Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished thrift store chair using driftwood weathering wood finish

Refinished Thrift Store Chair Using
Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Stain

Refinished Chair with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Refinished Thrift Store Bergere Style Chair Turned Coastal Cottage Chic

I’m using an outdated and rather dark thrift store Bergere style chair and updating it with a beachy driftwood finish fit for any vintage seaside cottage and I’m using  Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.

This is my second refinished thrift store chair project and turning it into a beautiful piece of furniture to fit my beach cottage.  Like the first chair, this one was purchased for under $30 and it needs to be completely stripped of both its dark finish and outdated fabric. 

Once you find that special chair, here are the materials you will need:

To start, you will need to remove all the fabric.  This may entail removing screws and I had to take the chair apart in order to remove the seat.  Here is what you will need for each step:

Removing the Fabric

  • needle nose pliers for helping to remove staples – and there will be MANY, MANY staples. 
  • flat head screw driver – helps with removing staples
  • patience, patience, patience – removing the many staples is the most tedious part

Stripping the Finish

Refinishing and Re-upholstering

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Above is the original thrift store chair

It’s in good condition, but not suitable for a vintage seaside cottage.  I wanted that weathered look that I keep seeing in Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware.  I am always inspired by the pages of Ballard Designs and they have a Bergere style chair with a weathered finish that sells for $800 or more.  Same with Restoration Hardware.  I know I can recreate the weathered finish with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish stain AND I can find a fabric that will suit my decor perfectly.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

A key to re-upholstering the chair is to keep all the original fabric pieces, including any padding or backing.  This way you can use them as pattern pieces.  Make sure to mark each piece and even take pictures during the removal process that you can refer back to. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Take pictures and mark the pieces.  Once all the fabric has been removed, you can start stripping the finish.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used an environmentally safe spray-on furniture stripper so as not to have hazardous chemicals seep into the ground water.  This particular stripper took longer and more elbow grease but I’m good with that. There are plenty of environmentally safe paint removers available.  To help remove the finish, I used #0000 steel wool especially in the hard to get areas.

Fully Stripped of Finish and Fabric

The chair completely stripped, sanded and cleaned with mineral spirits.  Any chemical residue from the stripper or original finish will hinder the results of the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  So I need to test the results using the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish stain. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

My first chair project turned out darker than I expected because I did not test the results first.  This time, I knew I wanted a lighter and more brown toned finish that would pick up the taupey brown tones in my chosen fabric. I also wasn’t at all sure what type of wood the chair was made from.  Since the more tannins a wood has – the darker the color will be when using the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  It’s really important to test the results in an inconspicuous area first.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

As it turned out, diluting the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish solution gave me the color I was looking for.  Instead of mixing 1 packet with 1 cup of water – I mixed it with 2 cups of water. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Here I am testing the finish against my chosen fabric which is Magnolia Home Indoor/Outdoor Sea Island Spa.  It has a beachy, cottage feel and even looks a bit vintage to me.  The colors are perfect! 

I seriously considered using the Driftwood Liming Wax to give it a lighter finish as I did with my first chair project but then realized I wanted a more driftwood, weathered finish.  A finish that was completely matte like a found piece of driftwood. 

Re-upholstering the Chair

I’ve been sewing since I was 10, but if you are not confident in your sewing skills, this might be where you want to take the chair and original fabric pieces to an upholstery shop to complete the project. 

Cut out all your fabric pieces using the original pieces as templates, which hopefully you saved and marked.  Same with any backing pieces. Sometimes you may need to replace the cushioning or backing pieces.

One thing I learned along the way was to use a spray glue good for closed cell foam such as Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive Multi-Purpose to lightly glue ONLY the fabric backing to the foam.  DO NOT glue the actual fabric to the foam – just the backing materials.  This really helps keep everything in place while you are re-covering the chair.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Another great tip is to fold and press your fabric under about 1/4″ before applying to the chair using a staple gun.  This way, you end up with a nice clean edge instead of frayed fabric edges.  Much less messy.  I also used piping to cover up any exposed staples and Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive to apply the piping.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Final Project

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

 

Total Cost for Refinishing and Re-Upholstering Thrift Store Bergere-Style Chair Using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

The total cost for this project was about is about $115.00 and that included:

  •  $25.00 for thrift store chair
  • $24 for a 3 yards of fabric
  • $12.99 for the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish
  • $10.00 piping
  • $13.00 Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive Multi-Purpose
  • $6.00 Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive
  • $12.99 environmentally safe paint and varnish stripper
  • $8.00 for incidentals such as staples and sandpaper

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Stunning Driftwood Weathered Wood Finished Table and Chairs

Table & Chair Project Using Driftwood Products and Poets Paint Waterglass Paint

This is a project I’ve been working on for a year and a half, little by little, here and there until it’s finally now done.  Well, not really – I still have two more chairs that need to be stripped and finished but all I have room for right now is two chairs so I’m good – for now, I’ve got my driftwood weathered wood finished table and chairs.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

I not only used the Driftwood line of products on this project, including the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish, Driftwood Weathering Wax and Driftwood Liming Wax, but I also borrowed from our sister company, Poet’s Paint Waterglass Paint and painted the caning in Vintage White.  I also used one of my favorite colors, Poet’s Paint Vintage Silk Blue, which is a beautiful soft pale blue, and painted a drop cloth and used that for the chair covers.

Below, I’ve stripped and sanded this little table, then applied the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish and finally applied the Driftwood Liming Wax.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

I had my driftwood weathered wood finished table so next I started on the chairs.  I have four of them that I found at a second hand store and had to have them.  The carving is just exquisite but they are all heavily painted and need to be stripped.  I tried stripping them myself by it was soon clear it was way too laborious and tedious and I needed to call in the professionals.  I had two stripped professionally and the other two are still waiting to be done.

I still have no idea what type of wood they are made from and suspect that it is a composite.  You can see there is a variation in color in the two legs on the stripped chair and that caused a variation in color when I applied the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Now I used the Driftwood Weathering Wax and waxing brush to get more gray tone and even out the color.  After the Driftwood Weathering Wax, I went over by brushing it lightly with the Driftwood Liming Wax.  I have found that I like the combination of the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish with the Driftwood Liming Wax on most of my pieces and usually do both.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Now comes the chair cover.  For this I used a drop cloth and Poet’s Paint Waterglass Paint in Vintage Silk Blue.  I filled a plastic storage container with about 3 gallons of water and to that I added about 1/2 quart of the paint and then just soaked the two pieces of cloth that I had already cut out for about an hour.  After an hour, I took the material out of the solution, rinsed it off and hung it to dry.  I later soaked it again in a bath of water softner as I found the canvas cloth to be rather stiff – due more to the weight of the canvas cloth and not the paint.  The softner bath helped a little so I could wrap it and staple it.

Once dry, I steamed them with a hot iron and wrapped and stapled them to make my chair covers.  The color was perfect.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

My chairs and table are complete and look fantastic on my sun porch.

Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish