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Before and After 1920’s Oak Chair

1920's oak chair makeoverThis chair, from Quick & McKenna, New York had layers upon dripping layers of wood stain from over the years.My husband garbage picked it years ago and before the cold weather set in, I was determined to fit in one more furniture refurbishing project!

I stripped the chair of all the wood stain, using striper followed by a power sanded. As I’ve learned from previous projects, stripping oak can be difficult. The only problem with this old office chair was in between the bars, and the bends in the underside of the arms were so difficult to sand (this is me whining).

Since these hard to reach elements are essentially the shadows of the chair design, I decided to highlight them and make them glow. I chose a bright green paint to offset the studious wood stain. Actually, there was a coupon in my Better Homes & Garden Magazine for a free 8oz container of sample paint. Yeah, free paint! So the only money I put into this oak chair refurnishing job was the sandpaper.

Before and After 1920’s Oak Chair Transformation

Before and After oak chair project

I love how the light from the window beams through the chair back.

glowing shadow design on chair

Here is a photo with more light to show off the bright green glowing beams in the “shadows” of the chair. And if you know my style, I love to use both wood stain and paint in my upcycled furniture like the 1920’s child’s dresser restoration project I did last year.

This chair was salvaged from the curb in true Eve of Reduction fashion.

Want to see more chair projects from Eve of Reduction?

1. Sewing rocker with hand embroidery
2. Preppy office chair reupholster project
3. How to fix furniture dowels on a broken chair
4. Repurpose an outdoor folding chair
5. Cane barrel chair makeover

Tell us about your chair projects!


I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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