Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Little Chair Project

This is a really sweet little chair that I got for $10. while thrift shopping with my daughter last year. We went to a church thrift shop. This chair was in the corner with the pad on the seat. Of course upon closer inspection there was a hole in the cane seat. I knew that I could use it with the pad for a while.

It was a small hole but during our Christmas festivities it became much larger. I decided when I came back in February I would do something with it. Well here I am. It is February and it has become my little chair project. 

I love the detail on the chair and wanted to use a technique that I mastered a while ago. I love the look of the technique that I developed and so do a lot of other people. Anything I seemed to paint in this manner always seemed to sell really quick.

The cane on the top part of the chair is a double layer of cane. I am sure it will be a little more challenging but I know we can make it work.

As you can see this is a pretty large hole. 

I took the chair out onto the deck and cut the seat out of it with a razor blade. My little puppy Diesel was trying to help me by scattering the cane all over the deck. Lots of fun for him, not me.

After cleaning off the wood and sanding it lightly I started to prime it. Now this is probably the most important part of this technique. The primer is going to become a background layer for the look that we are going for. It will be seen, but only in the detailed areas and you want it to look kind of shadowy. 

Not real thick and you want to get it into all the cracks but not real even either. I will show a lot of the details of the primer so you can see kind of how you want this to look.
See how I got the paint on and into the grooves but not real heavy.

Again it is in the grooves of the detail but you want it to be kind of thin and dark looking.

Next step is with a foam roller. It is the same technique as dry brushing but with a roller. I know that sounds weird but it works out beautiful. Take the color that you want the chair to be now and use the roller along with a piece of clean paper. Don't use newspaper or you might have some words on your chair legs. The ink does come off and messes up the paint. I found that out the hard way. 

I used this piece of wood to roll out my paint until it was even on the roller.
Roll the roller back and fourth on the board to really get it into the roller. You want the roller to be almost empty of paint. It should be  like when you are finished rolling, and  you are ready to  dip back into the paint.

You are basically rolling over all of the high spots. Instead of sanding off the high spots to show the dark underneath, the dark shadow area is in the cracks.

As you can see in the picture above I only went part way on the raised areas so that you could see the difference in the paint. See how the darker areas stand out with the detail on the chair. This is the shadow effect that I was talking about. 

This is two coats of the dry roller technique. Now it is starting to look really good.

This is  a pale blue mirror that I did with this technique. 

If the fabric goes with that I might even use a pale grey. I am still trying to decide. 

See how that detail really pops. I love the cracks as well and any defects in the piece.
This will only need a few coats of paint to look the way that this is going to look. I sometimes paint another item at the same time because after you do a coat and are getting ready to reload the roller you can do the coat on this first. That is a great way to do it so that you don't waste your paint. You must empty the roller of the excess paint every time to get the right look. Dry rollering, I call it. 
Part 2 of this chair will be on Monday.  

Join us at the following blogs for some great projects and ideas.

Boogieboard Cottage


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love the detail photos.

  2. That is gorgeous! What a great idea to use a roller, I might have to try that technique!!!

  3. Cindy, I've said it once and I'll say it again you are so talented ... so cute... are you guy home? have a great Sunday.


  4. This is great! I love how it looks with the dark shadow effect. this will go on my list of "must try".

  5. Thanks for sharing this technique, I haven't used this before, but it looks wonderful. That chair is great!

  6. Great find for $10. I'm eager to see what seat you put in the chair.
    Thanks for visiting HFTS. Hope to see you again.

  7. Hi Cindy! Your comment totally cracked me up! I'm quite sure my husband feels the same way about me...."You are not living in a castle" But what can I say? I'm delusional *winks*
    It's always wonderful to meet a kindred, but you're the one with the painterly talent! I can barely paint my nails! LOL! Your chair was an AMAZING steal!! And I LOVE what you did with it! I'm just about to embark on my first chair reupholstery job....I might just have to try this finish too. Nice to "meet" you and thanks for the inspiration! Vanna....P.S. I'm your newest follower.

  8. i just adore a cane chair! :)

  9. Hi Cindy, love your blog and painting techniques...thanks for sharing them with us. I'm your new follower. Thanks for commenting about my chair slipcover at I'm adding you to my blog list. Karla

  10. the way the chair is turning out! I saw a similar double cane chair at a flea/antique market near me for $95! Can't wait to see the result!...hugs...Debie

  11. Can't wait to see what it looks like when its the technique you did.

  12. I love the technique you used on the chair. It turned out beautiful.

  13. What a gorgeous chair! Thanks for sharing your painting technique. It looks beautiful!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me a sweet comment about my headboard. I am your newest follower :)


  14. I have an antique daybed to be whitewashed and it has a double layer of caning on each end, so it's a similar job to this chair -- I gather you left the insides of the caned panels untouched? I guess it would be impossible to get in there with paint. How did the caning look when it was all finished? Do you have a photo? I found this post really helpful!


I love to hear from my followers. Questions, or comments are always welcome.