I did a little research to decided how I wanted to redo the set. The best and easiest answer was chalk paint. Boy #1, did a fabulous painting in art class and it had the perfect green that I picked to highlight my chairs. I wanted something bright and fun to add a bit of a modern flair to the dark traditional style of the furniture. I bought some material to recover the chairs with classic pattern but in a neutral color.
The pieces were in overall pretty good shape, nothing that a little bit of wood glue and paint couldn't fix. I started with giving the chairs a good washing with hot soapy water and dried them throughly. Then I painted a coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Antibes Green. This is fast drying paint. It was ready for a second coat in 30 mins or so. If you like it more distressed then one coat might be enough. After 2 coats, they were done. This is stuff is great, no brush strokes what so ever! Now I know what every one was talking about when they refer to the velvety finish, it is reallly lovely. Do a light sanding with very fine sandpaper. I read that you dont want to use anything too strong on old antiques. I bought 220 grit sand paper. Distress the areas where you think the most worn spots would be. I focused on the corners or the places that would get nicked if it were to be dropped or knocked over. Being realistic here with 4 kids and 2 dogs! Wipe everything down with a damp cloth when your done sanding, it does produce a bit of a mess. The last step in the process is to wax over the painted piece. I did not buy the wax that came with the Annie Sloane line. It is expensive and I sure I would have loved it but after spending $84 on 2 quarts of paint, I looked for cheaper options. I'm working on a very teeny-tiny budget. I bought some furniture wax at my local hardware store for $20 that was essentially the same thing. Work the wax into the paint with a clean cloth and rub off. I used cheese cloth and a old t-shirt. The wax dries quickly so work in small areas at a time. When the wax dries, buff the piece to a shine. It's like waxing a car, wax on-wax off. The wax brings out all the details and seals everything. It's like a 3D effect. That's it, so easy.
The only thing left was to cover the chairs. I traced the old seat around the new material and cut out squares giving a good 2-3" around the sides to staple. You want to have plenty of fabric to have a tight fit when you staple it down. If it's too short then it will pop loose when you sit on it. Pull tighltly and work your way around the seat. Its kind of like wrapping a present when you get to the corners. The last step was screwing the seat back into place. So simple and and what a updated look it achieved. I can't wait until the rest of the room is finished and we can use these more!
A bit banged up and the finish is worn off where the chairs were in the sun. Also the material was covered in cat hair and scratched up do to the previous owners cats. I'm sure my granny would have loved this material too!
A good cleaning does wonders!
Painting the first coat.
The wax I used, Briwax in light brown.
List of dates that these chairs were recovered. Love this! Added our date to the list.
Finished chair with recovered seat.
Love the green and gray, so fun!