Not just a chair…

Well, obviously it is just a chair, really, but still.  It’s come a long way from it’s original state:

Via:

I did briefly contemplate making the seat upholstery into a tutorial, but time limitations and laziness got in the way.  Instead, I point you in the direction of the tutorial I followed, which is beautifully clear and well presented.  The only thing I changed was to use drawing pins instead of staples to fix the fabric – they’re prettier and I wasn’t about to buy a staple gun just for this!  The fabric is a Laura Ashley upholstery-weight gingham, acquired from a friend who got a whole stack of stuff in the sale.  It’s lovely :).

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I then put 2 coats of red paint on the edges and bits where I might be sanding the top coat down.  I wanted the ‘distressed’ bits to match the upholstery.  I know, I know.  The paint I used is Craig & Rose Chalky Emulsion, which is available in B&Q (and I assume, other places…).  The red is the shade ‘Red Barn’, and the cream I painted the whole thing is ‘Pale Mortlake Cream’.  If you’re doing something like this, it’s a good idea to at least look at the colour samples in the shop, if not get a tester pot, as it can be a nightmare trying to judge colour on a computer screen.  In fact, for a small project you can often get away with using a tester pot, with good brands like Craig & Rose or Annie Sloan, the tester is a proper little (100ml) pot of paint, not one of those daft tubes-with-a-brush-in-the-lid.  This chair (which, admittedly, doesn’t have a large surface area) took 1 tester pot for 2 coats of the cream.  They’re usually about £2.30, but I got a few on sale for £1 each, yay :).

Over the red, I applied 2 coats of cream, followed by a coat of clear wax (I poshed up and used Annie Sloan, as I hadn’t seen a similar product in the shops, but I’ve since noticed good old B&Q jumping on the bandwagon – they now stock a brand called ‘Rustoleum’, which has a broadly similar range of paints to Annie Sloan, and they do a soft wax as well, so I might give that a go next time and save on postage).

I sanded down the corners after applying the wax – to me this seemed really counter-intuitive, but that’s what the instructions said, and it does actually give a really great texture.  It uses a lot of sandpaper, though – the wax bungs it up really quickly!

Then 1 more coat of wax and you’re done.  No-one was allowed to sit on it until I’d made it a little jacket:

Ha!  You thought I was joking for a minute there…  No, I really am that sad.  Also my children have selective deafness – they can hear the phrase ‘chocolate biscuit’ across a football field, but the phrase ‘PLEASE don’t wipe your hands on your chair/jumper/brother’s hair’, repeated every twenty seconds and gradually rising to the decibel level of an A-bomb, elicits no response whatsoever.

So there we are, one massively over-hyped chair!  However, as I said, it’s not just a chair –  it’s THE chair that allows me to imagine that one day my house might look like this:

rather than this:

Sshh.  A girl can dream, can’t she?

Have a great weekend!

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