Friday, June 23, 2017

The Painted Chair

Today, I am escaping the workmen, the dust, and all that noise to go play in my friend Francine's studio. She lives about an hour away. I've packed three small canvasses to - possibly - paint. They're rectangles that originally I was thinking of painting in portrait perspective up until someone mentioned three in a long line. That's an interesting idea. We'll see what develops. Mostly I want a break and to visit with my friend.





Speaking of painting... I bought this chair at the thrift store quite a while ago wanting to recover it and then when I heard about painting upholstery, it seemed like the perfect practice project... that I kept putting off... and finally got to. The fabric is slightly textured like a jacquard and most likely a poly cotton blend. It was clean and smooth with only a few frays along the upper back edge.





After watching several videos, I combined the methods that I thought got the best results based on the detail images shown in the videos. I mixed chalk paint from The Fat Paint Company half and half with water and applied it in thin layers using a kitchen scrub brush. I didn't sand between layers because the scrub brush had a sanding-like effect. In the detail above, there are two layers of paint on the fabric and you can still see the original colours plus the fabric looks very chalky. At this point, I was worried it wasn't going to work out but I continued with four layers of paint. It dries very quickly - in about twenty minutes.


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The upholstery has to be well dampened but not soaking wet. I bought this spray bottle when I was cutting hair. When you depress the lever, you get a continuous flow of fine mist without having to pump the lever over and over. Another friend - Barb - is coming to visit tomorrow and we plan to paint fabric. I'm interested to see how the water bottle will work with that.

In several of the videos I watched, the comment was made that you are dyeing your fabric using this method. No, you are not. You are painting it and building up fine layers. Dyeing is a completely different process. Acrylic paint, however, is quite durable especially the longer it cures although the chair is quite usable right now. None of the paint is rubbing off.





The colour I used for the fabric is Skyline. For the wood, I used Raven and then sanded the edges to expose the original surface. Both wood and fabric are finished with a coat of clear wax. Before waxing, I sanded the upholstery with 220 grit paper which turned the fabric from I'm not sure to I love this. I'm feeling confident to paint my couch now. Most of the videos say the finished fabric feels like leather. Since I don't like the feel of leather, that was one of the reasons I procrastinated so long. It feels more like polished cotton to me.





With the workmen in the house, I'm not getting anything done so it seemed the perfect time to continue with the walkway. All the edges are defined with rocks and I've found the level line from the stairs to the grass edge of the walkway and from there out to the rest of the yard where there is a huge dip. I've dug out four inches of dirt from the walkway between the driveway over to the pink peonies and am ready to begin on the next section curving around to the back yard. The dirt...





... simply switched spots and was thrown up on the lawn where it's being raked out to fill in the dip and level the yard. I also moved some decorative bricks from the back yard to the front to create a step up from the walkway to the grass. It looks funny right now because a rock is missing to the left of the stairs that I need help lifting plus everything is all the same dirt colour.

The next task is to add 2" of sand to the walkway and level it out and then use up the pile of bricks stored in the  carport to create a walkable surface that will be filled in-between with pea gravel. I'm hoping to brick from the steps to the driveway although I doubt I'll have enough bricks. They are red on the front and grey on the back so I'm using the back side which is easy and inexpensive to match. The rectangular bricks will be a nice change from all the round river rock. I may explore some larger cement blocks as well to add variety of size and shape. LOL - I see design everywhere.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - floor in the living room and - hopefully - in the kitchen/dining room by the time I get home.

3 comments:

  1. Your chair turned out great! Your creative journey is inspiring.

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  2. Love the curving path and lines of river rocks - grey squares will be an interesting addition!

    ceci

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  3. Love the chair! I have a pair of chairs that I either need to have recovered, but painting them sounds a whole lot easier and cheaper.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.