Starting is half the battle

Written by Kate • March 17, 2011 •
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I bought some amazing mahogany chairs off Craigs List last fall. They were from the 1950s and I wanted to be the home that these chairs found. It may sound silly but I wanted to honor the mahogany, the tree, for its sacrifice and I’m proud to own these amazing chairs that bring us happiness everytime we sit on them.

However, I had never replaced the seating, repainted, or updated any furniture and these chairs were at least 50 years old. I was a complete newbie. We did some research and saw our best approach in the medium term was to paint the chairs and sometime later in our life, we’ll fully refinish them to let the original mahogany shine through. So I painted them. And then measured them and found the perfect seating/cushions for them and new seat covers, which I measured and stapled.

The final hurdle we had to overcome before our chairs were exactly what we hoped was that the legs of each chair still had the original metal glides at the end of each leg that scraped on our stone floors. We surmise that the original, metal glides at the end of each chair leg were probably perfect for the linoleum floors of the 1950s but now they produced a scraping sound that gets on every last nerve of anyone in the radius of sound.

Today, at the hardware store, I consulted with the specialist and I have some great felt tip slides. But I thought getting those metal glides would be difficult in the extreme. But really, with just a bit of force using a straight edged screw driver, they just fell off- with 50 years of dirt to accompany them.

This is a long story to say that just starting the effort is at least half the battle. I had never done anything like refurnish a beautiful set of 6 mahogany chairs and here I sit, proudly, on chairs that I updated.  And I got the paint. And then the heat dish (painting in the late fall/early winter is apparently ill advised). And then the seat cushions. And then the upholstery. And now the glides.  Just start. And then start again. And again.  The journey, the discovery, and the destination will all be worth it.

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