Chalk Paint Chairs

After moving to South Carolina, our brown upholstered dining room chairs seemed heavy and out-of-place. Though I wanted to re-upholster them, the cost of the fabric and labor was way too high and they weren’t particularly special chairs. There is a chalk paint store in the area, and after I took an introductory class with them, I decided to paint unfinished chairs. The instructor told us about an Amish furniture store which was full of choices for straight-backed chairs. After spending a good amount of time dithering about which chairs to buy, I decided on six different styles! Somewhere I had seen an old farmhouse kitchen where mismatched chairs sat around a big table. Though there are many antique stores nearby, new chairs seemed a better option. This was all about a year ago and the unfinished chairs with cloth seats, sat in the diningroom looking forlorn.

Sometimes I make quick decisions about fabrics and colors, but not this time. Finally I found an ikat fabric that I liked – with watery, soft colors.

And then the paint color debate started in my head. For a long while I thought I would be clever and paint each chair a different color and collected paint samples. I came to my senses a few weeks ago and decided that one color would suffice. I went back to the chalk paint store which sells Annie Sloan’s brand. They have a large selection of colors, but nothing appealed to me. I didn’t feel like mixing their paint either, so I started to Google. It turns out that chalk paint is very easy to make and Lowe‘s had a recipe and all sorts of good information. It’s Plaster of Paris and water and plain paint and that meant that I could simply choose a color I liked and make it myself. (And it was lots less expensive.)Why chalk paint? It is very thick and goes on easily. There are far fewer drips and these are easy to spot. Years ago when I painted furniture for our apartment, I could not find a finish that I liked; it was always too shiny and then when I sanded it, it looked – well – sanded. Chalk paint has a dull finish and then when the finishing wax is applied, it can be rubbed to make it shine a bit. There are all sorts of amazing techniques one can do, but I just did plain painting. And I’m very pleased with the result.

Next I am debating painting a red leather recliner…. Have any of you tried chalk painting on leather?

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9 thoughts on “Chalk Paint Chairs

    • That would be quite a project! My mother did several needlepoint seats over the years. Two gorgeous bargello ones in the livingroom….There’s something you and Don can do. I’ve been thinking about bargello recently and s it’s so fun to do.

  1. Hello, Debbie — The chairs are lovely. You did a great job.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. My Peter is doing well and has a good outlook. Are you taking a Viking River cruise down the Rhine? That’s another trip on my list . . . which seems to grow daily. Have a wonderful time. I’ll look forward to reading about it here upon your return! Sarah

  2. Wow, those turned out wonderfully, didn’t they! I love the paint color with the fabric that you chose. And it must be so rewarding to see them and know that you made them unique.

    • Thank you Judy. I am pleased. I think those of us who love crafts have a need to personalize our things, from chairs to mittens to dish towels to dyeing fiber! Really, your dyeing and spinning is so lovely, and the resulting mittens or hats amazing.

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