After several other questionable attempts with chalk paint, I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of it! Although I’ll have to admit it took 3 tries before I was happy with the results! Here’s where I started.
This was the second reincarnation of these chairs purchased by my Grandmother about 1963. They had never been repainted since purchase, however, this fabric choice was made by my mother in the early 90’s. The varnish on the frames had yellowed badly and was beginning to chip, and the fabric was badly faded.
I gave all the chairs 2 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White, with the help of a most excellent friend! Note: When you have a job that is no fun, like painting spindly chairs, it is much easier with a friend! Thanks Karen!
They looked drastically better, but flat, and of course they didn’t match the table finish. The table is painted iron, and the details are highlighted with a light grey/beige. I had planned to finish the chairs with Maison Blanche Dark Wax, but it came up way to brown. Then I tried dry-brushing with Annie Sloan Country Gray, which is not at all grey. The result was a very yellow mess. After each attempt, I had to re-paint a chair Old White. That’s when I began to panic, and search Pintrest for help. No luck, I had an idea that I could mix some of the chalk paint with some of the clear wax to tint it to a shade that would work. Distress and wax all in one step! The problem was I couldn’t find anyone on the internet that had tried it, (I always feel better if someone else is the guinea pig instead of me)! The worst that could happen would be that I’d have to repaint again, so I took a chance.
I took a big spoonful of the Annie Sloan clear wax and a big spoonful of the Maison Blanche Cobblestone and mixed them together on a paper plate. I applied the concoction with an old paintbrush, let it sit 5-10 min, then buffed it to a shine with an old towel. It took a while, about an hour per chair, but I am so pleased with the results. The color matches the table perfectly, a compleat accident, I only used the Cobblestone paint because I had it leftover from an armoire I worked on with my mother.
Then came the ‘fun’ part, the upholstery. My mother owned an upholstery business for the first 25 years of my life, I literally grew up hanging out in her shop, our garage, watching, learning and eventually helping. So this was the part I was looking forward to! I picked an oversized, colorful bird print fabric.
Then I got stuck deciding how to place it on the cushions. I asked for advice, here and from most everyone I know, and boy did I get some, thanks Y’all! I decided in order to really feature the fabric, I needed to use it everywhere, and not get too hung up with cutting the birds in half. Honestly, there was no way around it anyway.
The seats went very quickly, however the back cushions are attached using snaps. The snaps were in different places on each chair, there went another hour per chair!
The result is so cute, and a great addition to our sunroom! My Mom loves the chairs, and we agree my Grandmother would have too!
Next up, I’m going to try out Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint! Afterall, I’m getting the hang of this, right?
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