Friday, August 28, 2015

Before and After: the chairs everyone had at some point

It seems once I took on this project for a wonderful couple that these chairs were all the rage a "few" years ago. I have had at least 6 different people tell me that they had chairs exactly like this. It's continually interesting I suppose how furniture goes in phases. Everyone has something, it works for awhile and then we let it go.

Will our Ikea ektorp chairs be the same? or the grey wicker chairs that everyone had to own. I myself have both and see them as staples of the middle class living on a relatable budget but who knows maybe one day we'll be looking back at them thinking we were crazy.

These chairs came to me with the standard wood stain that was literally on everything in the 70's and 80's and the multi coloured fabric slipcovers on the cushions.

The chairs were a family set that the couple wanted to give a new life to suit their home and young family. 
After a house call and some back and forth we landed on darker very washable fabric for the cushion and white for the wood.

I love white painted furniture but when I see rungs on chairs it makes me cringe because it is always so much more work than you anticipate. One day I just may get myself a paint sprayer if I can con my usually easy going husband to make me an area to use it.

I sanded these chairs pretty heavily prior to starting anything as sometimes that topcoat from many years ago can be a serious pain with adhesion. I then spray primed them with white paint to get more coverage. When you are painting furniture like this and don't have a big sprayer. Spray can white primer can work just as well with the handle attachment. It goes on in nice light coats and won't start gunking up. When you hand paint on too many coats around rungs you start to see paint buildup and that doesn't lead to a quality finish.

I then painted them in my favourite trusty #generalfinishes milk paint in antique white. With subtle distressing and going back and forth with antiquing and liming wax to get just the right amount of distressing with the chairs still remaining white.

I removed the covers and made new box cushions with piping in a light grey tone in a poly canvas. Perfect for washing around little hands and fingers.

The first cushion I made last week on the crazy hot 34 degree 90% humidity day. Trevor came home with his partner from work at the end of the day (not for me) and he came in while I had the 2 sewing machines hammering away with fabric scraps everywhere and started making fun of my "sweat shop"

This is the second set of cushions I have had to redo in the last couple weeks and getting the original covers off the foam is always a feat. It takes me somewhere around 20 minutes and I am sweating like an idiot. Although there were zippers in them, they did not make these with removal in mind. Good grief.

I paired the chairs with my Fresh American pillow from Annie Selke. I am seriously debating carrying some of her stuff in the shop but getting it here isn't as easy as slicing bread.
We'll see.

Well have a great weekend my friends.

The weather has been a bit cooler here this week but it sounds like it's going to be summer heat again next week. Great to enjoy before the return of routine for many in a few short weeks.



  1. Those chairs look fabulous! Oh my goodness, the antique white and the bit of distressing make them look absolutely fabulous! Great job,Meg!
    Have a glorious weekend~

  2. Never in a million years would I have thought those chairs could look so great!!

  3. That is a beautiful finish on the chairs. Great tip on the spray primer too.

  4. I love that chair. What a transformation.

  5. Those are awesome! Now I wish I hadn't hauled mine off. 😞

  6. A beautiful job, well done! I popped in from 'The Grower's Daughter'.Love Linda x

  7. Can't believe it's the same chair. I pretty much hated the original + love it now. The Dash + Albert (right?) pillow had me swooning. I stencil fabric + make similar pillows for my biz + wondered if you'd done the same.

  8. the chair turned out great. You could speak to Michael Penney in Whitby. His store carries PineCone Hill.


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