Last week I shared the reveal of my girls' room with you. But I have a confession, even when a room is finished, there is always room for improvement. In this case we needed a chair for the computer desk, because that ottoman that my girl was using was just not cutting it. I needed to find a better solution pronto- that poor ottoman was getting squashed.
After a quick trip to the basement I found not one but four of these chairs. Well I only needed one, but thought I should redo two of them. Because you never know... And so I ended up getting two unique makeovers from one type of chair.
They may have looked alright in the first picture but upon closer inspection you can see the drips of dried stain that someone had painted a long time ago.
Also, those cushions were too high. I had added them a few years ago but they were not comfortable at all. So I had my work cut out for me - to redo the wood skeleton and remove the extra foam.
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What I Used:
The How To:
First and foremost, I had to sand away those drips that I showed you. Once they were out of the way and the surface was smooth I just painted the whole chair with the Chalky finish paint. Three coats covered the dark wood, and the paint dries in 10 minutes so you don't have to waste your life waiting for it.
I didn't have to sand the whole chair, please no! Chalky paint is very forgiving that way. To protect it, I added wax. You can see all of the products I used at the end of the post.
Then it was time to reupholster the chair. I removed the old foam that I had added years ago which made it hard to sit on the chair and just added a thin layer of batting.
Oh, and since I like to be thrifty, that fabric came from an old sweatshirt. But you can get a similar one here.
I won't show you how to reupholster here. But I am sharing a video from Jan Newton. For my purposes I didn't have to remove the bottom layers of stuffing.
There it is, Chair No. 1. It is simple and just perfect for the girls' bedroom, with the black and white theme.
The second chair got a totally different treatment. It will be going in another bedroom which has wood tones so instead of painting it I decided to keep the wood...with a few modifications.
While I was looking for the sweatshirt to cover the first chair I also happened upon this t-shirt in a grey cotton. And being that I am a bit lazy sometimes, I just stuffed the seat into the t-shirt.
If it didn't have that seam in the back I could have gotten away with using the t-shirt as I just showed you. I would've just tucked the sleeves underneath. Unfortunately for me, I didn't like this look with the seam so I covered the cushion with a linen fabric.
Now like I mentioned before, I was going for a different look with Chair No. 2. I wanted the wood to shine, so I sanded in certain places and not so much in others. After all a little distressing is good for all of us! There was no method to it, I just wanted to get rid of a lot of the dark wood stain.
Once I was done sanding I rubbed it with Tung Oil. I used a rag to rub it in, and then wiped it off. I've used this before on my Mid Century cabinet.
This piece in the center must have been made with a different wood. It did not distress easily as with the outer frame. And when I applied the Tung Oil it gave the wood an orangy finish. The outer frame of the chair has a sweet honey color to it now. Sometimes you just have to follow the furniture and not the other way around.
I also distressed it in random places on the legs. Hmmm... things you don't notice till you see them in photos, it looks like I'll need to tighten the screws on that seat. Keepin' it real folks!
And here are both of the chairs. Totally different look from the same chair.
By coincidence my friend Christina of Art, Decoration and Crafting also transformed two French cane chairs into two different looks. She lives in Greece and I joke with her that we must be twins. Even if we had been neighbors we could not have come up with the same projects.
I think using solid fabric really shows off those curves on the chair frames. Before with the patterned fabric it was as if the frame had to compete for attention. We certainly don't want that! Now that pretty design gets to shine.
Now my girl will be able to sit at her computer and not sink to the ground. You can see how well the chair blends in with the rest of the room too. I think the way it has been made over makes it feel very modern.
Sometimes you just have to follow a room... as in the case of the white chair. Or you have to follow the wood and let the chair tell you how it should look. And that is how I got two unique makeovers from one chair.
My daughter also thanks me for doing this because now she is sitting pretty. Which chair do you like better?
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I'm Mary and I recently moved to New York from beautiful Greece. I like to re-purpose and up-cycle anything that is old or looks like junk. Join me as we use our creativity to spark some life into old things. And do it frugally! You will also see lots of photography of my Greece and New York.
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