Sometimes you just have to paint that ugly dining room chair. The chair was pretty rough from being used as a cat scratching chair for years and then as a plant stand for the last couple years. I confess I couldn’t throw the damn thing away even though hubby tried to once. I just put it aside and waited for inspiration. Okay so I am not always inspired right away…
See there is a story behind this chair and it goes back about 12 years when I found this chair (and others I had sold a few years back) at this old furniture store in Lynchburg VA. My girl friend and neighbor asked me to go on a road trip to Lynchburg and I agreed since I had not been there. She drove into the downtown area and ran her errand and then we went back to check out the downtown stores. We parked the car and started walking and that’s when we spotted the furniture store. We walked in not expecting to see new furniture collecting dust from the 60s with the original price tags! We were amazed at the styles of the still new dressers and tables that were from many years of retail. Then as we were walking around chatting about all the old stuff, a man’s voice from behind us said “there is more upstairs- used furniture and other things”. So we calmly but excitedly said “okay” and carefully walked up the dimly lit creaky staircase to the 2nd floor to discover piles, stacks, and heaps of furniture and STUFF. We were in heaven (except for the smell of mustiness which was quite overpowering); and spent an hour walking around in total disbelief of all the ‘stuff’.
And then way back in the farthest corner of the 2nd floor, I found my 7 mismtached and very shabby chairs. You tell from the thick layer of dust that the chairs had been sitting there for years (the man came up and checked on us and told us that the chairs probably been there 20 years!) I guess the owner’s father would buy people’s furniture and store it upstairs- as a kind of pawn shop but most people never came back. I was in heaven so I bought the chairs and the next day drove back in my Windstar to pick them up. I also have to add to this story – this is where I found my old antique wagon (pictured below) which I still have in my garden.
This was affectionately known as the ‘cat scratching chair’ because our dearly departed Thomas and Babycat used the leather seat as their own cat scratching post. Now I would not tolerate a cat ripping apart an expensive piece of furniture but this chair was an oddball chair (and I bought it cheap). I only bought this chair because I thought it was cute and I just couldn’t leave it behind. The chair served its purpose but now it was time to either fix it or hubby was going to toss it.
I am not always quick to paint an antique or any piece of wood furniture unless I know it is beyond refinishing or it is not good (Oak, Cherry, Maple, or beautiful hardwood). I did spend about an hour or maybe 2 on this chair using my Formby’s furniture refinisher trying to clean it up hoping that this old cane chair was a hidden gem made out of oak or maple. To my dismay it was just a beat up chair with no wood grain and lots of issues from years of cat scratching. At this point I realized that painting it (or throwing it out) was my option. So I stepped outside of my comfort zone and painted it.
I had some very expensive chalk paint that did not work for my kitchen and since I paid so much money for this chalk paint I just had to use it somewhere. I painted the chair and realized that the gray was so freaking boring. Then that prompted a trip to JoAnn’s Fabrics and Hobby Lobby (and hours of browsing and dreaming of other projects) where I did not find anything that struck me. So a few days later I went back to Hobby Lobby where this fabric was front and center calling my name. The fabric is garden inspired with vivid colors and some pastels mixed in which just grabbed me. I think many of you know what I mean- when the fabric, the color or the thing just makes you have to have it. I knew this fabric would help me tie in my hubby’s new $5 store store chair, kitchen cabinets, and even some of pops of colors from my pans and dishes.
With my 40% off coupon the fabric cost me less than $4 (and I still have 1/2 of the half yard left). I did buy a pad to go under the fabric but it was too much for this petite chair so I just used a piece of quilting batting to go under the fabric and as a cover for the 1/4″ plywood seat I cut out. Then as I looked at the chair and realized the gray was just too boring so I went out to the garage/workshop and went through my samples of paint (I always pick up 50cent samples for the day I find a project) and found this pretty light green. “What the heck” I thought I am going to do something different and paint the back of the chair.
When I get tired of this chair all I have to do is repaint it, sell it, or donate it. It is not the style (of the transformation) I am showing you but the possibilities that paint can have on a project whether it be in a room or on an ugly cat scratching chair. Have fun and be inspired!
Thanks for stopping by and may you find that one chair or table that makes you smile.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique
and be sure to check out my other garden blog www.thegardenfrog.me