started, we noticed 2 visible wood caps at the base of each arm. One of them had a few scuffs, which made us think that this chair had been disassembled at some point before us. Scott took a small flathead screwdriver and a mallet, wedging the screwdriver under the cap and lightly tapped the handle with the mallet. After a few tries, the cap popped right off!
Underneath, a long (warped) screw held the frame in place against the cushion. We used our drill with an extension to get it out, but a flathead screwdriver would’ve worked, too.
After doing this on both sides, we tried to wriggle the cushion free – but no luck. It was held in place underneath the seat cushion, but with no visible wood caps, we flipped the chair over…
… and pulled back the lining underneath to reveal one more screw. Well, there were actually two screws, one on each side, but one had come loose and wasn’t holding anything together anymore.
After taking out the last remaining screw, the entire cushion slipped out, and we had ourselves a disassembled chair. Phew!
We’d mentioned possibly sanding down the frame and staining the wood a darker walnut (or Minwax Jacobean, our favorite deep wood color), assuming the frame had been stained a honey hue. But with a closer look, we quickly realized that the original wood wasn’t stained at all! Rather, a clear lacquer (that had yellowed over time) covered the arms, but the actual wood color could be beautiful once we buff out the wear, tear and old watermarks:
Before sanding the entire frame (and to potentially save ourselves a headache), we’ll first try a light sand on the lacquered parts followed with an oil buff. Morgan at The Brick House is full of tips – so we’ll give this a go.