I’m beginning to think that Mr. Q has a soft spot when it comes to orphaned furniture. People offer him something and he just can’t refuse.
Last summer he picked up some furniture for me at a garage sale. While there, he was offered this chair for free and so it came home with him.
Ugh! Is this thing ugly or what? Just to be clear, this is vinyl you are looking at, not leather. And that stuff hanging down underneath, I don’t even want to think about how many years of dust mites were accumulating under there. It was so gross! At first I thought I’d have to put this one at the curb with a free sign on it, but then I decided maybe it could be salvaged after all.
You may remember that last fall I did a little experiment with painting vinyl. I painted the vinyl seat on a wheeled doctor’s stool.
It has held up remarkably well. I sit on this stool to paint furniture, so it gets a fair amount of rough wear and so far it still looks just as good as day one. So last weekend I decided to paint this freebie chair as well.
I cleaned it up really well using TSP substitute first and then I painted the vinyl with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in Provence. I taped off the square pattern in the center of the back and added some of Annie Sloan’s Old White. By the way, I am totally aware that those are not technically ‘squares’ but rather rectangles, but “rectangularly modern” didn’t make nearly as catchy of a blog post title!
Next I painted the legs in Fusion’s Copper (from the Studio Mettallics line).
Once all of the paint was dry, I sanded the chalk painted vinyl with a fine (320 grade) sand paper allowing the edges to get lightly distressed. Then I finished with a top coat of Fusion’s bees wax.
I also knew I needed to clean up the underside of this chair. I pulled off the really disgustingly ratty previous fabric that lined the underneath of the chair. It was hanging half off anyway, so removing it was pretty easy. Then I dug through my fabric stash and found some remnants of the perfect vintage barkcloth to use on this chair.
Could those colors be any more perfect? I kind of feel a little bit sad that this fabric is hidden away underneath the chair now.
But since the bottom of the chair kind of bulges out a bit I knew that just a hint of the fabric would show, so I wanted it to be pretty.
I totally faked it with this upholstery job using a staple gun and without any sewing. The remnant I used had one pre-existing hemmed edge. I started by placing that edge at the front of the chair and stapling it in place.
I just cut out around the legs and folded the excess fabric under.
By the way, the above photo shows what gives barkcloth it’s name, there is a sort of nubby, tree bark-like texture to the fabric.
The piece of fabric I had wasn’t quite large enough to do the whole chair, so I totally rigged up a fix by adding a different piece to the back of the chair and tucking it under. I just left the raw edge as is, but I may still add a little bit of stick-on velcro there to make sure it doesn’t get saggy. For the raw edges at the sides of the chair, I just rolled the fabric under as I stapled creating an edge that won’t fray. So yeah, like I said, I totally faked it!
I staged the chair with some mid-century modern glassware that I snagged at the thrift store a while back. I loved the copper metallic on gray geometric design on these glasses. I wonder if these were originally black and faded to gray, or if they started out gray? Either way, I love the gray now.
So, there you have it. A little trash to treasure revamp using mainly paint and a bit of fabric.
On another note, I fell asleep long before midnight last night so haven’t had a chance to draw names for the hat box kits yet (check back on Wednesday for that). However, there were six who wanted to join in the party so my plan is to just squeeze everyone in. The more the merrier I hope. I’ll just bring in an extra table and we’ll all get friendly. If you left a comment indicating that you’d like to join, I’ll be sending out an email with the particulars! So stay tuned.
Here is another bit of a sidebar for you as well. My friend Kathy (this would be the same Kathy that came over to paint toolboxes) has now been bitten by the painting bug. Recently she painted a wooden plant stand and she had to share it with me. She was channeling her inner-Quandie, so she sent me ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics.
Kathy is a bit of a crack up though. She wanted to stage her ‘after’ photo like I would, hence the vintage books, but she added a little bit of her own personality too. She added Mr. Lincoln in honor of President’s Day, so I’m sharing him with you too. Enjoy!
One last bit of housekeeping news. You may have noticed that I added a new page to my blog called “available for local sale.” I thought it would be easier to have one place to send people to if they are looking for a piece of furniture to purchase. I will keep that page updated (at least I’ll try my best) and it will list any pieces that are currently available as well as their price (including today’s squarely modern chair). However, please always feel free to email me at email@example.com if you are interested in purchasing any pieces you see on my blog. I don’t ship, but if you are a local buyer I’d love to hear from you. I will continue to maintain my ‘fab furniture’ page just as a spot to track all of the pieces I’ve done over time.
OK, that’s all the news for today. Let me know what you think of the squarely modern chair, and those of you in the U.S., Happy President’s Day!
Sharing at the Making Broken Beautiful party at the Curator’s Collection.