Here is what they looked like when we brought them home...
Did I mention we only paid $60.00 a piece? Not bad considering they were in really good condition, other than a few scratches and dated upholstery.
During this makeover, there was nasty bleed through, a gazillion old staples to remove, a botched attempt at double welting, and multiple trips to the fabric store because I was being so indecisive. Keep'n it real and more about that later...
It took four hours per chair and a few puncture wounds to show for it, to remove all the tiny little staples. I was excited to get on to the next step, adding the pretty but first I had to rough up the wood using a sanding block so the paint has some bite.
Knowing I was bound to get paint bleed from the tannins in the dark wood, I gave the chair a coat of (affiliate link) shellac. Next, I painted a thin layer of white chalk paint in a 50:50 ratio of Old White and Pure White. Painting in thin layers gives a nice smooth finish.
There was still bleed through after the first coat so I applied a second coat of Shellac and that did the trick. It took a total of four coats of chalk paint to hide the dark wood, but that's not uncommon when you're doing thin layers.
Using a sanding block with 220 grit sandpaper I distressed the chair along the edges as well as around the details so they would pop. Another option would have been not to distress the details and apply dark wax into the grooves for an aged appearance. I wanted a clean look.
Last but not least the chair was protected with (affiliate link) clear wax and buffed to a matte finish.
I fell in love with this très chic Parisian Rosedale Meadowland upholstery fabric, purchased at Fabricland (Canadian retailer).
I liked the fabric so much I went back to buy more to reupholster our ottoman. No such luck, someone else liked it as much as I did and they were all out (insert sad face here).
I wanted to add double welting along the top and bottom of the chair. While I've sewed a lot of single welting before, I'd never made double welting. I figured how hard can it be to add one more strand of piping. Ha! Two attempts later and a lot of wasted fabric and (affiliate link) clothesline cord, I finally figured it out.
Sorry, but my brain was in overdrive so I didn't stop to take pictures of the process. My friend Christy from Confessions Of A Serial DIYer has a great double welting tutorial that you may find helpful.
Which brings me to the final phase of this makeover...sewing pocket lumbar pillows. Being vertically challenged I felt like Edith Ann in her rocking chair (now I'm dating myself). Remember the show Laugh In with Lily Tomlin? It was my Saturday night entertainment staple during my babysitting days. "And That's The Truth" (insert tongue sticking out here).
Ahem, back to the chairs...
I've made simple pocket pillows before but never have I made them with piping which requires a lot more cutting and sewing.
Deciding to free fall my way through making these (like upholstery I'm also a novice, self-taught sewer) I figured it out but not without spewing a few colorful words. Normally this is where I'd provide another tutorial but until I perfect my skills, I'll keep the nitty gritty to myself.
I thought about using a contrasting fabric for the piping or a contrasting fabric for the pillow, but I wanted the chairs to be the focal point and not the pillows so I changed my mind.
If you like my Queen Anne Armchair makeover, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
I'm thrilled with how they turned out and don't you think the chairs look fabulous paired with the Swan Table?
A BIG Thank You to the following for featuring this project...