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Accent Chair Makeover

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Hello! My name is Handan. I can paint! Whoopieeeee!!

That pretty much sums up the way I feel when posting right after one of Greg’s fabulous projects.  Hahahaha 😀 Joking aside, I am indeed dying to show you what I painted this week, because not only is it my first chair makeover, but also, I am so happy that I completed another item in our long living room to-do list. Little-by-little, we are getting there!

Now, before going into the details of this accent chair makeover, let me first show you the before pictures.

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Not bad looking, is it? Ok, maybe it had a disgusting, filthy seat and dozens of dings and scratches that I had to deal with, but for a Put & Take find, this was just brilliant!

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Despite the looks, this chair is made from good hardwood – strong and sturdy and in almost perfect condition. Look at the bottom of that seat – it still had its protective nylon in perfect condition. For $0 cost, it doesn’t get better than that, right?

Being extremely happy with my Put & Take find, I straightaway started working on it. First, I unscrewed the cushion, so it wouldn’t be in my way when I painted the chair’s frame.

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Then, using some wood filler here and there, I filled (and sanded) all the areas that needed repairing.

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After dealing with the cosmetic issues, it was time to decide on the fabric and the paint color. Decisions, decisions…this part is never easy for me. I went through all the fabric that I had on hand. Drop cloth, burlap, french script pattern, multi-color fabric, single-color fabric… nothing I had excited me. Then I remembered the tapestries we bought when we were in India, so I gave those a try.

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Both are charming, aren’t they? That is why it was rather hard to decide. And Greg wasn’t any help there either!

H: Hey babes, which one do you like better?… black…or blue?

G: [not looking up from his video game] Blue.

H: But babes, you need to take a look. I know blue is your favorite color, but look at this black one also. Don’t you think it goes better with the room?

G: [twisting his iPad around as he battles aliens, but still not looking up] Blue.

H: Who wants a martini?

G: [looking up from his game, at last] Hmmm?!

H: Yeah, now which one do you like better? Black or blue?

G: [realizing that no martini has appeared and looking back down at his game] Blue.

I must have changed the seat about 10 times in between the two colors, but I just couldn’t decide: while Greg liked the blue, the black looked better to me. So I decided “not to decide” until I painted the chair. I grabbed my brush and some homemade chalk paint custom color-matched to Old White…

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…and started painting the chair with thin coats. Ok, here’s a hint for painting with chalk paint: with one normal thick coat, chalk paint will cover with no issues. But when you are using chalk paint, the thicker the coat you apply, the more brush marks will show. Some people like that and call it “character.” I call it…never mind… 😀

Anyway…the same thing happens with my homemade chalk paint. One coat would cover this chair with no issues. But I don’t like having brush marks on something I spend my time and energy to paint. This is why I always try to go as thin as I can with each coat of paint.

This was how it looked just before the first coat finished…

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…and this was how it looked after 3 thin coats of paint. Just perfect!

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Now it was time for sanding. I recently bought a roll of ultra flexible sandpaper to try on curvy surfaces. Since the chair was entirely curved surfaces, I wrapped an old sanding sponge with the flexible sandpaper and got on with my sanding. Oh boy…do I love that stuff! If you ever need to sand curvy surfaces by hand, I recommend nothing else but 3M ultra flexible sandpaper. You will love the results you’ll get!

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When I finished sanding, I first vacuum-cleaned the chair (to get rid of the sanding dust), then I waxed it with Annie Sloan clear wax.

Waxing was followed with buffing. As usual I used an electric buffer to bring that subtle shine I like.

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Next, I worked on the upholstery. Using a staple remover, I started removing all the staples from the seat.

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I have to say, this staple remover is such a handy-dandy tool. I knew I would have gone nuts if I were to try doing it with a flathead screwdriver. After removing a bunch of staples (169 to be exact!) in no time and with no fuss, I can easily attest that it’s a useful upholstery tool 😀

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Once the old upholstery was off, I started showcasing both Indian tapestries for us decide: we both liked the black one better with white chair, at least in this room. Greg still loves his blue, but he realized that the colors of the blue tapestry didn’t work in our family room. So using my electric staple gun and 3/8 in lightweight staples, I re-upholstered the seat with the black Indian tapestry.

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As the final step, I placed the seat and screwed it back to its place, and I was done with my accent chair makeover!

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Here is it is! Not too shabby, is it?

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This type of exotic and colorful pattern is not for everyone, but I sure am loving it.

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As usual, some close-up pictures for you to see the painted parts in detail.

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I hope you liked my first-ever chair project! This summer, I will be doing many more for our dining room. But with those, I will be using my paint sprayer, as painting a chair with a brush is not the easiest thing ever. Ok, it is definitely easier than making a turquoise inlay cheese board, but hey… my name is Handan, and I can paint! Hahahaha 😉

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Don’t forget to save this idea to Pinterest or share it on Facebook so you can find it again later!

Handan, xo

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38 Comments

  1. this turned out so very nice i love the print and color on the seat, and just because greg can do awesome things with a piece of wood that most of us won’t ever be able to do, (he has to show off on occasion so we don’t all think he just lays around eating bon bons and playing video games lol) your chair make over is something i could even do and i bet it looks great in the living room xx

    1. Hahahaha 😀 Chris, do you remember when his jaw dropped with my repurposed Christmas tree? Well this one was his payback to me, as this time I really had hard time picking my jaw from the floor…lololol.
      And yes you are so right, because that is exactly what I happen to think from time to time: him sitting on the sofa all day long and eating bon bons while playing video games, lololol. You see…when you have a real craftsman within your reach, you don’t tend to realize their work until they surprise you with something like this. Same thing with his cooking. I only realize that I have a wonderful personal chef only when we eat at a restaurant. Then I remember why I stopped wanting to eat out. lol.

  2. And a fine job indeed! This project was truly a success! I have been doing furniture painting for some time now. I want to tell you that I learned few new things today. I am hitting myself in the head for not thinking of them on my own (I refuse to tell you exactly what! Head hanging in furniture painting shame!). I am so glad I found your site. I have been following for some time now and though it does not pertain the post subject, I want you tell you just how much I enjoy both you and Greg. Truly. I have grown fond of both of you through your site and I think you should share good feelings with people. You’re doing a great job!

  3. What a beautiful little chair. I love those embroidered Indian fabrics, so colourful.You have done it again Handan , fantastic job well done!

  4. Handan, you rocked the chair! I adore the tapestry fabric you used. Definitely a winner winner chicken dinner. lol You CAN paint! :

  5. Don’t sell yourself short, you can do more than paint. 🙂 Your brain is able to see a pile of ‘junk’ and see the possibilities. Plus, all the ‘knockoff’ posts, I think those are some of my favorite.

  6. That looks amazing Handan, I love the fabric you used. Doesn’t India just have the most beautifully rich textured fabrics? I also bought a whole bunch back and most of them are hanging on our walls but I’m loving your idea.

  7. `What a great post! I really like that you included so many photos & went into great detail. The tapestry just makes it part of your own unique story.

    I came to visit from the Sweet inspirations blogparty today; I hope one day you’ll find time to stop by the 4Shoes & let me know you’ve been. 🙂

  8. Love your chair makeover. Thanks for sharing at Over The Moon Party. Hope you come back next week so I can stop by again. I hope you will also share at Thursday Favorite Things this week.
    Hugs,
    Bev

  9. Love your choice of fabric Handan – the chair looks beautiful! And by watching your tutorial I realize I’m a lazy-arse hack because I never take the old fabric off – I just staple a new layer over the manky old fabric ? xx

    1. Thank you so much, Kate! As this was a dump find I had to get rid of the previous fabric to check and make sure there were no bugs (specially bed bugs) living in the crannies of the chair. 😉 That is something I always watch out for when we buy second hand things or find things at dump. Better to be safe than sorry 😉

  10. Oh how I wish we had a Put & Take, I’d be there every weekend! You certainly make the best of yours! Love your chair transformation, thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home