If we have time on the weekends, we sometimes stop at an occasional yard sale in search of toys for Chloe. Recently we hit an estate sale. In the garage was a set of four mid-century Burke chairs. I think they might be called tulip chairs, except the similar ones I found online swivel and have propeller-type feet. These are stationary, with round bases. Burke Tulip chairs are actually 1960’s knock-offs of Eero Saarinen Tulip Chairs. Anyway, I thought they were awesome (and still in usable shape after almost 50 years!). David and I got in a little argument since we have no room in our shoebox house for more furniture, but he eventually walked off in a huff to go buy them for me anyway (thanks honey!).
The other thing about buying them so cheap, is that I won’t be afraid to paint them. More research says my best bet, should I decide to re-finish, is to use acrylic epoxy to fill scratches in the fiberglass and then apply architectural paint (1) or automotive paint, or have them professionally painted at an auto-body shop that has experience with painting fiberglass auto parts (here is another good article on shell chair refinishing).
Considering a single new reproduction Saarinen Tulip Chair by Knoll currently begins at $1,285, I’m happy with our estate-sale “original” knock-offs!