Dining Room / DIY / Home

another Eames Chair Restoration

Restoring fiberglass Eames chairs isn’t revolutionary or much to brag about these days. It’s been done and documented by many already so this will be quick (cause I shed blood, sweat, and tears too and damnit, I need something to blog about). For a full tutorial, go to Chairfag. I also found The Brick House helpful. P.S. wear a mask when you’re sanding so you don’t spend 4 hours googling “will I die from inhaling fiberglass dust”.




All lined up and ready to be admired. I wish I could say my dining table always looks like that. I dressed it up for my first grownup dinner party this past weekend. In case the end really is nigh or whatever. I’ll post more pics sometime this week.



5 thoughts on “another Eames Chair Restoration

  1. I am trying to restore 3 chairs that have dirt/grime in the fibers. Your pictures seem like you do too. Should I just keep sanding until the cows come home or have you found a better way to get at the dirt?

    • Hi Nick – I only used dish soap (and possibly the dollar store product called “Awesome”.. my memory is fuzzy). I don’t think either helped that much. The dirt was stuck in the crevices of the scratches and only feverish sanding worked for me. Be prepared for sore arms!

      • Karen,
        I am fine with feverish sanding! I have a small handheld that I can use too. I just wasn’t sure if at some point sanding gave way to using chemicals cleaners. I also feared sanding too much, though I didn’t actually know if there was a ‘too much’ or I could just let it rip. Are you basically saying that sanding a ton is what worked the best? I will try Oxy Clean this weekend and let you know how it worked too.

      • I definitely wouldn’t recommend using an electric sander on the fiberglass because it can take off too much too quickly. It also might look uneven since the surface isn’t flat and easy to maneuver. When I was using the sander to remove the old epoxy, I got down to the fiberglass and let it run for a few seconds longer. Doing so left it oddly smooth compared to the rest of the chair.
        I sanded the fiberglass by hand using 2-3 of these sanding sponges per chair.
        I applied force on the worse areas. It removed the dirt/grime but the scratches are still visible up close:

        There probably is such a thing as too much but from my experience you can’t do much damage with a few medium grit sanding sheets and elbow grease. I just can’t speak to anything beyond that! Good luck!

      • Thanks so much. I shall hang up the power sander and take your advice to heart. In some areas of the chair I am happy with how I looks and am ready to move on to the Penetrol apication. However, some areas are lighter after sanding but I’m not sure if the Penetrol will even everything out so I don’t know whether to sand the ok areas further to match the lighter ones. Ya know?

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