The Chair Saga Has Ended


Yes, you read right. It’s over. The chairs are finally done. Woo hoo!

Ugly, overly waxed, not-quite-black, chair.

Before I reveal the finished chairs, let me re-cap a bit. I bought the chairs in August 2011 shortly before we moved from Maryland to our current home in Warrenton, Virginia. I knew I’d be buying a cool new farmhouse-style table and I wanted chairs to go along with it. Of course, I couldn’t afford to pay the $220-$300 per chair price tag. Plus, I’d been wanting a painting project.

It took me almost a year to decide what to do with those chairs. What I thought I wanted to do, anyway.

I wrote about my first big painting failure, pictured at left, in this post back in July.

What a disappointment. I put WAY too much wax on the thing. Oh, and I used the wrong red.

So, I had to strip the wax off of the thing. While I was at it, I used the right red, too. And I added another coat of the Graphite color of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP).

Unfortunately, Graphite is a soft black. The legs on my table are black-black. So to make the Graphite blacker, I applied a coat of Ebony wood stain.

The first red – Emperor’s Silk – was just too bright. I was going for a more-primitive look, which meant using Primer Red.

Then I waxed it with a lighter touch.

I was happy with the result, but not the whole process. It was an awful lot of work making that chair black.

I liked the corrected chair, but hated the amount of work it took to get it that way.

Furniture painting is supposed to be fun. Relatively. Maybe “labor of love” describes it better.

I absolutely dreaded the thought of going through all that hassle on four more chairs!

Then I took my first chalk paint class at The Empty Nest, which I wrote about here.

I really, really loved the Old Ochre (off-white) color I used to transform that table, so I decided to make the dining room chairs the same color. With red accents. The only problem was, my table legs are black. But I knew I could figure something out.

"Before" shot of the chairs.
“Before” shot of the chairs.

Those are some ugly chairs, right? Remember, they only cost $30 each. I had high hopes.

I stripped one of the chairs.
I stripped one of the chairs.

A long while ago, before I knew ASCP does not require stripping, I stripped the seat of that one chair. Now that was REALLY ugly.

Another "before" shot.
Another “before” shot.

It took me a few evenings to get all of the chairs painted. It would have been quicker if I’d painted them in one color. And, let me tell you, those spindles are a huge pain in the ass. Huge.

Janet, the local ASCP master, did warn me. Of course, I’d already owned the chairs for over a year by that point. Anyway…

A "during" shot.
A “during” shot.

Getting the Old Ochre on was relatively painless. Adding the Primer Red to the spindles is what took the most time.

But I did it. And now look…

A completed chair!
A completed chair!

ASCP is the perfect material to use to achieve that distressed effect. It’s the wax that makes the difference. First, you use clear wax to seal the paint and then you apply the dark wax to age it. You can also do some strategic sanding, like I did, in between the wax layers, too.

Like how I solved the problem of the red and white chairs not matching the black table?
Like how I solved the problem of the red and white chairs not matching the black table?

I like it. In fact, I thought it was a pretty clever solution.

Table and chairs.
Table and chairs.

There’s the whole set. Finally.

Once Hubby makes some cosmetic adjustments to that sea-foam green pie safe, I’ll paint it to match the chairs, too.

I may eventually change the wall color, but that’s WAY down at the bottom of my list of priorities.

You have no idea how relieved I am to have that chair project done. I still have one black and red chair, but if we just keep that off in the corner, it’ll be fine just the way it is.

Am I making you want to start painting stuff yet?

8 Replies to “The Chair Saga Has Ended”

  1. Hey Kathy,
    Loved this post and really LOVE your chairs! Your dining set looks beautiful and I am sure you are smiling every time you walk past it. Bet you won’t be painting anything with spindles in the near future ;->

    See you in class!

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  2. Thanks, Janet. You are right on two counts. I do smile every time I walk past the chairs. And no more spindles for me. At least no two tones. I do love my chairs, but it was a lot of work! I am very much looking forward to that class!

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