Monday, August 9, 2010



I had the best weekend ever shopping with two of my favorite girls!  We shopped 'til we dropped (literally...I'm getting old here!) and enjoyed the NO TAX sales offered up here in the beautiful state of Oklahoma!  I hope your weekend was wonderful, too!
~Shiny Finish Must Be Sanded Off~

I'm over-the-moon excited to share with those of you who may just be starting to decorate in the "Cottage Shabby/Chic Style" what I think will be a 3-4 day long Tutorial.   I'm calling it "THE COTTAGE CHIC CHAIR TRANSFORMATION."   I'm going to take you through the steps of transforming a "Sweet Queen Anne Chair" into a "Chic 'N Shabby Cottage Queen Anne Chair" complete with new cushion cover as well as a custom-made linen chair skirt.  I hope splitting up the Tutorial will keep it from seeming really long!

 I purchased the lovely little chair (six of them) you see above in 1992.  They were brand-new off the showroom floor and came with a matching table (with 3 leaves) and a large Cherry Wood china cabinet/hutch.  Back then I was into everything hunter green and loved anything dark wood.  

My how things have changed!  The Chairs and Table are the LAST of the natural wood I have in my home.  Everything else has either been painted out or gifted away.  My Son and DIL have the hutch (and LOVE IT as I once did!) as it was replaced with the vintage pieces I showed you a few months ago.  You can find that post HERE and HERE!  As I've grown older I've found myself happily settling into what I love most...  And~that is a soft and pale palate made up of the creamiest muted tones available today.
 ~Rough Up The Surface~

Now...I've given makeovers to more furniture than I can tell you...both for myself and for retailing to the non-do-it-yourselfers!  I'm no expert...but I have learned a few  tricks-of-the-trade that may help you in your own makeover projects!

I'm going to start today by sharing just a couple 'start-off' tips with you.  I hope you will return tomorrow where I'll begin to show you the best way to prime and then paint out your chair using my very favorite cottage white paint!
~Seat Cushion Removed~

Here are the first few steps to follow when transforming most any wooden chair!

1.  Remove Cushion/Seat Pad and check for loose joints.  If any are found re-glue with wood glue and DO USE CLAMPS!  You'll never get the results you need if you don't!

2.  If you are painting a non-painted chair (like the one above) that is is great shape you still must lightly sand off the shiny finish.  Even if you plan on using a bonding primer (like Zinsser) it is still best to rough-up the surface.  This is especially important if you plan on distressing your chair as it will keep large chipping/flaking to a minimum!

3.  If your chair is already painted and IF it has a shiny surface (like oil based paint) you MUST also de-shine your piece by again roughing it up with a medium grit sandpaper.  If you don't new paint (and even primer) will want to peel off.

4.  Wipe down your chair with Tack-cloth.  This will remove any lightweight debris, old paint, and/or varnish particles.

Tomorrow I will show you the best way to prime your chair(s) and how to get a wonderful finish that will last for many years to come.  I'll also share with you the best stain-glaze that I've come across in case you want to "antique" your piece even more!

Thank you for visiting today!  Can't wait to show you more!

Love to you~


Anonymous said...

My Grandmother has a set of these chairs when I was a little girl!!
Have a Wonderful Day!

stefanie said...

I know that chair is going to be gorgeous!!!! love your wedding photo below!!!!

Patti said...

It is really funny how our tastes change through the years. When I got married in 1986, black lacquer furniture was the thing. We did a formal livingroom, formal diningroom, and our bedroom in black lacquer. The chairs were black upholstery, and the couch and our bedspread were black, white, and gray.

Fifteen years later, I couldn't stand the sight of black and got rid of everything.

My husband enjoys woodworking, and as a result, I've come to see the beauty in many woods. As a result, I cannot paint over all woods. He made a gorgeous hopechest for my daughter out of a beautiful African wood called sapele (suh pee lee).

So, in our furniture, we compromise by keeping most wood as is...and then I use white, pink, and green accent or upholstered pieces.

Have a lovely day.


Kit said...

Looking forward to seeing the transformation! Kit

Theresa said...

Thanks my friend! I see chairs at places that need work but never knew how to tackle it! I will be taking note of all the steps! HUGS!

Oklahoma Granny said...

I'll be back tomorrow for the next step.

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Thanks so much for doing this, I'll be back for the rest of the instructions! Thanks for posting this!


Unknown said...

I can't wait to see the rest!!!!

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Looking forward to the entire tutorial! Thanks for doing it!~Hugs, Patti

Lore♥ said...

wouuu esta hermosa la silla!!
me encanta
gracias por el paso a paso
un abrazo

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Rebecca,
I'm so glad that you are doing this tutorial. I am getting ready to paint my mahogany dining chairs and I want to do it right.

So, I'm excited about getting a tips from a pro like you.


Heaven's Walk said...

I can hardly wait to see the big reveal, Rebecca! Thanks for sharing a tutorial on this. We need all the tips we can get! lol!

xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

Mosaic Magpie said...

This was a great idea to do. So, far I am with you! I love learning new things.

Rita said...

I just finished recovering the seat of my desk chair and it looks oh so much better. I'm excited to see the next few posts about refinishing this chair. Can't wait to see the finished product!

Shabby T said...

I'm so tickled pink you had a wonderful day of shopping tax free yeah.. what a great feeling!!!! I know the chair you purchased will have a gorgeous makeover and I can't wait to see what you've done
Shabby T

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this, Rebecca! I look forward to learning from you! ♥

Anonymous said...

Wonderful looking forward to all the steps as this is what I am trying to do with pieces in my home.

Lynn said...

Thank you so much for sharing your techniques Rebecca:) I happen to have two old chairs ready for sanding. The cushions were on wood which was about disintegrating and I had to throw all that out, I thought I might catch something from them LOL, they were yucky. I made a template on paper first though so I need to see if my hubby can cut me new ones.
I will be back to learn more tomorrow :)

A Southern Rose said...

Thanks so much Rebecca for this tutorial. I had that same set of chairs, 6 of them and the table. I gave them to my step-son and his wife when they first got married. I still have the china cabinet and I have been wanting to paint it but was a little afraid because of the finish. Now I feel like I will be able to tackle this project as well. I'm slowly geting all of my 'Cherry' furniture transformed. My old house use to be all hunter green and burgundy too. It was pretty back then but I love the new shabby look better.

Thanks again,
Lee Laurie

Jeannie B. said...

Rebecca, I hate to paint and feel totally inept because when I do paint, it never looks good. But, Your tutorial makes me want to paint something!!!! I need to find a way to save your instructions. I think I could do it with you there (in the virtual since!). Thanks

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