Monday, August 18, 2014

CHINESE CHIPPENDALE CHAIRS WITH PAINTED SEAT CUSHIONS


Hey there friends!  So sorry that I skipped out last week without any word... it was our last week before school starts (tomorrow!) and although we didn't have time to squeeze in one last getaway, we did take three days for a "staycation" and enjoyed some fun things together while working around back-to-school events.  And honestly, I just needed a little break from the blog too before things kick into fast gear for Fall.  However, I finished a few projects over the weekend and am all ready to spill the details this week!


I've had a few good finds from my buddy Craig in the past month or so.  When these chairs (which I NEVER see in our area) were listed,  I couldn't contact the seller fast enough to arrange to see them.  By the time I arrived a few hours later he was shocked that there were so many people interested in them.  ;)  They were in pretty good condition except for a small hole in one of the cane seats.  With the cushion I'm not too worried about it, these won't be high-use chairs anyway.


The cushions had a slight smell of smoke.  I planned to just pitch them, but left them to air out in the garage for a while so I could use them for a pattern to get new ones made.  I'm not sure where these chairs will land, so I'm not ready to choose a new fabric for them, but decided I needed the cushions back on to protect the seats.  With nothing to lose, I thought I'd try to clean them up and make them work.

After they aired out, the smell was mostly gone, but I filled up the bathtub with some bleach water and let them soak for a while, then air dry outside.  The fabric was in great condition, but chocolate brown and a bit dated looking.  Remembering Jennifer's post about her sofa, I planned to try to dye them black. The covers weren't removable, so I just worked with the whole cushion intact. I had some dye on hand, mixed it up and sponged it on.  It looked good at first, but by the time they dried the dye didn't take.  Whatever the fabric was, it wouldn't absorb the dye.  I'm sure the foam inside is jet black.

So, since I've seen hundreds of projects with people painting upholstered furniture, I decided to try that out.  Again...nothing to lose.  I used some textile medium (for mixing with paint to use on fabric) and acrylic paint, following the directions on the bottle for mixing.


This fabric is a heavy upholstery weight with quite a bit of texture, so when a regular paintbrush wasn't getting down in the grooves I pulled out my trusty old toothbrush, and scrubbed the paint on with it.  Worked perfectly!


By the second cushion, I found that it worked better to add just a little bit of water to the paint mixture as well.  Maybe some of those painting projects I'd seen suggested to start with your fabric being damp?  I don't remember, but mine was dry.  The appearance seemed best when I worked in long rows, starting along one edge and working my way across the entire cushion.  It took two coats for the coverage to look decent.


When the cushions were completely dry, the fabric was a bit stiff and scratchy.  I used a stiff nylon utility brush and went back and forth over the cushion.  It softened the fabric up a little.  It's still somewhat rough, but again, this is a temporary fix.  I think.



So, until I decide for sure what I'm doing with these chairs, this will work just fine, or, they might just stay as-is!



I hope your week is off to a great start!  We're headed out for our annual back-to-school Mexican Food lunch today, and then hoping to squeeze in one more weekday afternoon at the pool.  Oh, and the final thing on my kids' to-do list... watch The Price is Right for the last time.  Exactly what I used to do on my summer break when I was their age.  ;)

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25 comments:

  1. Jennifer, the chairs look great! I have a retro wing back chair sitting out in the garage waiting for a new paint job. I may actually try it this week. You did a great job; and those shoes are fabulous!

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  2. Wow! Those were such a great find and dying the cushions was a great move. I love the vignette you've set up there.

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  3. I love the chairs and the bar cart, such great finds. The black looks amazing and it looks like the paint worked really well. Love the throw cushions too. I drool over that cowhide rug every time I see it.

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  4. greatest. craigslist. find. EVER. drooling over my keyboard right now.

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  5. I can't tell you how jealous I am about this find - absolutely love your new chairs! And so smart how you painted the seat cushions - I never would have thought to try that!

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  6. I have the perfect place for those chairs to land!!! ;) Great job! Beautiful, as always. Love the pillows with them. Lovely styling! Pinning away!! xo

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  7. LOVE your newest find and you have them styled beautifully as always!! How about applying some clear wax to the cushions that might soften them up a bit...I love Annie Sloan wax.

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  8. Perfect! They turned out great, and look amazing with your gallery wall! Pretty styling, love your cute shoes, too! :)

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  9. What a score those chairs and table were Jennifer!! I've been looking for Chippendales for eons, and am so happy you found some in great condition. The painted cushions totally freshen the look up, what a difference from the brown! Now I need to renew my hunt for 2 armchairs on CL. :)

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  10. HOLY WOW what a find! and they look amazing!

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  11. These are gorgeous! What a great find. And my favorite thing as a child on summer break was to watch the Price is Right :)

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  12. I would never have thought to paint the cushions. They turned out beautifully and you styled them so beautifully. I adore the monogrammed pillows. What a find from your friend "Craig!"
    jennifer@decoratingdelirium.com

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  13. What a find!! My favorite style chairs :)

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  14. Those chairs have great bones, but I think the black cushions made it more agreeable to your home's style Jennifer! Love it!

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  15. The chairs & cushions look great! I've seen a lot of painted fabric and yes, it seems they recommend a spray bottle with water along with the paint. Of course, you did a wonderful job on the cushions! I do covet those throw pillows and the rug ~ :) How did you make the monogram?

    Good luck with this new school year! Seems the older they get, the more activities and "running" that parents do.

    xo
    Pat

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  16. What title were the chairs listed as? I've noticed a lot of people don't actually know the proper name of items, and that can make the search much harder...

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  17. So cool! They may be scratchy but the sure look great! Love the chairs :)

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  18. Love love love! I've been on the hunt for a few!!

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  19. Awesome score!!!! I have been dying to get my hands on a set of chairs like that! And I love them with the black cushions!

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  20. I've been searching for some for so long myself! I love the cushions in black. Looks so good!

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  21. Those chairs look incredible!! Still so thrilled (and jealous) of your score. :) xo

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  22. They look soo good, such a great find!

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  23. Jennifer~ these chairs are beautiful! So smart to paint the cushions. They look perfect with the gold framed pics and other design details!

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  24. Office chair should worth the invest on it.It's material quality should be very good, it should be durable, adjustable, comfortable and these all should be in your budget.9 to 5 ergonomics's chairs are alike. best office chair under 200 reviews

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