Secondhand Surplus

Saturday, March 3, 2012


A few more photos of the new chair. I have now rubbed the wood down with Danish oil in walnut color, and it really did the trick. In a couple of the photos you can see the veneer on the corners of the chair is quite worn, either from a animal or bumping into a wall. Since our family is quite hard on furniture, at this point I'm not going to attempt to fix it. The Danish oil tinted the wood in these spots enough to camouflage them.

I was going to attempt to redo this in leather, and I actually wanted to do hair-on cowhide on the back and leather on the seat.

I went into Tandy leather to find the most cost effective way to get the job done, and dealt with a very rude sales associate, and was discouraged about the use of leather. I was told that leather isn't cost effective, and since I have children, the leather would eventually be destroyed. The sales person then continued to talk down to me, questioning the type of sewing machine, and my knowledge of leather. This went on for quite sometime, until I decided to leave empty handed and never go back.

I ended up picking up this great gray vinyl, on sale for 50% off, and found that even though this is upholstery grade vinyl, my machine had no problem working its way through this project.

I am slightly disappointed, that I let someone that I didn't even know discourage me to the point of changing my game plan. This will not be the last time I attempt to use leather, but I will be purchasing it some place else.


  1. Was it the woman who works there? I went in after you suggested their cowhide rugs and she was really snippy with me for no reason. Then I went back in last week to give it another try and they've raised the price of their hides by $30 to $279.99. It's no wonder that brick-and-mortar retail is on the way out.

  2. That's funny! Yes, it was. i even wrote an email to the company and haven't heard anything. i won't ever refer anyone there again. When I sent you that message, they were on sale online for $120. Had I ever been treated like that before, I never would have recomended them to you!

  3. I just called a couple days ago and she was the same way with me again. I mean, how dare I be interested in purchasing something from her store, right? She'd told me that the cowhides were going to go on sale for $199 (the $119 ones were not in good shape), but they actually went up.

  4. Hmmm. Interesting. I have a secondhand leather sofa, chair, and ottoman, and I have always appreciated that they were easy to keep clean with a kid and a dog. Maybe their leather isn't any good? I don't know- the stuff on my furniture has held up pretty well. And what's with being in the business of not selling stuff to people? Your chair looks great, though, and that's what counts.

  5. Ha... I don't know ? I would have loved to have been given some encouragment, I have never taken so much as a class in upholstery,and that hasn't stoped me. I would say I have at least 25 projects under my belt, and everyone has to start somewhere. I am glad to say though, I suround myself with encouraging people, and I haven't had to deal with someone telling me I can't do something like this before. So, I'm pretty lucky to have the people in my life that I do!

  6. Hey Hannah. Got your message re: the call to the corporate office (though for some reason it's not showing up on my page). Feel free to pass on my experience as well. If they want to get ahold of me, my email is