Physical Challenge!

The lovely lovely couple who bought Almita at the Cut and Paste market have stayed in touch, and last year I finished a small job for them, refurbishing a beautiful pin cushion seat for a timber dining chair. Michelle spoilt me by choosing half a metre of Cloth fabric by Julie Patterson. When I returned that seat she asked
“Is there anything you can do with this? Otherwise it’ll go out on the street…”
Well, we’ve all seen one, owned one, maybe even wished we didn’t.
I confess now that I was dubious about the merit of the chair, however a big part of resurrection for me is about diverting things from the waste stream. As it was, no one was going to see this on the street and want to take it home and cherish it always.
So kudos to Michelle for challenging me to turn it into something more attractive.
Refurbished chair featuring ‘pebbles’ hemp fabric by Julie Patterson of Cloth

A step by step guide to resurrecting the metal frame is included after the jump below.


A simple job to dismantle (exposed screws), the real work starts with sanding and rust proofing the frame, which is in reasonable nick apart from a few spots under the seat.

Rust proofing at minimum is a two step process. 

This is best done out of full sun, and not on a 40 degree day without sunscreen, but some things you just have to learn the hard way.

First you’ll need to sand off excess rust and apply a converter. This will render the remaining rust inert and prevent further oxidising.

When that is dry apply a rust proof primer using a soft brush. Make sure the primer is completely dry before moving on the next step.


Lightly sand out any brush marks from the primer coat.

Set up a tarp or some drop sheets and place the frame on some blocks or lengths of timber. This maximises the amount of frame area that can be sprayed in one coat.

The trick to spray paint lies in several light applications, with sufficient drying time between coats. If you’re not patient with this, any sanding in between coats will clog your sandpaper and ruin your paint job. You’ll be back at square one.

I am often found at square one.

While the paint is drying, grab that bottle of mineral turps and get rid of any overspray on the rented floorboards, the soles of your feet etc… Yup, that’s how the  professionals do it. Really.

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