At All Things New Again, we acquire old furniture pieces to repaint, refurbish and renew. Additionally, we love to design new furniture from old parts. This project began when we picked up a pair of old dining room chairs and decided to build a two-seat bench.
Useful tools for this step include a rubber mallet and a flexible flush-cut hand saw. Although the glue in old chairs dries over the years, making disassembly easier, dowels are often very stubborn—expect some to break. The flush cut saw will enable you to cut the dowel stub flush to the wood. Then, drill a hole for a new dowel right into the old dowel location.
I then connected the two chair backs with wood glue and new dowels.
I then used the old frame pieces to construct a new frame for the bench. Since some of my framing pieces did not survive the disassembly steps, I cut new pieces from 2×3 lumber. Reassembly of the bench frame and legs resulted in three sturdy legs in the front.
For the upholstery, Cathy and I used a couple of layers of batting over the foam and then attached the fabric to the seat. This was my first project using my new air-powered staple gun—so much easier on the hands then a manual stapler!
For the finish, we selected American Paint Company’s Desert Cactus, a neutral khaki green that looks nice with many other colors. It matched our fabric perfectly. I opted to spray several coats due to the intricate mill work on the bench. I used a 1:1 mix of paint and water.
As a final touch to the bench, we decided to wrap the center post and part of the frame with jute twine. The twine compliments the Desert Cactus color and adds a great deal of strength to the main joint between the two chairs.
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