project dining chairs – day one

So … last year at Darebin hard rubbish I picked up 8 matching chairs. I spent maybe 3 hours driving slowly around the streets of Northcote and peering at rubbish piles. As one does when one loves free stuff (and hates seeing things go to waste) . And then found the best treasure (these chairs) on the nature strip right across the road from Elise’s house. 3 are super wonky. They need to visit ‘Richard’s furniture hospital’ … I just made that name up. Of course I mean my dad’s shed (I am just trying to keep myself amused). For some glue and screws and love.

The other 5 are fine. So fine that I have been using them for at least 6 months in their existing state.


That’s because I haven’t exactly been sure what I would do with them. My idea has always been to stick maps on to the parts that are laminex. You can see how other people have done it by looking at my little Pinterest collection here.

And then I was thinking about sanding and re-waxing or shellacking the timber. But actually this is where I got a bit stuck. What with funny stains and chips and bits and bobs missing, and the need for screws and other home repairs on some of them – I suspect they probably wouldn’t look that good in the end.

On the weekend Elise suggested just painting them. What a great idea! It all doesn’t seem that hard anymore … and thus I am getting on with the job. Yesterday I bit the bullet (and made the painting commitment) and:

1. Went to Bunnings and bought some paint*.

2. Then painted two of the chairs**

image image

3. Then checked out map options at Zetta Florence online. I could source the maps from a second hand atlas, but the images need to be at least 40cm wide by 60cm long to cover each chair. I don’t own an atlas that big. And I don’t want to be piecing paper together.

Hmm … anyway, I am still not 100% sure about what to put on them.

Have you got any good ideas for where I could get poster sized maps cheaply? Or great ideas for anything else I could use … I’m not wedded to maps necessarily. Maybe maps are 2014 … and I should move on now it’s 2015? If you have a brainwave let me know.

In the mean time I might head down to Brunswick Street today and check out Zetta Florence options in real life.

* Fiddly Bits spray paint in flat black, less than $3 per can. So good.
** I LOVE spray paint. It only took me a couple of minutes each … Imagine how long it would have taken to paint them with a brush …


  1. I remember sending my chairs to “Richard’s Furniture Hospital”. He is a magician! Lea, maps are timeless, there’s still a bit of planner in you! Sometimes you can get fancy wrapping paper in mappy or travel themes. I have heaps of paper placemats (A3 size) from Provincial you could have, nice blues and greens and some black. Let me know if you’re keen and I’ll send them down to you. xxoo


  2. Medichair co- payment – soooo funny. Is the hospital open to other “clients” that don’t have dads to help them out (or husbands willing to cut the timber)? I have chairs in need of TLC and will pay the co-payment… Good find Leanne – they look really sturdy and I know you will make them look great. I know that you can get poster sized maps as I purchased one when on Gold Coast – will check out name for you when I get home from work – speaking of which better get back to….


  3. Why don’t you find the map you want and get it blown up by photocopy, to fit the chair. My two bobs…..cents worth.


  4. Please note that Richard’s Furniture Hospital has, from today, introduced a $15 Medichair Co payment.


Leave a Reply to Sue Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s