Thursday, October 13, 2011

French gray dining chairs

One of the time consuming projects I've done recently was painting our 6 dining room chairs from craiglist. About two years ago we found some cherry wood Queen Anne chairs for our dining room table for $200 total. They initially were upholstered in a maroon, very old fashioned fabric. I immediately reupholstered them in a light blue fabric, but with 2 kids eating on them they quickly got stained/ruined.
We have a VERY old kitchen table that was donated to us by my parents that used to be owned by my grandmother. It's over a 100 years old and I've been told it can't be changed. So instead of having an oak claw-footed table with cherry wood chairs, I decided to paint our chairs a distressed gray.

The first step was to remove each seat cushion by unscrewing the screws from the bottom. Then I put on my safety googles and a mask because I wanted to strip off any old grease and dirt from the chairs. Once they were completely stripped and dried, I sanded each one by hand to make sure I roughed them up pretty good so the primer would stick.
As a short cut-I used spray paint primer from Valspar and did two coats. Between each coat of primer I used 120-grit sand paper so that each coat would stick. After 24 hours of dry time and one more sanding job, I used Valspar's gray spray paint. I used two coats of this, and sanded between each coat again. After everything was good and dry (I waited about 3 days, but you could probably wait 24 hours) I stenciled each family member's initials on the front of the chairs. The stencil I got from Michaels and I used a dark gray acrylic paint with a foam stencil brush. Once the stencil dried, I used my 120-grit sandpaper to lightly distress places where normal wear would show. After that, I sprayed each chair with two clear coats of sealer (also by Valspar.) I sanded between each coat. Wew! A lot of sanding! After about 3 more days, I upholstered the chairs with black outdoor fabric from Joann's fabrics. I wasn't really happy about the black seats, but it didn't matter too much because my glorious seamstress Mom sewed me 6 seat covers from gray felt looking fabric with beautiful satin bows. What's great about these seat covers is they are not only washable, but I can change the ribbons by simply adding new ones because my Mom made "button holes" in the back.

Hope you like my new chairs. They were pretty fun to make and we are so happy with the way they turned out.


Sarni said...

Just lovely! And what a great idea to monogram the chairs. I don't think I have ever seen anything like that before.

Peahen Pad said...

Sarni -Mike, Mark, or John? Or a different Sarni completely? Thanks. I'm glad you like the chairs.

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