DIY – Antique Chair Facelift with Chalk Paint

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I have been eyeing “french country” lounge chairs for at least a year but haven’t found one that I liked that wasn’t well over $400.

I was picking up an armoire (tutorial coming soon!) from an antique gallery in Ruckersville, Va when this chair caught my eye. I had been searching for months to find an antique to try out the chalk paint method but they were all at least $100+ and I worried about ruining a chair and wasting a ton of money. Imagine my surprise when the pricetag for this gem was only $45! I scooped it up immediately.

French country facelift tutorial


Shopping List

  • Annie Sloan Pure White Chalk Paint from The Empty Nest $38
  • Annie Solan Paris Grey Chalk Paint from The Empty Nest $38
  • Annie Sloan Soft Wax from The Empty Nest $25
  • Annie Sloan brush from The Empty Nest $40
  • 220 Grit Sandpaper
  • Kitties for adoption

STEP ONE: CLEAN THE UPHOLSTERY

I used a multipurpose cleaner to wipe down the fabric and the wood on the chair. There were several spots that looked like the color had started to fade but I wasn’t worried about it since I would be painting the whole thing. I wiped it down several times and let it dry a bit.

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It definitely helps to have Sherman, one of our two tuxedo kitties, to inspect the chair after cleaning. IMG_5449 IMG_5448 IMG_5447


STEP TWO: MIX THE CHALK PAINT WITH WATER AND APPLY SEVERAL COATS

I used Pure White Annie Sloan chalk paint for the upholstery portion of the chair. I read multiple blogs that all gave different ratios of mixing the chalk paint with water. The purpose is for the chalk paint to adhere to the fabric and soak in better than using only the chalk paint. I tried the 1×1 ratio (one part paint to one part water) and found that it was too watery. Streaks dripped down the legs and the green was still very obvious. The second coat was more of a 1/3 water and 2/3 paint combination and it worked much better. I put a total of three coats on and then spot-painted where more paint was needed.

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I searched for several answers about how to make sure the upholstery wouldn’t be still after all the paint had been applied and dried but I didn’t find much (until after I was done!). I read about Martha Stewart’s “fabric medium” to mix with the paint and water to make the fabric softer.

Cindy from SimplyReinvinted.com wrote a wonderful post on first-time use of these brushes and how to apply the wax; all of which I didn’t see until after I was done but wish I’d had!


STEP THREE: PAINT THE WOOD

I used Paris Grey Annie Sloan chalk paint to paint the wooden portions of the chair. I only needed one coat and spot-painted areas I had missed.

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STEP FOUR: LIGHTLY BUFF AND APPLY WAX

Use the highest grit sandpaper you can find (220 was what I already had on hand) and lightly buff the upholstery to soften a bit. Apply the Annie Sloan Clear Wax all over the chair and let it set for about 24 hours.

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Lightly sand the wood to distress the paint and use a lint-free cloth to buff the wax info the upholstery. And, voila! Sit back and appreciate all the hard work!

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DIY – Antique Chair Facelift with Chalk Paint

2 thoughts on “DIY – Antique Chair Facelift with Chalk Paint

    1. Thank you!! It only took a few hours of actual work but lots of drying time in between. Come visit! Kelly and I are having a girls winery weekend next weekend if you’re free! Or we can plan another weekend where John can join too 🙂

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