Thursday, February 9, 2012

The yellow painted chair

I found such a cute chair at our local Habitat store for only $10. I loved the swooping lines of the arms and legs and I thought I could fit it in our Toyota. Am I the only one who drives around with armchairs in the passenger seat? It's just the best place to transport bulky things, like chairs, that won't fit into the trunk. People have been amazed by what we can cram into our car when we dare to think outside the trunk :)

I had planned on re-upholstering it because I wasn't a big fan of the nubby office chair type fabric it came with.


 On second thought I figured I'd better not do that before the kids are a little older and less prone to destroy (inadvertently, for they know not yet what they're doing). Also, I know first hand how much work it can be to reupholster a chair. And it already had a professional upholstery frock on, with nail heads and all. I saw someone somewhere in blog land that had painted the fabric on their chair and I thought to myself - why not try it? I had very little to lose.


This is the semi-before pic. It had a few light stains but was otherwise in ok condition, very sturdy. The wood finish is a little beat up and worn but I kind of like it that way. When I reupholster the chair sometime in the future I'll probably paint the wood as well, for now I won't go through the trouble.

I had picked up some metallic gold craft paint at the craft store. Not because I thought the metallic would come through on fabric (it didn't, FYI) but because it was about the shade of yellow I was going for and it came in the bigger 8 oz containers (I used two bottles for this chair, and I had to skimp a bit on the back of the chair to have enough).

All through the painting I diluted the paint with a little bit of water. Mainly because I didn't want it to be caked on the fabric but absorbed by it. The finished result has a little bit of transparency to it, you can hint the different original colors through the yellow if you come really close.


I just painted it on and let it dry. Did at least 3 coats but some areas got more than that to even out the finish. That's what you get when you dilute paint without keeping track of proportions :)

I painted over the nail heads but wiped them down with paper towels right after. I don't know if it's because I used diluted paint or because it was a metallic (or both), but it came out really well. If some of it dried on the nail heads it's just a very sheer coat of it because I can't tell they've been painted.


On a whim I decided to throw in a stencil, here half-way through it. I just used white craft paint for this. And after the stencil was dry I painted over it with more of the golden yellow to diminish the contrast. The unknown lady who was my inspiration used furniture wax on her fabric as a finishing touch but I didn't have any and frankly I don't even know where to get any so I just went over the chair with some floor finish (wax?) as a preserver. I'm sure the furniture wax gives you a smoother surface in case you decide to try this at home. My chair is a little rough to the touch but not enough to discourage you from sitting in it.

This is definitely a case of looks before feel, but it's fully functional in the mean time. And it should stand up to kid abuse just fine since you can wipe the surface down with a damp cloth.

The afters.



I love my new chair, and I managed to squeeze it into a nook of our tiny living room with a crow bar :) It's getting crowded in here, for sure. One more guest can now sit comfortably, though, so that makes up for the cramming, in my opinion. Care to come visit my parlor and rub elbows with the plant? :)

By the way. I know I've been a little scarse on the posting lately and it's because I'm suffering from low blogger morale. Reading too many blogs, glancing at Pinterest, thinking I should sign up there one of these days - sometimes blogging just seems a little futile. I wish there was a way to post my projects with instructions on Pinterest without having to write up a whole post :) Hmmm...

I get plenty of projects done and I'm feeling better and better about our house for every project that gets finished, I just have a hard time sitting down and writing up the posts. I think I'm too wordy or something because they feel like too much work lately. Maybe I'll try to be less wordy for a while, or go lighter on the tutorials. We'll see. If you have questions about anything along the way I think I can provide better explanations for how some of the projects were done, just tell me in the comments or by email and I'll do my best.

On a different note I planted my first seeds yesterday - sweet peas. Never tried them before and I'm hoping for lots of fragrance! I'm loving this no-winter thing and spring is virtually here already. Yay :)

Until next time!

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3 comments:

  1. Such a gorgeous after! I looooove it with the stencil, goes so perfectly with the style of the chair! You are so brave! I would have been chicken to try this, but now I want to.

    I know - isn't blogging exhausting sometimes? I'm a little more regular than you, but nowhere near as prolific as all those superbloggers who post four times a week. Don't know how I could possibly do it. Wait - when I started, I sometimes did - how on earth was I that crazy? Now I just post when I feel I really want to. So there, internet!

    Be good, my dear Titti! Nice to have another beautiful project from you - doesn't matter how frequently or infrequently, I always love your posts.

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  2. So the paint doesn't crack, or anything, when you sit on it? Is it scratchy? I'd love to do this to my dining room chair if it actually works!

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  3. I never thot about using fabric paint? This is a lot easier than reupholstering the whole thing ;-)

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I really appreciate you taking the time to comment because I know you didn't have to. Additional ideas or related techniques are always welcome, the more we brainstorm the better all of our end products will be.
While I try to answer all comments I sometimes don't make it or have your contact info. If you don't hear back from me it doesn't mean I hate you, I just ran out of time (or simply had no way of contacting you).
I wish you a great day!

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