Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Well hello there! It's been a long while.  Recently I have been bitten by the furniture refinishing bug! Want to see some of my creations?

First let's talk about my dining room situation.  In my current home my formal dining room has been repurposed as a game room for the last year, since my fiance moved in.  We moved his arcade games (read: big, ugly, fun, monstrosities) into the dining room and my dining room furniture to my garage. Well, we have a contract on a new home that we should be closing on soon! And guess what?? It has both a formal dining room and a Game Room! Whoop!

So with my new dining room, I'll be able to put my dining set to use again.  There was just one problem, the chairs were in rough shape.  My fiance suggested trashing them and buying new ones, and we almost did just that.  I decided, however, to attempt to refinish one of them and see how it turned out.  I started with researching the look, feel and finish I wanted and tutorials on how to achieve the look.  I decided I wanted a white distressed finish, with fun printed seat cushions.  I purchased the following supplies:

1 qt Amy Howard Chalk Paint
Natural bristle paint brushes
Sand paper and blocks in various grits
1 can Amy Howard clear finishing wax
2 yards upholstery fabric

I purchased everything but the fabric at my local Ace Hardware.  The fabric is from Hobby Lobby.

I also used the following supplies that I already had:

Staple Gun

Now that my supplies were collected I began the work.  I started by removing the chair cushion.  This part is easy, flip over your chair and look for four screws that are going into the seat cushion.  Don't mistake the screws holding the chair frame together for the pad screws!  Put the pad to the side after removing it and wipe your chair down with a damp cloth, no other prep is needed for the Chalk Paint.  After shaking and stirring your paint, cover the chair with a thin coat of chalk paint. I use short quick brush strokes on the first coat. Chalk Paint dries very quickly, so in no time you'll be ready to apply your second coat.  This coat will likely be your last so be more careful on this one using longer strokes.  Allow your second coat to dry completely.

After my second coat is applied and drying, I start on the chair pad.  I don't remove the existing the fabric but some tutorials will tell you too.  I'm a busy working mom, so I choose to do things the most efficiently without sacrificing too much on quality and effectiveness.  I cut a square larger than my cushion and laid the fabric face down on the floor.  I then placed the pad on top and began by stapling two parallel sides together, carefully pulling both sides tight.  I don't worry about how many staples and how spaced they are, as long as the fabric is attached, wrinkle free and tight.  After getting those sides attached I start on corners by folding in the fabric and stapling, careful to smooth out any wrinkles.  The staple gun is your friend!!  I finish with the existing sides and set the pad aside.

By this point, your chair should be dry and ready for waxing/sanding.  The following sequence of steps will allow you to complete your project with as little sanding dust as possible (and there will be dust!).  Start by using a piece of cheesecloth in the wax, and buffing the wax into the entire piece.  After that first coat of wax, use sandpaper to smooth any painting imperfections such as drips or brush marks.  Then sand at edges and various other places to reveal the surface underneath the paint in order to distress it.  After sanding and cleaning the dust from the piece, buff in more wax with your cheesecloth.


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