Thursday, February 7, 2013

An Adrian Pearsall rehab update and looking for some feedback from readers!

I've been spending a lot more time lately on the Adrian Pearsall table and chairs that I acquired from a consignor awhile back. Regular readers of this blog may remember how the set came to me, but for those of you just coming into the mayhen here's how the set looked originally:

Shredded upholstery from the resident cats and a totally incorrect refinish on the frames. I've had the good fortune to rehab quite a few pieces of furniture and this was definetely not original upholstery and the frames had been redone in a very tough to remove makeover! I finally got the chair frames back up to speed and here they are in all their glory before we get down to the upholstery at hand!

Back to the original and gorgeous walnut finish in a satin lacquer. Despite all the time spent, I love how they turned out! Pics aren't so great, but you'll see the finished job soon...
We tend to collect fabric whenever it's available for a good price and I dug through our inventory today looking for something appropriate. I found some examples I'm considering in the bunch and I'd like some input from readers as to what they think may look just right on these chairs!
Here are our contenders:
This red has some texture and depth...

A bit of a lime green with a nubby feel...

A patterned and textured fabric...

A sort of plain nice red with a bit of nubbyness to the touch...

A very vintage barkcloth fabric with pattern...
I'm leaning towards the lime green or one of the two reds but I'd love to get some feedback from my readers on their thoughts!
I just tonight finished staining the table base and although it's going to require a bit of touch up before the top coat it's looking pretty good.

In as much as this rehab job has been a lot more time and effort than originally expected, I'm totally in love with the results! Looking forward to your input on the fabric selection on the chairs and I hope to have this done and for sale within the next week or so at the store.
Thanks as always for checking into the posts. Let your like minded friends know where to find us!
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  1. I like the textured red - particularly with the dark wood but I'm also liking the lime. That color is very 'in' in decorating right now. You see it as an accent and it also looks good with blue and white.

    Down to those 2 for me. :)

    Lee Ann

    1. I really appreciate your input! I'm split between either of the reds or the lime. I think all would look great on the frames...

  2. My very favorite color is green so normally I would choose that, but there's something about the light green on the dark brown that I'm not a fan of. I actually like the barkcloth best based on the pictures.

  3. The green may be a bit too bright but I'm going to take a look in the natural daylight. I kind of like the barkcloth as well but I'm not sure of putting a patterned fabric on these chairs and the barkcloth is a little fragile from age. Thanks for the input!

  4. You've done an amazing job restoring those chairs. I'm always so impressed with your work. Kudos!

    I think I'd go with one of the nubby reds. Red always looks good against walnut, and it is a color Pearsall used frequently. I have a stack of barkcloth too, but I only use it on very kitschy and fairly inexpensive pieces. When restoring a valuable designer piece, I attempt to stay as true as possible to the way the designer envisioned the piece.

  5. Thanks a bunch Dana. I've had a hard time finding much of any good color pics of originals for these particular chairs but I have to agree that one of the two reds is likely the closest to original. And I too prefer staying as true to original as possible.

  6. Personally, I would go with a bright blue with a heavy texture. But...that's just me. If I were to choose from your choices, I think I like the green. These chairs (and finish) scream for textural interest.

    Also, what kind of satin laquer are you using? Spray on or brush, brand, etc. I'll be doing a bit of refinishing soon and I'm always hunting for suggestions from people that know more than me on the subject.

    1. Hey Nate, I'm less concerned about color of the fabric as the feel. Lots of colors could possibly work. As it turns out most of my initial selections didn't have enough yardage for the job. The seats are much bigger than anticipated. Guess I'll be on the hunt for something else! For smaller jobs I use the Minwax satin lacquer available at most of the big box stores. For large projects it's cheaper to use my HVLP gun but I don't use it too often. The rattle can lacquer is expensive though.

  7. I`m not keen on red with the walnut or wood in general it`s a little to out there and doesn`t flow well, I think it would make them look like something from a cheap motel bar or lounge. Red with chrome chairs or as a contrast to black is fine but I think something a little more subdued like a green fabric would look sharp against the brown and black leather would totally sophisticated but costly to cover. Overall I vote green maybe see if you can find some other remnants, I have great luck at Value Village (not sure if in your state). You`ve taken your time so far and done them right till now, no point rushing to the end.

    1. Hey Dave, Defineltely not going to rush this particular project. Since none of my original picks for fabric had enough yardage I'll just wait until I find something appropriate. I don't think leather would be right for the redo even though it would likely look great.

  8. Chairs look great refinished! A textured solid would look really nice. Wow, what a difference. What color did you stain the chairs? I am in the middle of a similar project refinishing two Adrian Pearsall high back chairs and I just finished sanding them. I started to stain them a dark walnut but I think it's got to much black in it. Any suggestions? I can't seem to find any information on it.

  9. Hey Katy, It really depends a lot on the original wood. The set I'm currently working on is solid walnut but there is some variation in the grain. Yhere are lighter and darker sections that have been worked into the entire set and although I loved the contrast in the Bissman nightstands that I refinished awhile back, I didn't think this would work for this project.
    I have to agree the walnut stains really don't work on solid walnut. I used an early american stain on these chairs and table that in my opinion really works great for matching and it helps hide the lighter cuts of walnut. Make sure you let it dry down really well before putting the top coat on. I would defineltely recommend spraying over brushing. Put a couple of coats on and lightly steel wool with some really fine (0000) before putting on the last top coat. Hope this helps!

  10. oh, perhaps you might hold out for a fabulously textured olive green or orange? {love stumbling upon your blog!}

  11. Hey Sarah, Glad you stumbled upon the blog! Make sure you hit the link to follow along for future posts if you have an interest. I'm still working on finding what I would consider the perfect fabric. I picked up some today an am still not completely happy with this. A nice orange would be my first choice. Guess I'll keep looking...