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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Painting a Weathered Wood Finish: A Dining Chair Makeover


I think my dining room is a good representation of my decorating technique.  Slowly, but surely, it has evolved from being an empty room, to a room with only a Craigslist table, to a room with a table and a thrifted, made-over buffet.  Then finally came some actual ordered-from-a-catalog chairs to go along with a couple coordinating chairs from a discount store.  And now I have added yet another couple of layers with some re-finished yard sale chairs and hand-sewn pillows.



And God bless those of you who have stuck with me to witness this process in painfully-slow real time.  


But, I honestly love it this way.  And I've learned that I actually prefer to have a room that slowly takes on its personality from each of the unique pieces that gradually come together from different places as they get discovered, each lending its own imperfect contribution, rather than a room that is perfectly ready-made from the factory.  


And so here is the story of the most recent yard sale chairs...





I found these last fall at a yard sale for $5 each and wasn't sure what to do with them at the time, so I stuck them in my basement storage room and there they sat for several months until I came across them again and thought, "These are exactly what I've been looking for for extra seating in the dining room!"

And the makeover began.  Since my regular dining chairs have basically the same wood finish (they are the Madeleine Chair from Restoration Hardware in Burnt Oak), I decided to try to get that similar look with paint.

So, I roughed up the finish a little bit, although they were already pretty dulled from natural aging.   I skipped the priming because I wasn't concerned with having great paint coverage on these chairs, and wanted the wood stain to show through slightly.  

I used my favorite Sherwin Williams sample quarts, like I do on many of my small projects. This is a great gray/green/putty color called Anonymous.




I gave each chair one good coat, making sure not to get over-generous with the paint, but letting the wood grain show through in a few areas.  





I was also very careful to apply the paint in the direction of the wood grain, as pictured:




See how much better it looks than when it's applied in different directions?






Once the gray was dry, I took a stiff-bristled brush and added a few touches of Shoji White.





I just wanted to barely highlight the wood grain, so I didn't use much paint at all.  Barely dipping the brush into the paint, I then brushed most of it off onto some newspaper before lightly brushing over the gray, letting it catch on the raised textures of the wood.








It was that simple.  And I'm thrilled with how they turned out.  They're not an exact match to the RH chairs, but they're close cousins and that works for me.



It just so happens that no two of the RH chairs are an exact match either.  Hmmm...



So I have 3 styles of chairs in the same finish family, and they're getting along just fine.










If you missed the how-to for the pillows, you can find that here.




And I'm sharing these chairs with a few of these friends.  Check them out!



 

34 comments:

  1. Julie- don't you just love when chairs can get along! Funny, I just finished my media room in anonymous.

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  2. gorgeous!

    i'm loving the way
    this room has come together
    to make a gorgeous space

    well done
    on the chairs too!

    alison

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  3. Can you hear me clapping? LOVE it!!!

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  4. I love how your chairs turned out, Julie! Great buy on them, too!

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  5. I totally agree, collected over time is the best method! It's hard though when you want your room to be finished RIGHT NOW! I love how this room has come together, Julie, and great technique on the painting!

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  6. Beautiful dining room! I love the chairs and the curtains are gorgeous! Where did you find those curtains? Thanks !!

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    1. Thanks, Katie! Those drapes are from halfpricedrapes.com. I'm not sure if they have that color anymore & unfortunately, I can't think of the name of them, so I guess I'm not much help!

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  7. Your room is just lovely. Everything came together so perfectly.

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  8. Julie- I love the finish on your chair and even though they are mis-matched the paint finish ties them all together. I like a room that evolves over time, too. Blessings- xo Diana

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  9. i love the chairs. can you PLEASE tell me the wood floors you have? (brand, finish, handscraped?) that is what we are trying to get! thank you

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  10. Just gorgeous - perfect transformation!

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  11. I think the mix of styles brought together with a similar finish is perfection for this room. Your time and effort in styling this space is apparent, thanks for sharing.

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  12. Great post. I was so intrigued by the second dry brush technique. I'm so glad you are linking this up to Motivated Monday. Thank you for posting my button. It is fun to see it on another blog than mine. :D
    pam

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  13. oh julie, these look fabulous. seriously loving and appreciating this sherwin williams anonymous color recommendation.

    smiles to you.

    michele

    p.s.
    would love to have you stop by and/or follow http://hellolovelyinc.blogspot.com!

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  14. Your chairs are beautiful! You did a wonderful job; thanks for sharing your technique with us. On my way to visit how you made your pillows and halfpricedrapes.com.
    Diane

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  15. omg gorgeous!! i have some old chairs with the table that my mom handed down to me ages ago and i've been wanting to do something with them...may have to pin this to save for when i do!!!

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  16. Wow, I love the way those chairs turned out and what a steal for $5 each! Great job!
    Visiting from the TT&J party!

    sara @ applestonedrive.blogspot.com

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  17. The chairs look awesome! And I love the technique you used to paint them. I find I am more successful too if I just do a lit bit at a time, rather than trying to plan out an entire room at once. I found you link on Miss Mustard Seed and I'm now following you.

    Have a great weekend!

    Angela

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  18. Love, love, love! Like seriously, I want your dining room! Beautiful chair re-do.

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  19. The chairs turned out great. I feel in love with your dining room when you first posted your new RH chairs. Sherwin Williams sample paints are a great resource. They go along way! I painted my stairs using a sample of Modern Grey.

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  20. Your dining room looks FAB! Love the garage sale chairs AND their makeover!

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  21. putting together a room slowly is satisfying, but it is painful for a "I want it now" girl! Your room turned out really lovely. Can't wait to read more of your blog.

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  22. I love this! They turned out so great. Your chairs all look spectacular in your beautiful room! Great job!

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  23. I realy love this look! I have pinned this so that I can find it again in the future when I'm ready to redo my own dining room chairs!

    Helen
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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  24. Just gave you a feature! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  25. Love these chairs and the room overall! I did pretty much the same paint technique on a bamboo mirror frame I got thrifting! It made all the difference in our room.

    And....wanna see a little tutorial for bit different look for a table redo? Check it out here. http://cndesigns.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/our-new-old-end-tables/

    It is a.m.a.z.i.n.g what paint can do :-)

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  26. Okay, my heart just skipped a few beats when I saw the EXACT same dining room table as I have! I've been trying in vain to picture how it would look with light-colored, mismatch-style chairs like I want to do-- and you gave me the PERFECT inspiration/goal photo! (I got my table off of Craigslist as well-- tho it didn't look anything like that until my dear MIL refinished it for me!) I have wood floors also, and right now it's a sea of wood, between the wood table, wood chairs, and wood floor! I desperately need something to break up the wood-fest (without putting a rug/crumb-and-spill-catcher underneath), and painting my chairs just like this is just what I need! Thanks so much! (Found you through Thrifty Decor Chick, btw)

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  27. Oh my gosh you have a beautiful dining and home! Glad I just found you over at Thrifty Decor Chick!

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  28. Just found your blog and you gave me a big flash of YEAH! I've been wondering if I should try using sample paints on some of the things I want to finish. I knew they would need to be sealed, but I hesitated. Seeing your really beautiful work (and room) has gotten me all excited. Thank you! :)

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    1. Great! So glad I could be of help. I have used samples many times with great results!

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I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!