Monday, March 4, 2013

Niagara Furniture Bank "Chair Affair" Getting it Clean

When I was picking a chair at the Niagara Furniture Bank Warehouse there were a couple things I was trying to keep in mind:

1. It has to fit in the trunk. 
We have a chevy Malibu, so there's not much room. I had to keep it small.

2. Don't go crazy. 
Considering I have never actually refurbished a piece of furniture before, (and I am super busy with three other projects, plus regular life with two crazy boys) I had to keep it manageable. I was on the lookout for something small and simple. Simple lines, some wood, possibly covered in a material I could paint on. 

3. Think of what someone else would want. 
Being creative is all well-and-good, but, in my mind, this piece will be purchased by someone to put in their house. If there's a warehouse of vintage pieces, I am going to look for mid-century modern, because that is hot, hot, hot at the moment. 

So the chair (barely) fit in the trunk. There were definitely some bungee cords used to keep the trunk from flying up. My very patient and loving Hubby did a good job, after he waited in the car with the kids the entire time I was in the Warehouse. Thank goodness for ipods and snacks. 

We got the chair home, and into the mud room. Immediately realized it had a vintage "odor". Began to wonder where this chair has been, and what kind of life it has lived. 

Filthy dirty, my first reaction when we got in the door,  "Nobody sit on this chair!"

Great profile. Kind of falling in love with it.
A little rough around the edges, with a small tear in the top.
What am I going to do about that?
So, first things first. I got out a bucket of hot, soapy water and decided to clean 'er up. 

As you can see, I had a lot of scrubbing ahead of me.
She was pretty grimy.

Well used. I imagined this chair had been delegated to some guy's garage.
That's the only reason I could think it would be as dirty as it was.
It was definitely well used. That means someone loved it!
Put my "scrubbing muscles" to work. 

Here's a pic I took after scrubbing half of the chair. Progress?
Thank goodness the grime came off. 
So, here she is. Much less dirty than before. Next step, sanding the legs and arms?
What do you think?

Niagara Furniture Bank's "Chair Affair"

Recently a friend sent me a link on facebook for a local business/charity that was looking for artists to participate in a fundraiser.

The Niagara Furniture Bank collects gently used home furnishings, and redistributes them to members of the community in need. Sometimes referred by organizations like Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Programs, Canadian Mental Health Organization, Family and Children's Services, Public Health, YWCA-Shelters and Transitional Housing, Hope Centre, Port Cares and Community Care St.Catharines, The Niagara Furniture Bank makes a difference in so many people's lives, transforming "shelter" into "home".

The "Chair Affair" is a fundraising event that will have artists pick a donated chair from the Niagara Furniture Bank warehouse, and transform it into a work of art (functional or not), to be auctioned off at the gala at Hernder Estates Winery in May.

Needless to say, I thought it would be a great event to be a part of! I sent in my application and waited to see if I would be accepted. It wasn't long before I heard back, and officially became one of the participating artists.

On February 24th we headed to the Niagara Furniture Bank Warehouse.
The warehouse was so much bigger than what I imagined. Old, dark and packed with boxes, the warehouse was intimidating. As a group of hopeful artists, we made our way to a space filled with furniture from every decade in the 20th century. It was so much fun spying treasure amongst the heaps of chairs. The first chair I pulled out is the one I eventually chose.

Some of the organizers were taking pictures in the midst of all of the "scavenging". I will share those with you as soon as I receive them.
Here I am, posing with my awesome chair in the warehouse elevator.
The idea is to take some "before-and-after" pics to show at the event. 
Here we are, on our chosen chairs, trying to keep warm in the freezing cold warehouse! LOL
Can't wait to see these chair transformations! 

Niagara Furniture Bank