Friday, May 3, 2013

STEP BY STEP: Chair Transformation; Chalk paint, upholstery

I am going to share with you today, how I transformed this very old and outdated chair into a very fun and boho chic desk chair for my daughters bedroom remodel.
Originally I had planned to paint her desk chair turquoise.  The chair is an family antique (I love to reuse and repurpose furniture to make it functional for me).  Well, I decided to go lighter on the furniture,  I am addicted to "Old White" Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan.  I think I probably have at least dozen pieces in my house that feature "Old White".  Chalk Paint is a fabulous coverage and antiquing paint.  It covers ANYTHING, really ANYTHING, check it out here:
Here is the BEFORE chair. (Without the cushion attached)
The Cushion in a lovely MAUVE!
Chalk Paint is my GO TO.  I love Chalk Paint for it's coverage and velvety smooth texture.
You do not have to be precise when painting with chalk paint, the first coat I just kinda slap on.  My MUST DO RULE:  quality paint brush ( I use PURDY).
A natural bristle brush.

This is how it looks after just one coat, let it dry,(chalk paint dries in about an hour)
 I did 2 coats on this chair.

Now the sanding.  I THINK this is KEY to a smooth and velvety finish.
I use a palm sander, (I use a ultra fine grit pad) I also have used a very fine grit sanding sponge.  If you are doing this for the first time, use the sponge.  You can control that easier than the palm sander.(unless of course you want a  more antiqued look.)
Spots like this where maybe paint has gooped up are when sanding becomes your best friend.
When you sand the chalk paint it smooths  out, removes brush strokes and when you concentrate on certain areas with your sander, you create the antique or worn look.  The chalk paint does this beautifully.  It really is gorgeous!
Next, I wax the finished piece.  Here I show you both Annie Sloan soft wax and Miniwax Finishing Wax.  I purchased the Miniwax at Home Depot for a couple of dollars, the Soft Wax by Annie Sloan is a bit more in cost.
I use wax as a finish coat on my painted pieces.  I have used poly many years ago and it turned my pieces yellow.  I love wax, it is easy to use and creates a smooth finish and really brings out the colors or wood beneath you top coat of paint, but does not change your top coat color.

I just use a soft cloth and then rub all over the piece, concentrating on areas where the most wear would be, on a table top, I would use several coats.  I kind of use the method of "Karate Kid" wax on , wax off!  I just buff on and then buff it smooth. This picture below shows one side of chair waxed and the other not.  It really brings out the wood tones I antiqued.

Make sure the fabric you choose to cover anything you sit on is a sturdy fabric.  For this chair I used Duck Cloth.
Flip the cushion over and use a staple remover to remove the staples. The previous upholstery was obviously done with a hand stapler.  The staples are larger and not all the way in the wood.  I use a stapler that requires an air compressor, it is fast, easy and efficient.  The staples are sturdy also.

This was a rough piece, the cushion was not attached to the plate.  I used my fabric spray adhesive to set the cushion in place.

Next cut your fabric a bit larger than the seat.

I always start my staples at the middle and make sure the fabric is covering the seat.
Here is how I do corners:  I staple all the way to the end on both sides meeting up at the corner.

I take the middle piece after the sides are stapled and create  fold like this, then staple at bottom and top of the fold to lay flat.

Looks like this:
 Now I trim the excess fabric.

To reattach the cushion, you flip the chair over and rebolt to the bottom.

I hope you enjoyed my Step By Step tutorial..  I love how this turned out.  I cannot wait to finish the other pieces for the room. 
Happy Friday!
Materials List:
Fabric: Duck Cloth from Hobby Lobby $8.99 a yard ( I used my 40%o ff coupon)
I used less than 1/2 yard of fabric, but wanted extra for pillows!
Paint:  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint "Old White" $38.00 a quart
( A quart will cover many pieces of furniture, you will be amazed at how far it goes.)
My nearest Chalk Paint dealer is Toodaloo in Historic St. Charles. 
I am linking up with these blogs today!
 The Shabby Nest


  1. It looks great! Good job!!

    1. Thank you Lorie! I am very happy with it. My daughter is also!

  2. You were Featured!! Please come by and grab a button http://www.whatscookingwithruthie.com Thank you so much for sharing this your adorable project at Super Saturday Show & Tell :) xoxo~ Ruthie

  3. Found you through Super Saturday Show and Tell. Love your blog!

    I would love for you to share and link up at my TGIF Link Party.

    Please, invite your friends to party too! The more the merrier!

    Hugs, Cathy

    1. Thanks Cathy! I appreciate the blog love and the invite. I will link to your party!!

  4. Looks beautiful! What a fun blog!!! -The Six Sisters

    1. Thank you! I hope to entertain you again! Thanks for stopping by!