Tuesday, October 22, 2013

French Provence Chair

Back in early spring of this year I ran across three of four chairs, from an old country blue1980’s dinning room set, at our local charity thrift sore.  My intention was to purchase them and create three unique individual chairs for donation to Charming Chairs, an event to raise much needed funds for our local Down Town Association.  The event got cancelled leaving me with multiple chairs with no purpose; luckily I had not started the chairs so I was not committed to any one style.  The big question was do I still finish them as originally planned or would I do something different??? Can you guess what I decided to do? No matter what you guessed you are right, I decided to finish one chair for my bedroom using some fun new products and create the other two in girly bling as planned. This is probably going to be a two part post since I am still working on the chair but decided to share my progress as I go along. Here is what the chairs looked like when I got them.

I was originally only going to purchase one chair but the clerk offered me all three chairs for only $5.00 each, how could I pass up a great deal like that!  My husband thought I was nuts for buying chairs that looked like they were fished out of someone’s barn, they were dirty, full of bird poop and hay and they did not have any kind of cushion bottoms, just frames.  You know me, I saw all kinds of potential and if I did not like how they came out I could always donate them back to the thrift store.  As you can see in these photos they were a mess, all I needed was some cleaner and hot water so I could paint them whenever I was ready.

I think you can see the difference in the chair on the left which was cleaned up and the one on the right still in progress.  It took a couple of hours to carefully clean all three chairs because I did not want to damage the cane backs in case I wanted to keep them intact.

Initially all the chairs were going to get spray painted in high gloss paint until I found a fantastic shop in Historic Folsom, CA that carried specialty paints.  I fell in love with the furniture and the paints they used to craft with and to restore all the old pieces displayed in their darling shop. The name of the shop is “Not Too Shabby” and the paint is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I purchased all the necessary paints, waxes, brushes and a book on the spot.  It was an investment I was happy to make because of all the projects and applications I could use them on.  The paint covers any surface without sanding or prep time, what a miracle that turns out to be and the finish is soft and glowing.  There are so many ways to use the paint and wax finishes it would take me years to do them all but I am going to give it a good try and see how many I can do on some of the pieces I have left to re-finish in my furniture stash, not to mention all the craft projects I could use them on….the possibilities are endless! 

These wonderful new paints and waxes required some specialty natural bristle brushes in order to get the job done correctly.  My biggest dilemma was where to store them after use because of their natural bristles; it was recommended they hang with bristles down not stored flat.  I currently had no wall space left to hang anything else, what was I going to do?  After checking out my Pinterest boards for storage solutions and studio space storage I got inspired to use any flat surface to create unique hanging options.  Once I looked around my space with new eyes I decided to use the fronts of the doors on my party/wrapping supplies closets, the only unused space in the whole outdoor studio.  We had plenty of pegboard leftover from our last storage project so my hubby cut down a piece to fit the front of one of the four doors, I hung it using the large Command strips so as not to damage the door and I used leftover hooks and hangers to hold all my specialty and favorite paint brushes; no money spent there.  I absolutely love the way all my brushes are in sight and easy to grab when working on a project.  Now I do not have to dig through my paint brush box to find what I want, I still have my seldom used brushes in that box, which is just fine because I know where those are too.  

Here is my first chair in progress, I started by turning it over and painting the underside and back, I let it dry to the touch, about an hour and then flipped it over to start work on the top and front.  I did not do the inside of the seat because it will not be seen once a new seat and cushion are in place. When I purchased my paint I knew what color I wanted for my bedroom chair but they were out of stock so the girls worked with me to figure out what colors of paint I would need in order to custom mix my own paint to match my fabrics, I named my new paint color French Provence.  I think I did a pretty good job of color matching my paint to my fabric, only the final result will be the true test, I can not wait to see the chair completed or at least fully painted, antiqued and waxed.  At this point I am not gong to show you how the first step in the process came out, I am going to make you wait until I finish the next two steps then show you the process and the reveal at the same time, I guess you will have to keep checking in to see the final product.

Thanks for letting me share my newest painting project with you, I hope you are inspired to step out of the box and try a new product and an easy storage solution, you never know where it will take you.
See you soon.


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