(Re)Made with Love

I have a love of wood; I rather have wooden toys and furniture over plastic stuff and my real love is for dark wood and antiques. A while ago, maybe a year back, while antique browsing, I came across a beautiful highchair. But some idiot – because there really is no other word for them – decided that a stunning piece of wood needed to be covered in ghastly white enamel paint. And by the time I found it the paint was chipping and the highchair looked batted and worse for wear.

A year ago, I was convinced I had plenty of time to restore this highchair, after all Ladybug wasn’t due for another 3 months at least plus she would only be using it when she was about 6 months, so that left me a long 9 months to restore it. I diligently started the restoration process, by placing it in the storage under the stairs, not to be looked at until I was on maternity leave.

Maternity leave came, and the chair came out. I covered it in paint stripper to get the ghastly white paint off – note to anyone wanting to strip paint off something, do not do this indoors, the hairs in your nostrils will burn off and the whole house will smell of paint stripper. The paint came off relatively easily.

Maternity leave went and the highchair was well, not really finished. But I still had time because I would only need it when she was 6 months old. Each weekend I sanded a bit – by hand I will let you know – spending hours and hours on the chair. I had to keep reminding myself that it was a labour of love and that Ladybug would have many happy years in this – IF I COULD JUST GET THE FREAKING THING FINISHED. My labour of love was turning into more of OMG what have I done. It takes HOURS to HAND SAND the remainders of white enamel paint off wood, to get it even, to get it looking beautiful. This DIY project of mine was never going to end. So in hopes that the fairies would finish it for me; it got packed away and left gathering dust.

Madame got bigger, and well now needed a high chair to eat her meals in, so as any innovative Mom would do, I used her pouch as a highchair and attached that to the back of a dining room chair – I didn’t want to go out and buy a highchair because I had this thing beautiful piece of furniture waiting to be restored. Next thing I knew Ladybug grew out of her make shift highchair and could stand while skilfully strapped in. It was time I BOUGHT a highchair because the fairies had failed dismally at completing the sanding.

Just then, I was introduced to the ELECTRIC Sander… my new best friend. It pretty much ranks up there with pethidine. I was now determined to get this blasted chair finished if it was going to be the death of me. I started with the sander, my hand buzzed with numbness eventually, but I needed to carry on. I needed to finish this – Note to anyone wanting to sand something, if it’s raining outside, it’s usually a good indication that you need to stop, not move the sanding inside otherwise EVERYTHING gets covered in dust and I mean EVERYTHING!!

I sanded Friday night, I sanded Saturday night (How sad? I know! How life has changed) and come Sunday it was done! Just like that! 2 nights the sanding was done. It was time to put the varnish on. As I opened the varnish tin I swear I heard hallelujah ringing out. The day was finally here, I had completed it, I had finished the sanding. The restoration was now being completed.

My ambitious project was completed, it looks stunning. The markings on the wood are breath-taking and Ladybug loves it. There is still some work that needs to be done on it, but for now, it has been lovingly (mostly) hand restored. Ladybug I hope you have many happy years in it, preferably 1 year for each month Mommy lovingly restored the freaking highchair.

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