DIY: Chair Recovered, From Bleak to Tres Chic
April 1, 2009
There are many names for that paint job we all love so much: Hand Rubbed, Distressed Off-White, Vintage French, Rubbed Cream, Antique White, Shabby Chic. Over the weekend, I developed a unique way to distress without all of the stress !
- Tea light candle
- Rustoleum ‘American Accents’ Spray Paint in Heirloom White
- Fine sandpaper
- Baby wipes
- 1 yard silk blend damask from scrap bin
- Nail head trim kit (leftover from previous project) with rubber head hammer
- Foam filler (optional)
- Staple gun, stapler and hot glue gun.
I found this ratty rattan chair at the local thrift store, paid the merchant $8 cash, and walked out. My husband laughed at me when he saw the stained peach velvet cushion and hole punched through the back of the chair. “What can you do with that piece of (bleep)?” Has he learned nothing from this blog? :-)
Step One: Remove seat and give the wood on the entire piece a light sanding with fine sandpaper. Wipe down with baby wipes.
Step Two: Did you know that you can use candle wax when antiquing furniture to prevent the paint from adhering to the edges? Rub your piece with a tea light candle on all of the edges where you want the wood to be exposed. Gently remove leftover wax ‘crumbs’ with baby wipes, but be careful not to rub off candle wax on the edges.
Step Three: Apply a coat of spray paint (in well ventilated area) to one section of your piece, then wipe the edges with a baby wipe where you want the paint removed. Work section by section because spray paint dries quickly. For tight spaces where your fingers won’t fit, wrap a small nail with a baby wipe, to remove paint from smaller crevices. Repeat with a second coat of spray paint for areas that didn’t get coverage with your first coat. Let dry 24 hours.
Step Four: If your chair is really old, as mine is, you may find it necessary to reinforce the seat with medium foam, trimmed to fit. Iron fabric so that it is wrinkle free. Center fabric, and recover chair cushion with your fabric of choice and staple gun.
I had to do something to disguise the hole in the rattan, so I fashioned a rear cushion in four steps:
- Create cardboard skeleton of back of chair.
- Staple foam trimmed to fit to cardboard.
- Staple gun fabric to foam/cardboard.
- Stitch “cushion” to rear of chair, then solidify with hot glue application for staying power.
To disguise the hole from the front, I trimmed the silk blend fabric to fit, then folded under the edges, and fastened to the chair with my nail head trim kit. [See previous post on a fabric covered headboard with nail head trim for more information on this kit and its application.]
Refasten chair cushion to seat bottom, then attach nail heads to seat cushion with nail head trim kit. You can really see the paint treatment up close in this next photo.
So now this tres jolie chair sits in my traditional living room, next to the piano.
Cost: $8 Chair, $3 Spray Paint, $2 fine sandpaper, $7 foam filler, $5 scrap of silk blend fabric. I had leftover polyurethane and a nail head trim kit from previous projects.
Total cost to me = $25 (add another $20 for polyurethane and nail head trim kit).
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