Upcycling Retro Chairs

We’ve always loved a bit of fixing up at Miss Pigeon Vintage HQ. We’ve been making do with hand downs, secondhands and skip raids since we set up home together. It means you get well accustomed to mending, repurposing and recycling.

Being resourceful and never the type to throw things away also means we usually have exactly what’s required to bring something back to life.

So, the chairs; Someone tagged me in one of those “everything-for-sale-everywhere-but-locals-only” Facebook selling pages, to bring my attention to two gloriously retro chairs. They were a bit of a bargain but were a sorry state when we collected them.

Cue a very laborious, but love filled labour getting the chairs repaired and in working condition.

They were clearly meant to swivel but they weren’t doing, so Mr Pigeon got to grips with making the revolve work, while I focused on the aesthetics.

They were covered in black vinyl which was grubby, dull and ripped in places. I did a lot of scrubbing and polishing and got to work repairing the rip. Using some scrap black vinyl from some old car seats laying around the the garage, I slotted the fabric into the rip, and simply glued it into place to secure it from slipping.

Upholstery sorted.

White emulsion was caked on the legs and stands, with dried on drip marks and it was yellowing in places, too. I’ve paint stripped a lot of furniture and have discovered that the cheaper ones are usually the most effective. You can see the bubbling effect, below.

I love watching paint bubble under the chemicals and it’s so much quicker than sanding back and doesn’t leave scratch marks. A bit of wire wool brought back to a really smooth metal, keeping the integrity of the original chair.

Bare metal was a lot more attractive than the white emulsion, but the slick lines and bold features really owed themselves to something brighter. Out came the orange gloss paint and voila! Two incredibly stunning mid-century inspired smoothly swiveling chairs.


The chairs were stunning. They got so much interest in my shop, Meanwhile…  and they left a matter of hours after arriving. A traders dream, right there!

“I’ve come back for…”

“…the pink shorts”

“… the teak gazelles”

Vintage Gazelles

“… the yellow chair”

Window at Cafe Indie in Scunthorpe

As a vintage lover, if you find yourself ever saying “I’ve come back for…”, it’s a good idea to have a sturdy heart for disappointment.

So often as a vintage trader, I’m met with customers who lust after a one-off genuine vintage item who choose to go away and think about whether they love it enough to buy it.

WHAM! Someone else loved it the day before you and has just sneaked in to buy it instead.

My TOP TIP:

If you fall for something vintage, just bloody buy it. The chances are quite slim that you’ll ever find it again and owning a unique vintage piece feels so much lovelier than regret.

Welcome to The Pigeon Coop

For those of you who have been following me around various branches of the internet for a few years, you may have noticed I’ve gone all swish and finally nested myself into a lovely little coop of an internet corner. This here, this website is mine and I’m excited to share it with you. Now, let’s get cosy and I’ll tell you where it all began if you want? Grab a brew and biscuit, we could be here a while.

Miss Pigeon Vintage – The Beginning

Miss Pigeon Vintage set up in 2014 after discovering I was pregnant with our first child, Stanley. Cue hysterical panic as to where that first child would actually fit into our little home. Cue then a mass clear out of all my collections and belongings to make room.

Vintage Typewriter

Vintage tea sets, rare typewriters, retro clothing and masses of Hornsea pottery started gathering in my “to sell” pile. It was obvious that I needed to make this selling lark a bit more “proper” and so I snapped up an opportunity offered to me by Chris Cooper Band who were having a big party at Cafe INDIEpendent in Scunthorpe to launch their debut album. They wanted artists and traders to have market stalls on the mezzanine, in a gallant effort to support fellow local creatives.

Where the Name Comes From

Now, to pick a trading name. Yeah my real name is pretty funky, but it was so engrained locally in Art Education that I needed to avoid it. Lining up names for a company intended to have a short life was fairly easy, it didn’t matter, it would only last a year or so until I cleared all my “stuff” yeah? Best laid plans there… Four years later and some people ONLY know me as Miss Pigeon.

So where did Miss Pigeon Vintage come from? Well, I’ve been known for my love of dead birds and turning them into pen and ink drawings. More on that to come at a later date, but for now, just stick with me.

Miss Pigeon Vintage with Pink Pigeon

Birds have been a constant theme cropping up through my creative career and my home life. My little dog that we have had from being a stray found on our doorstep had the nickname Pidgey Pigeon because he was a scruffy little fella. He was my heart and soul at the time and so it made sense to name my new adventures after him.

Take a look around the website, let me know what you think. You can also find all the places I sell vintage at the Shop page.