Carved Details | Victorian Upholstered Chair

We are moving on to the next step of reupholstering this victorian chair with beautiful carved details! Let’s dive in and talk contrasting details!

productive day

Today was such a productive day in my workshop! I just love days like that 🙂

highlighting the carved details

This chair has such beautiful carved details on it and I want to maintain and bring out those details as much as possible. One way to accomplish that is to sand the wood down to bare wood but leave the nooks and crannies dark.

So that was my task today. I used my DeWalt Orbital sander with 220 grit sandpaper and sanded down all of the flat surfaces that I could get to. I was very careful not to change the shape of the curves and details. Believe me, the sander can act like a sculptor if you are not careful!

I also used a flat piece of 220 sandpaper and sanded the old-fashioned way, with my hands and fingers, around the carved details of this victorian chair, being careful not to remove all of the dark places in the details.

benefits of contrasting details

While I worked around the top of the chair with all of the lovely carved fruit and leaves, I thought about the truth of how contrast enhances, enriches and brings depth to so many things in this life not just furniture.

Photography is one of my creative loves and it is so true that the images with contrast – visible differences in lights and darks – are often the images that are the most striking.

Nature is another example. Think of all the contrasting colors that are found in creation! Picture a tropical forest scene with the deep, rich green tones and then imagine tropical birds of bright colors flying through the trees. They would catch your eye as they contrast against the background of green.

While sanding this chair I thought about how the dark places actually make the details stand out even more.

If I had sanded each nook and cranny down to bare wood, the details would have blended in and been less noticeable. The carved details would be bland and less interesting.

seen and appreciated

The intricate details can be seen and appreciated. I would rather have the contrast, the interest, the detail. These are the very things that enrich the piece and give it character.

Yeah, that’s ok with me 🙂

i need your opinion!

Before I go, I am considering finishing this upholstered chair using the deconstructed method instead of the standard method of re-upholstery. I asked my Instagram followers, so I will ask you too!

Should I stick with the standard method of reupholstery? Or should I aim for the more trendy, deconstructed method which leaves the outside of the back and arms exposed so the chair construction can be seen?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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  1. Julie Briones says:

    You could do the deconstructed and see how it ‘sells’… you can always do the standard version later. It may be something you find out is adored by your clientele! 😉

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Great idea Julie!! I am working in this part of the project today and I will give the results of the poll I took on Instagram! ??