Upcycling blog: ‘I could picture this chair owned by someone strong and powerful’

By Becky Donnachie at

As I mentioned on my last blog post I absolutely love a freebie. So as you can imagine I was practically scaling the walls with excitement when I got my vulture paws on this little gem.

My friend Mairi found this beautiful wooden chair at the bottom of her close. It was waiting for the cleansing guys to come and pick it up, so she thought she’d check with me to see if I wanted it. Naturally, I bit her hand off.

Changed: The chair before and after.

Now first things first, I have absolutely no idea what kind of chair this is or what era it’s from. So if any readers know, can you please give me a clue because I’m desperate to find out.

It’s very low and very wide, and right away it struck me as quite a masculine-looking chair. I knew I could transform it into a real piece of statement furniture.

Not the kind of chair you would fall asleep in, but the kind of chair that you would see in a modern townhouse or a really cool plush reception of a busy office.

Sew, sew: That’s me showing off my machine skills.

I could picture this chair being owned by someone strong and powerful. Someone who knows what he wants. Someone who owns a really successful business and who’s first name is Christian. Someone who fancies a really shy girl called Anastasia.

Getting the chair into the house was quite a challenge. The piece is 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It doesn’t fit through doors at a normal angle.

Worse still when the only help you have is a 35lb Rottweiler who thinks it’s play time every time you come home.

Tight-fit: No easy way to get this project into the house.

After lots of tears and about 50,000 swear words I got it into the living-room.

I decided to get to work by giving it a thorough clean with plenty of hot, soapy water. After the cobwebs were dusted off, I prepped by giving it a good sand down.

I had already decided on a dark grey paint to get the strong look I wanted, so I opted for my old favourite – Rust-oleom graphite chalk paint. It gives furniture the most amazing matty, masculine bad-ass look.

Tough: Rust-oleum Chalky Finish paint gives a great rugged look.

After I’d painted the whole chair that colour it was already looking ridiculously dreamy so I decided to give the spray wax a go to finish it off. It’s made by Briwax and it’s really simple to use.

Holding the can a few inches away from the chair, it just needed a light spray all over. Give it ten minutes to dry and then buff it out with a clean dry cloth. It gave it exactly the look I wanted.

Finish: This Briwax spray is a great way to finish off furniture.

The graphite paint had stayed quite dull under it with only a slight sheen from the wax.

This chair was looking a good 100 per cent more expensive than the cast off I had nabbed from my pal’s close.

The chair didn’t come with a cushion for the seat so I ordered a memory foam upholstery cushion from eBay and the 2ft x 2ft size was the perfect fit.

Strong: This piece really has a presence about it.

Next I went into Remnant Kings in Jordanhill’s Crow Road where the lovely lady helped me pick out a beautiful dark grey material.

It’s a similar texture to crushed velvet but not so harsh looking. I ordered a metre of it which was more than enough and with my mother’s help (thanks maw) ran up an easy peasy cushion cover with her sewing machine! I have big plans to write more about sewing and will do so when I have the chance.

Tested: The finished chair meets with everyone’s approval.

Defintion: Upcycling is the word.

As you can see this chair still has the same intense look as the beauty that was in the close. However, with a slap of paint, a £17 cushion from eBay and a mother who lets me use her sewing machine, I like to think I’ve given it a new lease of life and turned it into the piece of statement furniture I wanted.

Thankfully I already have a buyer lined up for this. Proof that once again serious money can be made from someone’s trash.

Until next time, Love Ana…..aka Becky x

* You can ask Becky any questions via her Facebook page The JunkTrunk Glasgow or instagram page