A passion for paint!

Top to bottom: The original chair, washed down with sugar soap. Painted. Distressed. Waxed. The finished product!Last September, that’s September 2014, not the one just gone, my partner in crime writing, Julia and myself, went to a wonderful paint effects class in Exeter. We learnt all sorts of exciting things from our excellent tutor, Lynn, at Pepperwhite Vintage and came away full of ideas of bits of furniture were going to upcycle and spruce up with our fabulous new skills! And so, it has only taken until now (14 months) for one of us Julia, not me, to finally put brush to paint and paint to piece of furniture. I hang my head in shame and claim pressure of work and writing and 101 other things… Here, she tells us what she has been up to…

Joanna and I left our paint course full of enthusiasm for our projects. I have some ugly and uncomfortable pine kitchen chairs that I longed to get rid of. So my plan was to source six chairs from junk shops that I could paint in different colours, distress and wax. I wanted ones with the pop-out seats that are easy to recover with nice fabric to match my décor. Easy! Not. 

First stumbling block – the chairs. I quite fancied the idea of different designs, so there was no need to worry about buying a matching set. Could I find any with the pop out seats? Could I heck! After months of searching, I found two for just £4 each at the local council tip – fantastic! Another month passed… and after much searching I found two more at a different council tip. Another bargain at £5 the pair! Then nothing. Zippo. Zilch. I could not find any more anywhere.

Eventually, I had to get help and a friendly antique dealer found me two very nice carvers (the ones with arms) and I had to grit my teeth and lay out £40, but to buy all six chairs for a total of £53 was still pretty good, I thought. 

Two of the chairs needed a bit of glue and one was missing one of the supports for the seat pad… Would my other half kindly fix them please? Months later and after cajoling, crying, pleading… they were finally finished two weeks ago! Playing on his guilt I even managed to get him to wash them all down with sugar soap, the only preparation these fabulous Autentico paints need. Result! And so, I finally made a start…

During all the months of messing about, I had bought my paints (three colours) and two different seat fabrics (all off cuts) and I already had two colours of Autentico waxes in my projects box. Luckily, four of the six seat pads were in good condition and I only needed to re-pad two of them. I had some unwanted seat pads, the sort you use on garden chairs, so I used the stuffing of those to pad the old seats

Aided hugely by my puppy, Moss, I began painting one of the carvers. This was slow work, but I was pleased with the end result. I then rubbed the chair down on corners and edges to give a ‘distressed’ look. Moss found this fascinating and kept pouncing on the sandpaper as I rubbed it back and forth and sneezing as the paint dust went up her nose. I then finished the chair off with some wax to give it a durable finish and make it look more aged.

The seat pad recovering was much simpler than I had thought. With the aid of a staple gun, I soon had it covered. I also covered the underside so it both looked neat and there were no ‘interesting’ bits left sticking out that would appeal to a naughty puppy. I am no expert, but I must say I am really quite pleased with the result. So there we are… one down, only FIVE more to go!! Wish me luck…

4 replies
  1. Janet robinson says:

    The chair looks beautiful. I have just painted my bedroom furniture. It was antique pine. Now it is antique white in an eggshell finish, but wasn't, bold enough to distress it. The undercoat and top finish cost me 50 pounds. I am really pleased with the results and May try your method sometime in the future.crafty hugs Janet

  2. ann ward says:

    Your chairs look good like you been going to do some painting like this for months might get round to it this year fingers crossed
    ann ward


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