We bought a couple of antique chairs a couple of years ago at auction when a local antiques dealer went out of business. At the time, we had visions of opening a booth at an antique mall and planned on reupholstering them and painting them to sell in the booth. Well, the painting business REALLY picked up and we ended up not having the time to devote to curating, thrifting, collecting and re-purposing items that would have been required to maintain inventory for the booth. Having a little shop is still my dream. Maybe someday, but not now. 🙁
A friend of mine has a HUGE consignment sale at her barn each year. So, my goal this year was to transform these chairs to sell at the barn sale. I had read several posts from bloggers on painting fabric. The most informative was definitely this post by Hyphen Interiors. It’s something I really wanted to try. It took A LOT of convincing to get Brooks on board with painting the fabric. But, he finally relented and got right down to work on the chairs.
I kind of came up with my own painting system based on what I had read online. Brooks got a spray bottle full of water and misted the chairs really well wetting the fabric. Then he took a mixture of about 50% Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey and 50% water and painted it on the chair.
Since both of the chairs had a really bold fabric, it took 3 coats of paint for each chair, misting with water on each coat with about 24 hours of drying time between each coat. One of the chairs could have used an additional coat of paint, but we just ran out of time to get them ready for the sale.
Then Brooks stenciled a French design on the front of each chair.
French stencils- (affiliate link) You can buy similar stencils HERE. He then distressed and glazed the arms and legs on the chairs. This is the final result.
*Stencils- (affiliate link) FRENCH STENCIL
*Chalk Paint- There are so many great chalk paints out there now. (affiliate link) THIS IS A GOOD OPTION
*Paint Brush- (affiliate link) WE LIKE THESE BRUSHES
*Tape- (affiliate link) GREEN TAPE
My overall thoughts on the process:
- The chair on the left definitely should have had another coat of paint. It just doesn’t look finished to me.
- If we had more time, we would have waxed the chair, fabric and all to soften it up a bit. Since the cushions were not completely dry, we didn’t want the wax to trap the moisture in the chair.
- The finished chairs felt kind of like leather. Soft and supple. I think they should wear very nicely since the fabric is now protected by three coats of paint.
- I think this is a beautiful way to transform ugly fabric when you don’t have a budget for re-upholstery.
- I’ll definitely be doing this again.