French-Shabby Chair Makeover

            The kids are back in school after a very fun-filled Spring Break, and I’m back to working on my craft room makeover.  As I’ve mentioned before, progress is slow, as I’m trying to complete this project with very little money out of pocket.  I’m mainly re-purposing things I already have, sewing whatever I can using the most inexpensive materials I can find, and scouring thrift stores for the items I still need.  One such item included a new (to me) chair to use at the sewing table.  I was really hoping to find something with a bit of French flair, and boy did I luck out! 
I first
 I first   I found these beauties on a Monday morning at the thrift store near my house, and believe it or not, there were eight of them; four arm chairs and six side chairs.  The price was a bit steep for me, considering I would be purchasing paint and fabric to make them pretty.  I asked the kind ladies that work there if any sales were coming up, and they informed me that Thursday would be half-off furniture day.  Yay!  I left the store praying that at least one would be left when I returned later in the week.  My gamble paid off; six chairs remained, including three arm chairs!  I snatched up the two arm chairs in the best condition, paying just $30 dollars for both, and loaded those babies into my car.  Now came the fun part, figuring out my paint technique.  I knew that I wanted to paint them white, but what shade?  To distress or not to distress?  What about glazing?  I set to work doing my research.  I knew that priming would be necessary to keep the dark stain from bleeding through my final coat as well as to give the paint something to grab onto.  I started with one coat of Kilz oil based primer, in the spray can. 


            Next, I picked my paint color; Krylon’s Dover White also in the spray can.  I hate waiting for paint to dry and this stuff dries fast, plus the color was just the shade of warm, creamy white that I wanted. 
It onlt   It only took one coat to get the coverage I needed, approximately one and a half cans of paint.  Once dry, I decided that I would do a bit of distressing, then apply a light glaze to get the “perfectly shabby” look I was going for.  I set to work with old fashioned sanding block, loaded with 100 grit sandpaper.  I sanded the edges of my chair until I got the distressed look I wanted, then sanded the entire chair with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it all out before applying my glaze. 
            Next, I wiped the chair down with a damp cloth (you could also use a tack cloth if you want to be really thorough) to remove all of the dust.  In an attempt to keep my costs low on this project, I decided to mix up my own glaze using acrylic craft paints that I had on hand.  Now, I know that this is a bit unconventional, but I have used this method on smaller projects and they turned out just fine, so why not try it on a larger piece of furniture?
            I mixed my glaze using PLAID acrylic craft paint in Territorial Beige, a couple of drops of Brown Oxide, and some water.  I stirred until the mixture a resembled a cafe latte.  Yummy.  But please don’t drink it. 
I foun   I found it easier to apply the mixture to the chair using an old rag; dipping it into the glaze, rubbing it onto the chair and then wiping off the excess until I had the look I wanted.
            Once the glaze dried, I was ready for the top coat.  To avoid messy cleanup, or yellowing over time, I decided to use Minwax water based polycrylic in a clear satin finish. 
            Two coats with sanding and wiping in between, and I’m finished with chair #1!  Well, almost.  I still have to find the fabric for the seat and re-cover it, (the fabric in the pictures is just wrapped around the seat for these pictures) but that will have to wait until the weekend….

So, one more time, the before:

And the after:

There you have it, a French-Shabby chair makeover, on a budget!

            Until Next Time,

30 Responses to “French-Shabby Chair Makeover”
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