This little reproduction French chair is one piece I refinished recently to move into the shop.
As you can see, it really wasn't in bad shape, it just needed a little dose of fun. I started out by painting it with homemade chalk paint. I told you I'd share the mixture this post, and so I will break in the before and after to tell you about it. It's nothing new, but it's not widely spread around blog land as an option yet, so I hope it's new to you!
Let me start out by saying that I love Annie Sloan chalk paint, but don't love the prices and that you basically need a full supply of stock to be able to mix and achieve the color you're looking for. Anyhow, late one night I was searching blogland, and came across Villabarnes blog. She had some beautiful furniture redos, and as I read in them, I learned about her DIY chalk paint. She uses a 50/50 mixture of gesso primer to latex paint, and then add a little water to make it the consistency of paint (gesso is thick!).
That's it. Big secret, eh? I was a bit skeptical and did more research at first. I entered "gesso chalk paint" in google to see if anyone else had discovered this revelation, and the first site that popped up was this: http://www.earthpigments.com/finishes/gesso-chalk-paint-for-furniture.cfm
Yes. A site that spells out using gesso chalk paint for furniture! It also has a recipe to make your own gesso if you want to buy all the supplies to do it yourself. Personally, I just purchased my gesso primer in the artists paint section at Hobby Lobby. With a 40% off coupon, I came away with 84 1/2 ounces of primer for $9...pre-made.
But just what is gesso? Well, it's an artist primer sometimes used to prime canvases. It prevents paint from soaking into the piece, and gives the surface a little more texture so the paint sticks better. Originally it was made with calcium (like chalk) and animal glue, but nowadays it's a mixture of calcium carbonate, a pigment, and an acrylic polymer medium. You can buy it in black, grey, and white to better match to the color you're trying to achieve.
I've been really happy with this mixture, and have found a few others out there in blog land who use it with great results too like Liz from The Midwest Cottage (she might actually make her own gesso?) who has some BEAUTIFUL pieces under her belt using this type of paint, as well as a variety of others.
Unlike the unsanded grout/latex paint combo, this mixes and goes on smoothly since the gesso is already a creamy, paint like mixture. It also stores perfectly well if you mix up more than you need at one time, unlike unsanded grout, which will harden or stink like crazy if you try to store it pre-mixed. It dries just as quickly as ASCP, and distresses just as well in a fine, chalky powder. You still need to seal it with a wax (I use Fiddes and Sons), just like ASCP.
So that's it! I hope you all try it, and please come back to let me know how you liked it!
Okay- onto the after. I tightened the frame, replaces some screws, and painted it with my gesso chalk paint mixture with a gallon of oops paint I bought from Lowes that mimics ASCP Old White or Creamy from Sherwin Williams in color. I distressed it with a sanding sponge, and sealed it with clear wax.
I reupholstered the chair in Dwell Studio's New Peony Canary (indoor/outdoor fabric).
That's it! I also added some padding and upholstered the little armrests that were all wood before, and finished the piece with piping/double welt. The end result is much more bright, fun, and modern.
She's now for sale at Flea Market to Fabulous in the yellow/gray corner, and looks cute as could be!
Hope you enjoyed!
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