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Do you check Facebook Marketplace? If you don’t, you should! One Sunday afternoon, I just happened to stumble across a listing that said “Free”. That immediately caught my attention…it was a dining room set about 15 minutes away. I asked my oldest if he wanted to accompany me on a mission to look for some “junk”. He obligized and off we went. When we pulled up, the entire set was still there. Now, if you know me, you know that I would have tried to fit that whole set in Cool Vanilla (no joke that is what the color of my car is), but I only needed those arm chairs. So, my dear, sweet son jumped out of the car and helped me load those 2 arm chairs into my car. I hope he remembers this some day…
Well…they had a coat of white latex paint on them that had been worn down, but otherwise, they were in excellent condition. And. They. Had. Cane. Backs! What??? I love this! So we brought them home and my husband just looked at me and I said, “Just wait, they will be beautiful”.
As I’ve mentioned before, you do not need to prime when applying chalk paint. Repeat. You do not need to prime for chalk paint. However, I did sand the arms down a bit because it was uneven from wear. So, I grabbed my trusty FolkArt Parisian Gray chalk paint and my 2″ angled brush and got ready to paint.
When you have a chair with a cushion like this, it is usually screwed to the chair from underneath. Just flip the chair over and unscrew the screws and your cushion will come off. Do this before you clean or paint your chair. Save the screws for afterwards when you are ready to put the cushion back on.
I went to Joann Fabric and walked up and down the aisles for at least 45 minutes…I couldn’t find anything that I LOVED. Then I wandered down the outdoor fabric aisle and there she was. I have a big thing for polka dots, blue anything and ikat pattern. Lo and behold, all those came together for this fabric. Sold. It’s called “Seeing Spots” by Waverly and it is an indoor/outdoor fabric. Perfect for chairs that will be at our dining room table where we eat most of our meals.
Now, you may say, Erin, your other chairs are black and you have grays and tans in your dining room- why would you paint your chairs gray and use blue and white fabric? Well, I’m going to tell you- it doesn’t all have to match. It doesn’t! Do what you love and make it work. Look, it goes with my blue and white plates on the wall (Pete still hates them). And, honestly, the paint and fabric aren’t too predictable for this space and it makes it pop! I find myself gravitating towards fabric with more pattern lately. So, my message to you is, if you love it, find a way to make it work- don’t stress about matching. You have to put something in a space and see if you love it. If you find that you try something and a little while later, you don’t love it, then change it!
This is after one coat…you can still see some of the white peeking through, so it just needs another coat.
Here is a pic of the chair painted with the fabric just placed on it…
My buddy Murphy, always watching- yes he is sitting on the chair cushion.
I decided to sand them a bit around the edges to let the original finish come through. You can do this to any piece. The Magnolia chairs that I have in the room already have a little distressing, so I thought I’d let it come through. The great thing is, if I change my mind, I can just paint over it for a solid finish. Because, remember, you can paint over General Finishes!
And here are some pics of changing the fabric. If the fabric on top is in good condition, leave it!!!! That’s exactly what I did. I just covered the old fabric with the new fabric. One yard of fabric was more than enough to cover the 2 seats. Other than the fabric, all you need is a staple gun. This is the one I have. I used 5/16″ staples to get through the folded parts and old layer of fabric.
Recovering a cushion is relatively easy- fold one side at a time and staple. Pull the fabric so you get a smooth surface. I like to cut off the excess fabric after I’ve stapled and checked any folds on the sides just to be sure I don’t need to reposition the fabric.
Here are the 2 cushions after being stapled and ready to put back onto the chairs. A few folds and staples and hello gorgeous!
Then simply place the cushions back on the chair and screw it to the chair from underneath like you did when you took them off in the beginning.
Here is my take away:
- Look for free stuff
- Paint it
- Don’t get too overwhelmed with everything matching. Do you love it? Do you walk into the room and does it make YOU happy? Then keep it.
One more look…
This whole makeover cost about $8 in paint (I only used about half of the bottle) and about $15 in fabric with a coupon. Total cost=a little over $20! Pretty good!
Love where you live. Surround yourself with what makes you happy.
Have fun 🙂