chair tuning

This is about how to turn unwanted kitchen- chairs into elegant larp- chairs.

This page belongs to the area “larp- chairs” which would start here: larp chairs


Left: dreadful kitchen chair. Right: elegant larp- chair (that unfortunately will eat up quite a lot of transport space because it´s not foldable).

What we´re looking for is the abomination on the left: an old wooden chair with lathed elements. They were used a long time ago in a world that luckily has been replaced by a better one (ours) and are now to be found in garages or grandma´s kitchen. Let´s see if we can get our paws on them: “Grammy, these chairs of yours really look instable. They might even be dangerous to sit upon. Better to replace them...” (gloriole appears).
And because this is a respectable website: No, you´re not allowed to just take large trash from the side of the street: it belongs to somebody and you have to ask the owner if you can have it.

Ok, back to business. The plan is to tune the chairs with fantasy- elements and give them new colours.
Step one: sand them. Not to remove the old enamel but to roughen the surface up a little so that the acrylic paint we use will stick better.


Above: the afore- mentioned fantasy- elements. Again the only limits are availability and budget. In this case I opted for angels and dragons from a cheap accessorizing- store (praise be their exixtence, although - as I have also mentioned at another place- I find it a little disturbing that they originally seem not to be invented for larpers but that apparently otherwise normal people are supposed to embellish their homes from their stock).

For this project we don´t need the stautues in their whole but in the first instance start with a fine hacksaw:


Left: No, I don´t have an advertising contract with Pattex, but if they would ask, I´d not turn them down...
Their newest invention to enrich life and civilisation is a 2 component- glue that you knead like modelling clay. When you leave it to dry, it becomes Pattex.
Exactly what we need.

In the german version I give a hint here to get your Pattex 20% cheaper than at the otherwise cheapest provider:
First you obtain one tin at the afore-said cheapest source. Then you drive to the next DIY-store that carelessly has promised in their campaign “If you find the goods cheaper than with us, we´ll undersell them 20 percent.”

Bad idea. `ere we go:
Me: “I just bought a tin of Pattex at store XY for Z money!”
Him: “Prove that”.
Me: “Would this here bill from half an hour ago be sufficient?”

And then we get our Pattex for 20 percent less than at the other store!

In all fairness I keep the first tin although the other store promises to refund unopened/ unused stuff with no questions asked. It is a matter of principle and honour.
I should also mention at this place that the chain of DIY-stores that made this offer has gone out of business this year (2013), but I swear it wasn´t my fault! I miss them!
And I just notice that I´m wandering off the subject again...:


Above left: Fitting the figurine. I sawed off a piece of the  knob on the chair´s back. Be careful with that.
Above right: The “power-clay” conceals the junction and glues the dragon to the chair. The stuff can even be sanded if required.


Above: Grounding with acrylics. It doesn´t have to be black all the time. Apply the paint in several thin layers until it covers the original colour of the surface. Then drybrush (in this case gold), then if needed a wash with the ground colour.
Finally I gave the chairs a coat of matt varnish to protect the surfaces.


Above: Finished. The seat pads are cheap cushions (2,- € each) upholstered with cloth from a table runner (3,- €).

12Detail 13Detail

Above: Detail of the backs of a “white” and the “black” chair.

For transport the chairs should be padded to avoid abrasion. The ornaments are as delicate as the resin figures they are made of, but not everything in life (or larp) has to be unbreakable, has it?

The “clay”- glue/ paste has proved reliable and sturdy (in fact a dragon´s hand broke off during transport but the figurine is still sitting safely on the chair´s back). Resin figures can be glued with superglue. If you have the time, strengthen the joint with a piece of wire same you would strengthen a miniature.

In my opinion the chairs look (at least for a larper´s taste) quite all right. A well- spent afternoon, so to say.
last edit oct 2016

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