Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tired of hearing about the Pearsall dining set I just finished? Wait, don't answer yet, here's more Pearsall!

The new Pearsall dining set is catching lots of looks at the store and I doubt it's going to be hanging around too long, but the next project on the bench is almost as sweet and is turning out to be a lot less work in our rehab department!

These two pieces came to me from the same consignor as the previous dining set with the same stipulation, recovery costs were coming off the top of the sale price. Again, solid walnut original Pearsall 1209-C chair and 1211-O ottoman. These were both sans their original cushions and the original Pirelli webbing was either missing on the ottoman or in such poor condition on the chair it would need to be replaced.
On the bright side both pieces are very structurally sound. The downside was the wear on the arms of the chairs were totally through the finish and no amount of Howards was going to bring them back to life. The balance of the pieces looked great with a bit of cleaning up and I decided to just refinish the tops of the arms and keep my fingers crossed for a match!

As these were slightly lighter shades of walnut in this chair, I used a Minwax golden oak over the sanded arm tops and it looked pretty good before lacquering. It still popped the walnut without being too dark and seemed to match the original finish really well. This chair was a bit higher gloss than the normal satin I would use on refinished pieces, so I started with a semi-gloss lacquer for the first couple of coats and topped in off with a satin just to knock down the gloss just a bit. Bingo!

Here's our "patient" under the sheets to avoid contanimation of the balance of the piece!
When I stopped by my upholstery wholesale place Harris and Stearns (they've been in business longer than I've been here in Tampa and maybe longer than I've been alive) here in town to look into replacing the original Pirelli rubber webbing, they advised that someone had bought them out of the last they had in stock and due to cost, they hadn't planned on replacing at $200 a roll. Ouch!
They advised they could order this for me if needed so I decided to take a look online. At $3 dollars a linear foot, I decided the newer nylon black webbing would work just as well and last a lot longer.  It's not like you can actually see this in action! I try and be a purist as best as possible, however!

Here's how we stand presently! Frames look pretty stunning and have been dropped off at my upholstery professionals along with foam and fabric to complete this rehab. If I could only brush up on my upholtery skills it would save me a bunch of money but this isn't a trade you learn overnight and Mike and Anne always do a really nice job on every piece I've given them for a fair price.
Hope to get some finished pics up in the next week or so.
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  1. Dave you've got patience that's for sure, upholstery shouldn't be that difficult for you to pick up. If you've ever run a sewing machine then your half way there, my ancient singer only does straight stitch but the sense of accomplishment you have after is equal to refinishing. There's probably a college or upholsterer in your area teaching the trade.

  2. Hey Dave, My wife and I actually took a few upholstery classes quite a few years ago but the classes were 45 minutes away and although reasonably priced it turned out to be too time consuming with the commute. I may start trying to do my own cushion covers as we do have a sewing machine although it's not commerial grade.

    1. time and patience buddy time and patience. no commercial grade tools here either but an old singer (black enamel not sure of model) and that little baby is tough and about to be tested on some heavy weight canvas on the camping cot I'm covering. Just make sure you have a zipper foot to get in tight for piping on cushions etc. You'll figure it out as you go, your a pro. Or YouTube it lol.

    2. I get the feeling if we lived closer together we'd be swapping rehab job stories on a regular basis! I actually did a bit of stiching back in the early 70' when patched jeans were all the rage and learned quite a bit on operating a sewing machine. Nostalgia meets neccessity!

  3. My parents bought that chair in 1958 and I adore it, but they didn't buy the ottoman. Dad later designed and built an ottoman that looks lovely with it, but I would love the matching set. I don't suppose you'd know where I could get just the ottoman?