the chair with a heart.

Last week was a rough one for me.  I won’t go into the details, but I was camped out on the sofa for nearly 5 days.  I had time to watch the entire Outlander series from the beginning through the current episode, and that is no small feat.  Luckily I had finished today’s project prior to getting ill so I had something to share with you guys today.  I’m still working on regaining my strength though, so I can’t promise I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule just yet but I’m sure you guys will cut me some slack.

I picked up this chair at a garage sale last summer … well, really last spring, as evidenced by the tulips blooming in the background of my ‘before’ photo.

It was in decent shape, just terribly outdated.  I apologize to grandmothers everywhere, but there isn’t much of a market for these needlepoint seats anymore.  But this chair had some lovely lines to it, and a rather unique look to the back, so I snatched it up.

I knew I could give it an entirely new look with some chippy milk paint.

Now I have a small confession to make.  I actually painted this chair last summer.  And then somehow it got shoved to the back of the workshop and I forgot about it, so I’m a little spotty on the details regarding exactly which products I used.

I know I painted it with a layer of blue paint first but I can’t remember for sure which blue, I think it was Miss Mustard Seed’s French Enamel.  Then I added Miss Mustard Seed’s Ironstone over that.  You can just see the blue peeking through in a few spots where I’ve distressed the carving at the top of the chair.

And as you can see, I got some great chipping!

I pulled this chair out of the workshop at least a month ago or so thinking that all it needed to finish it up was some new fabric for the seat.  My vision for this piece was to use a fabulous vintage European grain sack for that.  But I didn’t actually have one.  I shopped around a bit for one, but those things are not cheap.

Finally I realized I was being foolish.  I know how to create something nearly as fabulous at a fraction of the price.  Duh!

Just stencil some drop cloth material and ta da!

The stencil is from Maison de Stencils.  If you are looking for European grain sack style stencils, they have a fantastic selection.

And just like that, the chair was finished.

I don’t know what took me so long to finish it off!

38 thoughts on “the chair with a heart.

  1. Hope you are back to your own self soon. l was stuck in my livingroom with the dogs while I had workman in last year….so I binge watched Outlander. I’m loving season 4 this year. And everyone should have a Jamie in their lives.


  2. First, let me say I was worried about you. You don’t miss posting without a good reason. I am so glad you are better, but so sorry you got sick. I did a couple of days of deep couch sitting with a cold last week so I have great empathy for you. Do you subscribe to HBO for Outlander or is there a behind the scenes way to stream it? I’m a novice with devices but I have Prime and Netflix and Kodi so I am sure there’s some way to get to see it without subscribing… Now for the chair! It’s absolutely charming. I love the detail on the back and the drop cloth stenciling is perfect. You did a great job upholstering the seat, it’s difficult to get those curves pulled tight and free of ripples but you did a fabulous job! Thanks for letting us know that you are back among the living. Feel better soon, you were very much missed.


    1. Thanks so much Laura! I’m on the road to recovery, but still not 100%. As for Outlander, we subscribed to Starz through our Prime membership specifically just so that I could watch it! I don’t know that there is another way to watch it … current episodes anyway. I believe it was rather inexpensive, I want to say something like $9.95 per month, but I can’t swear to that.


  3. Very pretty! I am on my second round of stomach flu since the day after Christmas! I had to miss work today and probably tomorrow as well! The vomiting is so forceful and evil. So many people have it! I hope you recover soon!


    1. Ugh! My heart goes out to you Shelly. Yes, it seems like a lot of people have it, and it’s not short lived. I recommend Outlander to take your mind off your stomach 😉


  4. Love the chair. I’ve done several chairs with faux grain sacks myself. Madison de Stencils does have a great selection. Hope you’re feeling back to yourself soon.


  5. I was wondering where you were! I’m glad you took time off to pamper and cosset yourself and will get back into the game at your own pace. I follow several painted furniture groups, who frequently post photos of over-the-top painted pieces, but I always feel most comfortable with simple designs like this chair. I could live with this piece for a long time. Hope you are feeling better soon!


  6. Get well soon! It’s no fun to be sick especially for those of us who aren’t used to sitting still for long periods of time. But the chair is a beaut! So many uses for it. And I must admit seeing the tulips was a breath of fresh air for those of us digging out from the weekend. Feel better soon ☺️


    1. Ironically, here in the Twin Cities we have no snow on the ground at all. But I appreciated seeing those tulips in the background on that photo too. Reminded me that spring is just around the corner 😉


  7. Glad you are on the road to recovery…you were missed! The chair is lovely. You always see past the outdated and unloved to see the good bones and then make them shine. Thanks for sharing.


  8. OK put me in the worried camp-so sorry you were ill, be kind to yourself.
    The chair is quintessential sweetness.
    Good choice to pass your time with Outlander…..


    1. Definitely on the road to recovery … and you don’t realize just how many hours of that show are available until you spend 3+ days solid watching them back to back 😉


  9. Sorry you weren’t up to snuff…hope you can get back to feeling like yourself soon. I might just go get the damn flu shot after hearing how sick you were. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Love the chair…good solid visionary work there!


  10. Glad to see you’re back. That’s a lot of Outlander to watch. On the Jason show this morning they said lavender is good for you in the wintertime. They were talking about shower bombs and the fragrances helping the senses. Hope the coloring book is helping too.


    1. Well … I should be fine then. These days I’m using lavender soap that I bought in Eze, France on my trip. Plus I have that topiary lavender plant on my desk at work … well … I did. It died while I was out sick 😦 Maybe I need to get another!


  11. Nice rescue Linda. Of course the seat is the perfect touch. I’m a less is more person too not usually into over the top. However, having said that, I do think the stencils and transfers you use absolutely take your projects to the next level. They add character and credibility.
    So sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather. Hope you are back to normal asap. I watched the first season of Outlander – loved Claire and Jamie. I enjoyed the storyline it is an extremely well done show. I definitely need to catch up. And I would love doing a marathon like you did but without the accompanying crud. Do take care of yourself.


    1. You definitely must keep going with Outlander. The costumes for the scenes in France (season 2) are so gorgeous! And then there is the decor in Aunt Jocasta’s plantation house in the Carolina’s. Stunning, with cobalt blue walls. That’s not until season 4 though.


  12. Wow, you’ve given that darling chair a new lease on life. Your chippy paint and stenciled seat is SO perfect! I need to recover four dining chair seats and you’ve really inspired me to try a stencil. And I hope that icky flu bug is long gone. 🙂


    1. Yep, that bug is long gone, thank goodness. As for your chairs, you absolutely should try recovering the seats with some stenciled fabric. I always get good results with the drop cloth fabric for that. In fact, I have a another chair that I’m going to recover with stenciled drop cloth in the line up in my ‘workshop’ (which is really just my living room this time of year) 🙂


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