Bringing a Burke Back

One of my more recent junking expeditions yielded a nice Burke, Saarinen style tulip chair. I had just read the posts here, and here on fiberglass shell restoration so I was feeling pretty confident that the condition of the fiberglass wouldn’t be an issue. Granted, all of the posts I’d found focused on the colored Herman Miller/Eames shells, but the consensus seemed to be that white ones were easy too…just coat with a different sealer to avoid yellowing…simple enough right?

Armed with different grits of sanding sponges, I start at it…at first it looks like the dirt is coming off easily…until I realize the white grit I am sanding off is just filling in all the gouges and as soon as I wipe it clean…it’s there again.  This continues for several hours over 3 days.  Even with wet sanding..the itchy arm syndrome exists.

Finally, I realize I need to just let it go and say enough is enough…it will never be perfect and I wouldn’t have wanted it if it were, so just seal the damn thing already.  I used a spray lacquer/high gloss clear coat and it just kept sucking it in.  I had considered linseed oil, but liked the low maintenance a sprayed coating would provide.

I had a few fabric scraps in the attic I tried to picture it with…but I think at the end of the day…I want a pretty obnoxious print on here so the search continues to complete the job….