Maybe my most ambitious home dec DIY yet, and a furniture paint review
I've had this Louis XV chair (thanks to Design*Sponge for reminding us of the difference between the different types of French chairs) for years, handed down from my mom, who got it from my grandma. It never went with my mom's craftsman/art deco decor, but I know it can work in our modern/eclectic/girly/glam mishmash, and would work in several rooms. The living room has enough seating for now, so it's been living in our bedroom (totally clashing) waiting to be redone.
Pretty cool, right? Totally has potential!
So earlier this spring, I got an email from Annie Sloan Unfolded, the American distributor of Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan and other furniture redo products. They wanted to know if I was interested in doing a review of their Chalk Paint® and Soft Wax for a furniture project. Um, yes, I was!! I had the perfect project in mind!
I was busy working on my book until my manuscript was due in early May, but later last month I got around to pulling out the millions of staples on the old Louis chair and prepping it for painting. Then I got to use the paint!
I couldn't decide which color to use (they have a ton of pretty ones) since I don't know which fabric I'll recover it with, so I played it safe and asked for white. They sent me some Pure White Chalk Paint®, as well as some Soft Wax for a finish coat.
Chalk Paint® Review
So, after destroying the old fabric and trim and dinging up my hands considerably while watching old SNLs on Hulu (basically how I spent my Memorial Day weekend while husband was away...), I was ready to paint.
I really wanted to do this chair project right, since I've had it for so long and it's a really nice quality piece, and I want it to last! And it's going to take forever to do the upholstery! I figured I would need to sand it down, but the Chalk Paint® tips said I didn't! I just washed it down with some TSP and let it dry.
I also figured I'd need some primer, but nope--this stuff doesn't require it. So, pretty simple and easy compared to what I was prepared for!
It also went on with super thick coverage. Before I started I figured I'd need 3-4 coats, but I didn't need more than two! Here it is with only one coat.
It dried super fast. After a second coat, plus a third partial for touch-up on spots I'd missed, I pulled out the Soft Wax. It's a water repellent top coat that protects the paint job and smooths it out a little, and can be reapplied over the years with wear. It said to apply with a cloth or brush, but it a little too thick than I thought my brush could handle so I used a foam tool.
It sort of smooths over the brush strokes and finish. Here you can see the vertical piece, where I applied the wax, and the horizontal bar where I hadn't yet. Little smoother.
So now the chair is painted, waxed, and waiting for upholstery.
So far, this project has been way easier than I was expecting. ;) As for the paint...
- No smell at all. I did the first coat with the garage door open but it wasn't even really necessary! It had no more smell than the nicest quality craft paint.
- No need to prime or prepare? Um, sign me up. (I read that here.)
- Great coverage. That's of prime importance when you're a quick (read: lazy) furniture painter like me and have to do this in your oddly lit, sort of chilly garage by yourself. I did not want to do any more coats than I absolutely had to.
- Dries super fast.
- Cute packaging/good branding. Let's be honest, that makes a difference in how I feel about a product, too! ;) Along with that, great bunch of tips the website on using the Chalk Paint®. I really appreciated reading more about it there and tips and techniques.
The next steps in the chair makeover
So, now that I've done the painting part, I have to do the scary upholstery part. I probably never would have attempted this (would have spray painted the whole thing one color or something) if it hadn't been for this five-part tutorial on Little Green Notebook (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5). SO many clear photos, and totally inspiring that hey, maybe I could do this myself. So I have big plans for the next few weeks--must first decide on new fabric (which is where you come in), then (yikes!) I'll be stapling and making that fancy double piping.
Fabric. Um. There are oodles of Louis chair remakes out there, many of them so so pretty. (Seriously; just search Pinterest for "Louis chair" and you'll see what I mean!) I've been pinning some faves lately, as well.
I go back and forth and am pretty sure I want to keep it pretty neutral (although I love a hot pink chair, but I can't do that to my husband), but obviously white is not a great color for a chair that I put a ton of work into and don't want to recover again. ;) I love the black/white look but our bedroom is so pale grey/soft colors that I'm afraid it would be strangely contrast-ey in there. (Here's another black/white--simple but high contrast compared to our grey room.)
Here's what it looks like currently. I'm always switching up the throw pillows and accents, so nothing besides the headboard and curtains are set in stone. The bedding is usually white, though, and I do like the lamps.
So what kind of Louis XV chair goes in this room?!
I think I might like a print, but those are kind of hard to find in super cool home dec fabrics, at a good price. I'm stumped! Uh... beige?!? Help out, guys!! What do you see this chair looking great with!?