Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Painting Chairs~frame and fabric! and a lot more...

Ugly Dining Room Chairs Be Gone!
Before and After!
 Dining room sets cost a lot of money...
and they aren't something that usually get replaced because they don't wear out. 
They sit there in your house year after year and finally even decades later you realize that they just don't go with your style anymore.  But hey~you don't feel justified in replacing them as you only eat in the dining room on Christmas and Easter...maybe Thanksgiving if your sister isn't hosting.  How about taking matters into your own hands and creating lemonade out of lemons?  With paint and wax you can do just that! And it really works and stands up to the test of time.  I have done my own set, and am here to tell you that it makes all the difference painting out ugly fabric and updating a dated wood frame using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan of courses!  Annie's paint needs no primer and it can transform fabrics as well as wood~
 Here is the chair in two coats of Duck Egg and the seat 
with two coats of Old White. However I am not finished yet. 
 I wanted a softer look so I dry brushed Old White over the Duck Egg.  
 Here is a side by side before and after with the original chair fabric 
and frame and with the straight up application of paint 
on both seat cushion and frame. The only difference in painting the 
fabric vs the wood frame is that for the fabric I dip my brush into 
a bit of water so the paint is a lighter coating. Do two light coats on the 
fabric, drying between coats.  
If the pattern is still there do another light coat and let dry.
 Next I applied soft dry brushed stroked over the base of Duck Egg.
 I find using a chip brush works best for the dry brushing.
 After the chair fabric has been painted and dried you can lightly
 sand it to achieve a soft hand. Then we will wax it the next day 
and the seat will feel like leather. Soft and supple and plenty of protection.
 See you later ugly 1970s orange and gold stripes!
I decided to add a ticking style stripe by taping the cushion off 
and painting with Duck Egg.
You can lightly sand the dried painted stripes to get a softer look.
You can also sand off any paint mistakes of little blobs or leaks 
through the painter tape!
Soft and dreamy, very french/gustavian in style! 
 I did a pair of these that were in traditional old gold upholstery
 with a cream and gold frame.
They are now off white and slightly antiqued.
Find a link below to more on how to paint fabric on chairs!
I got a set of these chairs at auction last year and
painted them inspired by a Tiffany blue box.
I loved them so much I brought them home and 
mixed them in with this set of french chairs. 
Before and After~these chairs were upholstered in a faux vinyl. 
 We have been sitting on them for about a year now and 
they show no signs of wear!! And if they did, I would simply add another coat of paint!
We are offering an Ugly Dining Room Chair workshop at the
 new store in August if you want to sign up.
Look for it online as I am taking a limited amount of students.  
You will get help in painting your chair in a rustic french, gustavian, 
shabby chic or traditional style.  Then you can go home and paint 
the rest of your chairs to match!! And you will have
 a brand new look in your home. Problem solved!
 Another interesting thing we are working on in the workshop 
right now is this gleaming gold cylinder table. It came out of an
 office lobby after they decided to update their space.
  Its metal and has a high sheen.
 See my pink workout pants?? Thats a very high shine!
 I took some sandpaper to it and gave it a ten minute sanding~
 Work both ways, cross graining as you sand.
 You can see the sanded marks...I used 120 grit.
 Now what makes this an interesting project is that this table 
came out of Boston Sand and Gravel company. They manufacture
 cement and concrete and that kind of stuff.  One of my first 
shoppers who came into Maison Decor works there and she 
suggested that the company hire me to paint them to look like concrete!
 Colin started painting the cylinder with French Linen. 
Goes on like a dream~
 We did two coats of French Linen.
 Then brushed on some Fine Stone (we sell this online)
 Then we used our artistic brains and dry brushed lighter shades of grey
over the darker French Linen base.
 The left side is done, the right side is waiting for paint~
 Voila! Finished product looks pretty much like concrete!!
A little side by side comparison.
Not our average custom job but we loved stepping outside the box
and seeing if we could give our customer what she wanted.
In other news~
 I brought Dillon to work with me today. 
I love this dog!!! 
He is such a great dog, but I usually don't bring him as
 I think people might get afraid of such a big handsome dog. 
We have some crazy times ahead....look for wacky posts to ensue.
I still do not have the keys to the shop and plan to be open on July 15th!
So that means lots of work ahead of us.
The other thing that is happening is that Justin and Madison 
are moving into our home
this week~we have an apartment in the basement that 
Colin graciously vacated so they 
can live with us and save money for their future.
 We will be living and working together~no escaping each other from tomorrow on in.....
and Sylvia will be coming too of course.
 They stopped by the shop to pick up some boxes today.
And off they went~moving day!  
We have another exciting announcement as far as the stores go, and 
as soon as I ink the deal I will spill it all here.
I have added more workshops online~
check in over there to see what is new!



  1. Beautiful Amy! Wow! What a transformation. Love the Annie Sloan paint:)

  2. Amy the transformation is remarkable! Have a wonderful week!


  3. Love the dining chairs! So pretty. Have some french ones for our dining room to do when we get back from vacation :)

  4. Love all the pretty chairs you have redone. The painting the fabric thing is really awesome. There is going to be a lot more togetherness with your son moving home. But by the sounds of it you probably aren't home very much! Love the picture of your diningroom :)

  5. Amy you truly amaze me! I love to see the before and afters!! Really beautiful examples!

    Giveaway by The Enchanted Home!

  6. Wow, you are busy busy. Love the painted chairs and one day I will paint the fabric, too.

  7. Love the chairs Amy! Thanks for the update on how the fabric is holding up after a bit of time. Good to hear things are going well with the shop!

  8. Beautiful job, Amy! What an improvement and I think a great way to save an old dining room set.

    Also still loving those Tiffany blue chairs- so pretty!

  9. Beautiful! Such a huge change!


  10. I don't post often, however, I am always amazed at the beautiful transformations you do. Dillon should come to work every day.

  11. Hold on, HOLD ON THERE. You painted the FABRIC??? Sorry but caps lock necessary here. That is unbelievable. Usually when I see neat shops like yours they're nowhere near me in little ok' RI but I'm def. going to drop in this summer. I need some chalky paint even if it doesn't come in hot pink, heh heh.

  12. Hold on, HOLD ON THERE. You painted the FABRIC??? Sorry but caps lock necessary here. That is unbelievable. Usually when I see neat shops like yours they're nowhere near me in little ok' RI but I'm def. going to drop in this summer. I need some chalky paint even if it doesn't come in hot pink, heh heh.

  13. What a beautiful transformation. Absolutely gorgeous!

    What's hard to wrap my brain around...is painting the fabric -- you mentioned it has taken on a leathery feel so I must ask (because my concern is that it might crack over time) -- how has it held up these past 4 months? Any issues? Is waxing over the fabric mandatory?

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing project with us. I can't wait to try it with my own dining room furniture!


  14. Dena
    I added some more information in this post talking about adding a bit of water to your paint brush when you paint fabric. It makes it a lighter coat so cracking is kept at bay. I also have another post where I specifically outline and show how to paint and wax chair fabric here:

  15. PS Dena,
    No issues at all with cracking or wearing....its pretty darn amazing!


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