Sitting pretty...

by - Friday, October 11, 2019

When I bought them over twenty years ago, they added some visual texture to the dining room set-up. Now they just looked dated and dull. I wanted something lighter, a little shabby chic, and unexpected. It was time for a make-over.

If you have been following my Journal over the years, then you are aware of the many projects I've tackled and chronicled here, like my trash to treasure mosaic hallway table. So, thinking back and wanting to establish a bit of continuity, I decided to paint the wood the same cafe cream color of that table and wax the details. But first, what to do with the tapestry?

After removing the armrest pads, I collected the few scraps of fabric to test some colors. I ultimately decided to paint the tapestry over with a Dye-Na-Flow black fabric dye I had from my silk painting stash. It would provide excellent coverage, and I had a lot of it to use up.

Before painting the fabric seats and back, I sprayed them with water so that the dye would saturate the fabric better, especially since the tapestry has texture and a more substantial weave patterning.

A little at a time, slow and steady, I used a smaller brush for better control as I stippled the dye into the fabric. Dye-Na-Flow is a permanent dye used for any porous or semi-porous surface, including natural and synthetic materials, and can be set once dry with a bit of heat from an iron. I also read that you can simply leave the furniture piece in the sunshine for a total heat-set.

Here, you can see the three different paints and colors I tried before settling on the black dye at the top. The middle swatch is actually the cafe cream color I tested since I had seen so many chair redos on Pinterest using Anne Sloane paints. I thought it was too dirty looking and made the fabric very stiff. The bottom swatch is also Dye-Na-Flow dye in a brown color.
I am satisfied with the black. It was definitely the way to go.

Once the fabric dried, I was able to lightly sand and paint the wood. I used a small brush once again for more control and gave each chair two coats of cafe cream. Once those coats of paint dried, I used fine steel wool to smooth out the surfaces and rub-off the color in the raised areas giving it a weathered look. To further the shabby antique touch, I grabbed my dark and light waxes to accent the carvings on the back, front seat, and legs of the chairs. The brass tacks were easy to avoid with paint and wipe if I got a bit sloppy at any point. 
Voila! Two new dining room chairs!

With a little bit of paint and wax, we'll be sitting pretty for the next feast in the dining room...

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