A New Life for an Old Chair… With Paint of Course!

After working on some fabric painting in the past few weeks and really liking the outcomes (you can see the post here) I kicked it up a notch.  This old chair (not mine), which was a very corally pink colour needed a new life.  It matched nothing but was still in good condition and since reupholstering it would have been very costly, I decided to paint it.  What else would I do?!


My original intent for the chair was to paint the fabric a beige colour using Annie Sloan’s Cocoa Chalk Paint and the wood Pure White. Well, like I’ve said before, sometimes you just need to go with the flow and make adjustments as needed, and, this was one of those times…  When I put the Cocoa on top of the coral colour it turned into a puky fleshy colour that looked, frankly, horrible.  (Luckily I used the pieces of extra arm fabric to test out the colours first!)
After seeing the pukiness of the flesh colour, I knew that the colour needed to be closer to the same family of colours as the current fabric or a lot darker in order to hide the pink. I had some Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk and it was the perfect colour to cover and hide the pink.
You can see the two colours above; the coral with the Cocoa (after multiple coats) and the coral with the Emperor’s Silk (after one coat).
As far as the process went for this chair, it took a bit of playing with, but again, I was so glad to have the two pieces of fabric to play and test on first.   When painting fabric, you need to water down the paint quite a bit in order for the paint to act as a dye more than a paint.  In the end, I ended up using the Cocoa “water” that I had created to water down the Emperor’s Silk instead of straight water.  This actually worked to my advantage because it took the edge off of the red colour and toned it down as well as watered it down.
Once I had a mixture I liked, I brushed it all over the fabric (moving the brush in all directions to make sure the fibres were all dyed) and then let it soak in and dry.  You have to be careful before you let it dry to go over the fabric one last time with strokes that go all in the same direction so that the pile of the fabric dries in the right manner.
Because the new colour was in the same family as the old, I needed only one coat on most of the chair.  I touched up a few areas once it was dry but nothing major.  Once the fabric was done, I used a latex paint (paint and primer mixed) in a beautiful grey colour to paint the wood.
I finished the whole chair off with a light sanding (helped to get rid of any crunchiness in the fabric and loosen the fibres up) and then a coat of Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax.  I waxed both the fabric and wood.  On the fabric the wax acts as a stain guard and softened it up and on the wood it acted as a barrier before I put on the dark wax.  I finished the wood off then with a small amount of Dark Wax to simply give the grey some depth.
I love the end results of the colour combination, even though it wasn’t my original intent.  I also love the fact that I was able to give this chair a brand new look with just some time, good old elbow grease  and some paint that I already had.
What have you been able to recreate with only the things you have already?

I would love to see some pics or hear your stories!

Linked to:

2 Comments on " A New Life for an Old Chair… With Paint of Course! "

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Diana!

Leave a Comment...