Monday, May 28, 2012

The Pair With French Flair

I am trying to whittle away at that stack of "to-do" pieces of furniture.  Amazing how quickly they accumulate and how much longer it takes to turn them into something usable.

This pair I picked up on the second day of an estate sale for half price. ($7.50 for the two)

Nice opportunity to do something different with the back.  I have an idea but I'll reveal that later.

Before I could begin painting I had to deal with this little elbow problem.

And this shin scrape.

Wood putty works miracles on issues like these.

I primed in this color because I already had this tinted primer and I'm trying to use things I have on hand to reduce the inventory.

In case you're wondering, I'm not trying to save the upholstery!  I plan to have these upholstered professionally and this back does not come out easily.  I'm just trying to paint without getting the upholstery stuck to the chair.

My top coat is a Devoe color called Woodsmoke.

When I finished the topcoat, I had a couple places where the paint was a little thick and I wanted to sand those parts.  Suddenly, this project took a turn.

Before I could stop myself, I was lightly distressing the entire chair.

I followed that up with a dark brown glaze that I mixed from a Martha Stewart brown I had on hand, a little glaze, and a squirt of dark brown pigment.  I applied it with a cheese cloth and wiped it off with another piece of wet cheese cloth.

Here they are side by side with the left one untouched and the right one distressed and glazed.  It's hard to see how different they look in this picture.


But it did make a huge difference.  And it works well with the fabric.  Speaking of the fabric.. I bought it months ago for two other chairs.

I planned to use it on this pair of chairs but I didn't think I had enough fabric.  So I went searching for a complimentary fabric that I thought I would use for piping.  I lucked out and found a solid fabric that was the very same as the background of the fabric I had.  Now I'm using both those pieces on a different pair of chairs.  Confused?  Me too!

This is the fabric.  The script is in a very dark brown.

I ordered it online.  I think it would have been fabulous on the handle backed chairs but...that is history.  We are moving on.

I decided to use the plain background fabric on the back of the chairs and stencil it with this pattern from The Stencil Library.

It is a 4 layer stencil but I am skipping the background and using the last two layers.

The last layer is just the three little cutouts in the first three letters.  It is meant to be used to repaint the background color after you stenciled the P,A, and R as solid.  But, because I was stenciling on fabric and not using a stencilled background, I needed to allow the fabric to show through.

I traced the 3 little cutouts onto contact paper and cut them out.

Trying to separate the backing from the sticky part can be next to impossible on such a tiny piece.  I finally figured out if I stuck a pin through the paper (non sticky) side and came up between the layers it was pretty simple.

I couldn't find an acrylic brown as dark as wanted so I added some black and also a textile medium.  (The medium might not have been necessary since this was not going to be clothing or something that needed to be laundered.)

My scientific plotting of the color I wanted.

Here you can see I pulled the contact paper off the letter "R" and my method was successful.

One down and one to go.  (This photo was taken in natural light is the true color.  Other photos were taken in my kitchen where it is impossible to get a shot that isn't yellowed.)

Now off to the upholsterer.

 Finally...I picked the chairs up from the upholsterer today.

Here they are as I unloaded them from the car.

And here they are from the back.

I was a little nervous as I drove to pick these up.  But, no regrets! I love how they turned out.

I brought them inside to take some closeups.

Now if I can sell my dining room set this weekend....

I can move on to the table I want to paint to go with these chairs.

I think it's time for something a little French.

If you are interested in this stencil for yourself, it is a click away.

I am linking to:  The Ivy Cottage
                           Savy Southern Style
                           No Minimalist Here
                           The Vintage Farmhouse


  1. The chairs are just beautiful! Well done!

  2. You did a wonderful job on these chairs, they are so pretty! Now following you, would love for you to visit and follow me too :)


  3. Great Job Tricia, I have linked to your post from The Stencil Library Facebook page and from our blog.

  4. Love LOVE love your chairs! You did a fabulous job!

  5. Oh how awesome! You did a fabulous job!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh my goodness...these chairs are just flat wonderful! I love them!Could you tell me where you found the script fabric? Maybe we have a store somewhere here in Texas!
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. I absolutely love everything about those chairs! What a great find and great vision!

  8. Hi Tricia, I'm you newest follower! Came over from Helen's blog. LOVE these chairs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Gorgeous, Tricia! I love the shape of them and I can't believe you got them for $7.50! Love your fabric choices and the stencil you used on the back. What a fabulous makeover.

    visiting from WUW : )

  10. Oh my gosh! They're gorgeous, Tricia!!!!! LUV!

    xoxo laurie

  11. Those chairs turned out awesome! You got a great deal on them to begin with too.

  12. Those chairs are fabulous. I love the script fabric and the Eiffel tower on the back. Also, your upholsterer did a really great job.