Awhile back I found a pair of olive green, classic, mid century modern arm chairs at my local thrift shop. The cushions were well worn but the structure was still really solid. I love refurbishing vintage furniture yet I was a little hesitant to start this project. I am still very new ‘student’ in the art of upholstery, and these chairs definitely seemed to need more advanced skills. Yet, I couldn’t walk away from them and once the price was right, decided to go for it and give these chairs a new beginning. These chairs, made by the Kroehler company, reminded me of my grandparent’s home. I could envision them in their family room as they entertained and couldn’t wait to get started on reviving these worn treasures.
Olive Green Kroehler Mid Century Arm Chairs
Once I got these chairs home, I started by taking a million pictures of them. I wanted to make sure I remembered how everything originally looked before I dismantled it all. I was happy to see that the wooden frame was still in great shape, yet the arm rests, after decades of wear, needed a bit of sanding.
As I was peeling away the layers of fabric and batting and pulling out staple after staple, I was excited to find the original order card stapled to the bottom of the chair. It’s so amazing to find something like this and think about what this chair must have been like arriving ‘new’ to the first owners. The history behind all of the furniture I work on, continues to amaze me.
As you can see, the Kroehler label, was still intact on the deck of the chair, something that I plan to replace on the new fabric. The seat was padded solidly and some of the inner batting will be able to be used again in the new upholstery, yet to make sure this chair is getting a fresh start, about 90% of the foam and batting will be new.
Now we are down to the frame and burlap. It’s far from being completed, but already looks like an entirely new chair! Before I begin the upholstery part of this, however, I still have some work to do on the frame. There are still some final, stubborn, staples that will need to be removed and the frame will need a little cleaning up. The arms and visible wood frame will need to be sanded and stained again. Right now, I’m leaning towards a natural wood look with some poly to protect it. Then, I’ll start getting the batting and fabric ready to reassemble these beauties. I haven’t yet decided on a fabric. I am obsessed with blues, specifically navy blue, and would love to do something like that with these chairs. Any ideas for me? I would love some fabric advice!
Check back, hopefully soon, for more updates on these chairs! For more refurbished furniture, check our our ETSY page! Thanks for visiting!