I’ve just finished my first adventure into painting with Annie Sloan chalk paint, and I loved it!
Two years ago when we got married, we purchased the biggest table you’ve ever seen off Gumtree for a bargain price and got 7 chairs thrown in for free which was a bit of a win.
Whilst the chairs are surprisingly comfortable, they were a rather old-fashioned dark mahogany colour paired with some random upholstery that was sort of blue, sort of pink, sort of brown. So when Nathan went away for the weekend recently, I decided to take the plunge and give them a bit of a makeover! (Note: I did check with Nathan first to make sure he was okay with it!)
I was given a pot of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White for my birthday (Original seemed a bit too creamy and I wasn’t sure if Paris Grey would come out too dark) and a tin of wax. For the seat pads, I decided to splash out on some fabric from John Lewis, despite a rather unfortunate incident in the shop where another customer shoved me against a metal cabinet (accidentally… I think?!) resulting in me hopping around trying to stop blood gushing on all the lovely fabrics…
So, armed with fabric and paint, it was time to get started. I unscrewed all of the seat pads from the chairs and gave them a quick wipe over with a damp cloth to get rid of any dirt. (If I did it again, I would take more care to remember which seat pad went with which chair… would have saved me quite a bit of time later on!) Each chair then took around 30 minutes to paint, the beauty of chalk paint is that you don’t need to bother with sanding before you paint so I could just paint straight onto the chairs.
Once the chairs were dry, it was time for the waxing. I wasn’t sure whether to do a second coat of paint but in the end decided not to, we decided that we quite liked the slightly distressed/old look, and it will help us to be less precious about the chairs in everyday life because they’re not completely perfect.
The waxing was probably one of the hardest parts, I found it really hard to tell where I had already waxed and if I’d missed any bits. Each chair probably took about 20 minutes to wax, and then a couple of hours to dry enough to buff them. I’m told they will take 4-6 weeks to completely dry out properly so I’m interested to see what they feel like when they’re properly dry, at the moment they still feel slightly tacky when you touch them.
While all this was going on, I reupholstered each of the seat pads with my lovely John Lewis fabric. I was slightly scared to cut into it as it’s the most expensive fabric I’ve ever bought! Because of the way the original fabric was attached to the cushion pads, I decided to just staple the new fabric over the top with my super-duper staple gun. Once the fabric was securely stapled in place, I simply trimmed off the excess around the edges. Doing the seat pads was probably my favourite part of the whole process, although let’s be honest, anything involving a staple gun is automatically going to be fun!
Finally, the chairs were ready to be re-assembled again. (Note: they actually took way longer than the original weekend I’d planned to spend on them, in totally it has probably taken me almost a month of working on them on and off. Apologies to Nathan for not having any chairs to sit on for almost a whole week!) Finding which seat pad went with which chair was quite time consuming as the original screws had just been screwed straight into the wood. It was also quite fiddly holding the seat pad in place while trying to screw the bracket on and it would have been helpful to have had a second pair of hands for this part.
BUT…once the seat pads were all securely screwed in place… TA DA! I’m really pleased that we decided to transform these chairs, they now match the rest of our furniture and decor in the living room so well and the best thing is that they’re now neutral enough that they will go with pretty much anything if we decide to redecorate/move in the future. In total the project cost £65 for 7 chairs which, considering we originally got them for free, isn’t too bad!
P.S. I am now scouring Gumtree for other bargain finds that I can transform with the remainder of my chalk paint! 🙂
Before and after: