Friday, April 5, 2013

Victorian Parlor Chair Makeover

A good friend of mine, who I met at our first assignment and is now at the same base as us for our forth assignment, has gotten me hooked on going to these Saturday night antique auctions. They happen once a month and I can honestly say, I genuinely look forward to auction weekend. Oh, how Saturday nights have changed...

Some might find them boring, but if anything, the people watching and down home cooking is worth the trip. Who can say no to homestyle chicken and rice, crockpot chili or Georgia BBQ? Not to mention grandma's carrot cake.

Sometimes going to these makes me wish I was more educated on antiques. Some of the little trinkets that go for hundreds of dollars leave me scratching my head. What is someone really going to do with that? Lucky for me, a lot of the pieces of furniture I like, others seem to have little interest in. Like this Victorian era parlor chair. Maybe I have bad taste, because I was literally the only one who bid on it.

I brought this chair home for $40. I debated back and forth on whether or not I wanted to reupholster the chair or not. The upholstery was in nearly perfect condition except for some staining due to age. Ultimately, I decided I couldn't trash the original fabric. However, I did paint it.

What you'll need:

  • Chalkpaint OR sample can of paint mixed with 1.5 - 2T unsanded grout (I used a Valspar sample in Notre Dame)

  • Another sample of latex satin paint for fabric (I used Valspar in Lucy Blue)

  • Spray bottle full of water, ready for refills

  • Paint brush and rag to blend into fabric

  • Fabric medium (equal to the amount of paint that you use)

  • 2 packages of white upholstery trim (8-10 yards)

  • Furniture wax

First, I pulled up all the old trim and trashed it—It was gross. Next, I started by painting the wood with the chalkpaint. Looking back, since I decided not to distress the wood, I wish I would have primed it first with a Zinsser product and then painted it. Since the upholstery painting requires a lot of water, in a few places the paint started to come up. It's fixable, just something to think about.

After the paint was dry, I followed Hyphen Interiors tutorial for painting upholstery. I skipped the acrylic layer she suggests and applied a third coat of the latex/fabric medium blend instead. It worked perfectly and covered all the old stains and discolorations in the fabric. I wanted to keep the fabric color as close to the original as possible—just freshen it up a little and create a more uniform color.

I could find any trim that was a close match so after my last coat on the upholstery, I took the remaining latex/fabric medium mixture and diluted it with a little more water. I submerged my white trim in it, squeezed off the excess, and then hung to dry.

When it was dry, I hot glued the trim into place and then finished the wood with some furniture wax. I think she turned out pretty cute! Here is the before and after:

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