For the Birds

For the Birds

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?


Linked Up Here

Furniture Feature Fridays

18 Responses

  1. Betty
    Betty March 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm | | Reply

    Ya know…. by the time you finish notching your belt, your britches are going to have to fight to stay up ! One of these days you should write a how too book. You have the courage to tackle anything, and to do that anything like a pro… so why not create a best seller. You could sign my copy but instead, if I can just call you to come over and show me ….. ? Beautiful job Claire !!

  2. Becky
    Becky March 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm | | Reply

    Your chairs look fabulous! You did such a great job.

  3. Kelli
    Kelli March 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm | | Reply

    I love how the chairs came out and I think the bird fabric is absolutely perfect. What a cheery room!

  4. Marjorie
    Marjorie March 27, 2014 at 10:12 pm | | Reply

    You created a wonderful look. You were right to let the birds fall in a random fashion if you had tried to center them it wouldn’t have looked natural, now they look as birds do in nature. Congratulations on a job well done.

  5. ellen
    ellen March 27, 2014 at 10:23 pm | | Reply

    The chairs are beautiful and your hard work really paid off. I’m glad that mom approved and I am sure your grandmother is looking down from heaven and is very proud of you!

  6. Mary
    Mary March 28, 2014 at 5:24 am | | Reply

    Many congratulations on a magnificent job Claire. I love the finished look. Well done you. Very talented lady. Keep up the good work. Amazing indeed. X

  7. Vickie
    Vickie March 28, 2014 at 8:42 am | | Reply

    Beautiful job Claire!

  8. karen@somewhatquirky
    karen@somewhatquirky March 28, 2014 at 9:41 am | | Reply

    These are gorgeous! I’ve been eying that fabric – it’s fabulous. You did an amazing job. Not everyone would put in the time and effort to do such a great job. Nice. Nice. Nice.

  9. Shirley U.
    Shirley U. March 28, 2014 at 11:32 am | | Reply

    The chairs look absolutely fabulous!!! So glad you went with the bird fabric covering the entire cushion. It looks so professional, bright, and cheerful. When are you giving upholstery lessons? I could really use them.

  10. Karen
    Karen March 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm | | Reply

    Wow…they look amazing. I love the fabric…what a difference!
    What’s the next project????

  11. jlo
    jlo March 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm | | Reply

    Wonderful job…anxious for you to try Milk Paint so you can show me how it works

  12. SSeger
    SSeger March 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm | | Reply

    Love the chairs. I would like to sit there at the table and spend sometime knitting.

  13. Bonnie
    Bonnie March 31, 2014 at 9:11 pm | | Reply

    Love them…what a beautiful job!

  14. Pillow Talk May 1, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
  15. Lynda
    Lynda May 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm | | Reply

    Girl, you are awsome! Love all you do. The table and chairs look great; love the fabric.

  16. I Buy Ugly Chairs February 26, 2015 at 4:56 pm |

Leave a Reply