Vintage Chair Makeover (+ how to make homemade chalk paint)
It's a beautiful warm Saturday morning...and I'm sick. Granted, I've been sick all week, but today, it is particularly annoying. I went through the motions all week. Worked at the office as much as necessary and finished what I could at home in a vain attempt to get better, but I've been here before. I get bronchitis every year like clockwork. It's not usually this early in the year, but it always comes and it always knocks me on my butt for a good two weeks. So when I felt the first few uncomfortable sharp intakes of breath last weekend, I did everything I could to just ignore it... but here I am. A week later with a hacking cough, a fever, and smelling to high heaven of Vicks Vaporub (which seems to be the only thing that gives me some relief). I'm bummed because there was a vintage craft faire I was excited about checking out this morning and a wedding for two of our friends to attend tonight. But, our kiddo flies into town tomorrow morning, and this will be my one day of rest before the craziness of moving and closing on our new house starts next week! ahhhh! So here I am. On the couch armed with Vicks, coffee, and a new project to tell you about that I finished a few weeks ago.
You may remember from my Chalk Paint Farmhouse Table Makeover Post that my coworker, Desiree, gifted me with a gorgeous table and set of 4 chairs when we first moved into this house last fall. I hadn't intended to use the chairs around the table, because I've been lusting over these tufted upholstered ones I saw in a magazine (patience, grasshopper). But the chairs had beautiful bones and I knew I had to give them some new life. So, after sitting in my garage for the better part of 6 months, I pulled them out one rainy afternoon and decided TODAY WAS THE DAY. ...of course that day occurred when I was very low on craft supplies. So I ran to Michael's and bought a yard of fabric (they sell them in little bundles of 1 yard for like $5!) and headed home, assuming I had plenty of chalk paint left over from the table's makeover.
I HELLA DIDN'T!
But, I did have a can of glossy white paint that I had bought with the intention of re-painting all the baseboards (lol... I'm so funny sometimes). So, I headed to the interwebs to see if there was a way to mix some potions together to produce your own chalk paint and guess what...THERE IS.
- 1/2 cup of latex paint
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
Mix together. Add a tiny bit of water if it needs thinning. No, really...that's it.
I really can't even tell you how excited I get when an off-the-wall idea ends up working out. I feel like a mad scientist and in the crafting world, that's definitely a good thing.
I started by taking the seat off. This is super easy to do, but took me forever to figure out. When you flip chairs like this over, you'll see 4 wooden bars kitty-cornered with screws in the middle. Unscrew those screws and the seat lifts right off for easy re-upholstery. I then gave the chair a good cleanin', because, like I said, it had spent some time in my garage and in Desiree's garage before that. I gave it two good coats of paint and then left it to dry and moved on to the cushion.
I decided not to remove the green leather, because...well, you know... work smarter not harder, and it didn't show through the fabric. I cut the yard of fabric in half and it was the perfect amount to cover the seat. I laid it out and, because I could hear my mom's voice in my head telling me how hard it would be to work with a fabric with lines, I double, triple, and quadrupled checked to make sure it was straight before I began stapling. Working with a staple gun is fun, but it definitely proved that I have, like, zero muscle strength in my wrists. Oh well.
I pulled and tugged at the fabric every time I went to place a new staple. This is important because people are going to be putting all their weight on it, and if the fabric is too loose, it will start to sag. Plus, it looks sloppy.
By the time the seat was covered, the paint was dry, so I re-screwed it onto the base and voila!
I think they are so cute and fresh and slightly trendy. I only did two of them like this and I plan to use them to create a little sitting area in our new master bedroom. Here's a little peak of them side by side so you can check out a little "before and after" action.
I can't wait to show you what the fate of the other set is. They are currently sitting in my garage half done and will probably need to wait a few weeks to be completed, because of the move. Oh! and my mom brought me ANOTHER old vintage chair that was a garage sale find and asked me to re-do it for her sewing table. Stay tuned because I am apparently now a crazy chair lady.