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From Bleak to Chic…

October 27, 2011

Although not really my style, I spotted this chair in a local second shop & I couldn’t help thinking it would benefit from a makeover.  It was finished in a dark brown glossy varnish which did nothing to show off the carved detailing and made the chair look pretty bleak.  After removing the old varnish I gave the piece 3 coats of primer/undercoat and then two coats of Dulux ‘natural calico’ paint.  I picked out the detail using Crown ‘tailored’ (from their Fashion for Walls collection) which seems to have become my trademark colour (I just love it!).   I used a rag to smudge the darker colour and worked it into the grain to create the shabby chic look.  Shabby Chic is a timeless style and simple to create, ideal for giving the aged feel to cottage or country homes.   To finish off I applied two coats of  Ronseal clear satin varnish.  If you wanted to avoid having to varnish I would suggest using acrylic paint when renovating furniture.

After considering various patterned fabrics for the seat I decided they all looked too fussy and settled on a delicate cream suede edged with cream braid.  To soften the look further I made a small circular pad, using cardboard & foam, covered it with fabric & attached a covered button to the centre.  The pad was then attached to the backrest & edged with the braid…the chair is now transformed from bleak to chic!

This sort of recycling project is very easy to do, extremely satisfying and the finished item is something that is totally unique to you!  It can be done as and when you have a spare few minutes – when doing this for yourself it really doesnt matter how long it takes to complete.  It’s also far more economical than buying new furniture  – this particular chair cost £15, the fabric remnant was £1.49, braid remnant 25p and the paint was from two tester pots – a couple of pounds each and plenty left over for my next recycled furniture project!

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