Remember the cane back chairs I picked up a while back?

chair before

Well, they are promised to one of my favorite customers, Nikkii.  We once added up all of the pieces she has purchased from me, and it was in the double digits.

I think the very first piece she purchased from me was this bed, back in my pre-blog days.

French bed

 She also has the Duncan Phyfe sideboard …

french linen sideboard

and this sweet white dresser …

le petit gateau

Not to mention the footboard chalkboard.

foot board turned chalkboard

Plus a bunch more!

So I am happy to be working on these chairs for her.  I know they will be right at home along with the other pieces she has!

However, they are turning into one of those projects.  The ones where you just keep running into snag after snag.  And they still aren’t done, but I thought I would give you an update (mainly because I don’t have anything else to share today!).

My original plan was to start with removing those arm rest patches so that I could just paint the arms.

chair arm covers

Easier said than done.  The Velcro slipcover thingie came right off, but the upholstered arm cover had about 400 million staples holding it in place.  I spent over an hour on the first one, and still had about 20 firmly embedded staples left in the arm that I simply could not get out.  It was time to consider a plan B.  I am going to attempt to re-upholster them.  Miss Mustard makes it look so easy, I hope it is.

Once I made this decision, I decided to go ahead with the painting.  I painted one coat of chalk paint on the first chair, and quickly realized that it was going to be a challenge to cover all of that cane with a brush.  Time for another plan B.

spray paint

I decided to spray paint the cane first, then cover it with a final coat of chalk paint.  I generally avoid spray painting indoors though, so I had to wait until the weather cooperated so I could haul them outside for this step.  I am not a big fan of spray painted furniture, but when it comes to both cane and wicker, it can often be the best option.

While manhandling the chairs for spray painting, I realized that one of the arms was really wobbly.  I thought I could shore it up by just tightening the screw that holds it in place.  No dice.  I called my handy man/neighbor/furniture miracle worker, Ken, for a consultation.  He decided he could work some magic with glue and by adding an additional screw where the arm meets the chair back.  Since I’m going to paint these, he knew I could patch and paint over the screw head.  Thank goodness for Ken, but of course this was another delay in getting the chairs painted.

Meanwhile, I was working out a plan for the cushions.  Luckily my friend and Carriage House Sale partner, Sue, is a fabulous seamstress who doesn’t mind tackling the occasional sewing job for me.  I sent the cushions home with her along with some drop cloth fabric.  She whipped up some slip-covers for me in no time!

chair cushions

She made them with an unstructured pillow sham-like design, so they could be slipped off and washed.  Since Nikkii has some little ones at home, I know she will appreciate this feature.  Here is the underside, with two ends that overlap so the cushion can be slipped out.

chair cushion slipcover

And here is how one looks on a partially finished chair.

chair with cushion

Nice, right?

So … progress is being made … but I’m not quite done.

chair progress

I still need to add another coat of white, distress and wax, then re-cover the arm patches.  I’m hoping to get all of that done this coming weekend.  Wish me luck!

On a related note, for you Fixer Upper fans, remember when I first posted about these chairs and I mentioned that Joanna had used similar chairs in one of her fixer uppers?  Well, she did it again.  In the most recent episode, Asian Ranch, she used them again …

fixer upper chairs

Does she re-use furniture for staging the homes for the show, and then take them back and use them again?

Or does she have a supplier of these chairs that she just goes back to for more?

Does anyone else wonder about this?

And while we’re on the subject of Fixer Upper, did anyone else notice the piano in the Asian Ranch episode?  It came with the house and looked like this …

fixer upper piano before

And they kept it in the house …

fixer upper piano

See it tucked away back there behind the table?  It’s a little difficult to see in this photo, you can see it a little bit better in the episode, but I think they painted it black.

And I love it.

So now I’m tempted …

piano room

What do you think?  Black piano?  I could use MMS Typewriter milk paint.  Do I dare?

14 thoughts on “progress.

  1. first of all, the chair is beautiful and the pair is going to be beautiful together. My mom used to have a similar chair covered in gold crushed velvet in her bedroom, oh, how I wish I had that chair now! Second, yes, I do wonder if all the things Joanna uses in her homes are hers or if the homeowner keeps everything. I sure would want to if it were me. And lastly, I think Breida from Breida with a B did a post about painting a piano. You might want to check that out to help with your decision. Typewriter is a beautiful color though. Looking forward to seeing the chairs completed.


  2. My understanding is that the clients on Fixer Upper have the option of purchasing the items she uses in the staging of there homes for the “big reveal”. If it isn’t purchsed I think it goes back to her store front Magnolia. I just love that show. I can watch them over and over. I love your wicker chairs. Can’t wait to see the finished look


  3. I really love your chair. They are difficult to paint though. I have only painted one dining room chair.
    I saw on an episode of Fixer Upper that Joanna has storage lockers. I spotted her stash of olive baskets right away. Wouldn’t surprise me that she has items to stage. Most people would have their own furniture and nicknaks. So I doubt they purchase much…she also uses the word stage.
    Well she’s a talented woman and most likely has furniture to stage.


  4. Don’t think of it as a piano, as that was its previous incarnation. Currently it is Laundry folding-party nosh-gaming-utility surface. These can be found with a variety of surface treatments. Typewriter has the added feature of hearkening back to its origins, as black is a formal piano color.


  5. I can’t wait to hear how your upholstery project goes, and to see your finished chairs. I’m working on a pair right now. My hand was raw and a few blisters after pulling staples out of just one of them. Do you have the pneumatic stapler that MMS recommends? I’m going to try it with my electric stapler. Can’t wait to see yours soon! Good luck! BTW…. I know a lady here in central MN that painted a piano. I haven’t seen it but I’m sure it’s beautiful!


    1. I don’t have a pneumatic stapler, so I just used my regular cordless power stapler. It worked fairly well for my two chairs, but I can see why one would want a more powerful stapler if they were going to do a lot of upholstery work. I’ll post something soon showing the finished chairs, so stay tuned.


      1. Regarding your comment on painting the baby grand piano, I would use the Fusion paint in their color of black. That paint, after curing for 12 hours, does not require waxing but the longer it cures, the harder it gets forming a very hard finish. That would be my pick. Plus, it has such a nice finish which would be great for the piano.


      2. All true. But I already have a full can of Cece Caldwell chalk paint in Beckley Coal, plus I have two bags of Miss Mustard Seed’s Typewriter. I hate to buy more black when I already have all of this to use up!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.