a squarely modern chair.

squarely mod chair title

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.

squarely mod before

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.

stool 1

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!

squarely mod chair back

Next I painted the legs in Fusion’s Copper (from the Studio Mettallics line).

squarely mod chairOnce 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.

squarely mod chair 2

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.

squarely mod bottom

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.

squarely mod chair upholstery

I just cut out around the legs and folded the excess fabric under.

squarely mod upholster around leg

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.

squarely mod glass

So, there you have it.  A little trash to treasure revamp using mainly paint and a bit of fabric.

squarely modern chair collage

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.

kathys plant stand

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!

lincoln bobblehead

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 qisforquandie@gmail.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.

22 thoughts on “a squarely modern chair.

  1. Hello ! I must admit that i doubt of the “durability” of a chair, a stool painted with ASCP. It is a piece of furniture that due to his natural purpose will be very used.
    And the paint doenst peel off, get too worn very fast ???


    1. I am right there with you Vera! Especially paint on vinyl, right? As I was painting this chair even Mr. Q said “do you really think that’s going to stick?” and then I showed him the doctor’s stool. I painted that 5 months ago and it still looks great. No peeling, no cracking, little to no wear so far. I’m going to keep using the stool and report back periodically on how well it holds up, but so far, so good. Also, one last thought, I suspect that a re-application of wax every 6 – 12 months will help keep the stool (and this chair) looking its best.


  2. Wow, I have to say I am truly flabbergasted! Paint on vinyl, who knew?! Except Quandie, of course! I have a 1950’s table of my parents that Brian is going to fix up after he retires (2 years!). & I found 4 chairs that are the same style for the table except the color of the vinyl! We were going to take off the original vinyl & try to find some other color & reapply. Now I’m thinking we could paint the vinyl with a solid color that matches the printed tabletop!

    Your chair is my fav piece of the winter!!!!!!


  3. Finally got to sit down and read your post on the chair. As always you did great. Love the new look you gave the chair. Great idea on the two tone back.


  4. Your chair looks awesome! I always wondered about painting vinyl … I am curious to see if it holds up a great as the stool! I hope so because it turned out looking lovely!
    Have a great weekend!


    1. I have really been surprised so far at how well the chalk paint has adhered to the vinyl stool. I can’t imagine that it will look good indefinitely, but then what does? I’m planning to post an update about my stool in another six months or so, so we’ll see how it continues to hold up. You have a great weekend too Terry!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a HUGE vinyl ugly chipping recliner…wondering if the paint would stick due to the puffiness and creases from being more like cushions than vinyl that is pulled tight?


  6. I’m wondering why you used fusions bees wax rather than Annie Sloan clear wax? How many coats of paint did you use, just one?
    Thanks for sharing. Great job and I LOVE the colors!


  7. I have a wheeled chair with ugly gold faded vinyl that I wanted to paint with chalk paint. I looked up the subject on hometalk.co and found your blog. So happy I did. The chair and stool are beautiful! Thank you.


  8. Since this blog post was in 2016…I’m wondering if your vinyl chair and stool you painted actually held up. I’m wanting to paint some vinyl chairs in an office waiting area.. they would get daily use. Any advice would be appreciated.
    March 4, 2021


    1. I’m afraid I can’t really answer that question because I sold the chair shortly after I painted it. I must say that chairs in an office waiting area that get a lot of daily use probably wouldn’t hold up forever, but then what material does hold up forever?


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