Chair of Many Colors

After posting about my Chippendale dining chairs,  I have received numerous questions and requests for more details. A follow-up seemed to be in order.

This is one of six mahogany chairs in my dining room. Sometimes when I paint I have a clear idea of what I want for the final result. Not this time. It was more that I wanted try out a new (for me) color of Chalk Paint, Louis Blue and I needed something to paint. So I painted all six chairs before I decided maybe Louis Blue was not the best color to go with a dark mahogany table in a warm white dining room. The second coat of paint was a mix of Old White and Louis Blue. Still not right. Next, out came the Provence, then a mix of Provence and Old White. Every time I added another color of paint, I would have to paint all six chairs.  Aubusson Blue was added in the crevices. Still not quite right. The almost final coat was Old White dry brushed around the edges.  

Almost perfect. Well maybe not, but the thought of painting six chairs again was too much even for me and I love to paint. So I proceeded to the next step…..clear wax (x6), and finally the dark wax (x6 again).  Finally, finished! At least for a while……until, months later I had finished another project involving Pure White. I had paint left on my brush and rather than waste it, I did a little dry brushing on one of the chairs. Yes!  That was all it needed…. except “it” was a “they”.  Five more in fact and more waxing. I am happy to say, over the course of several months, every time I had some Pure White left over I would add it to another chair. Slowly I worked my way through all six, and now they mostly match. 

Lesson Learned. Never paint one in a collection unless you are absolutely sure about the color. Repainting one is no big deal, but painting six is.  And, more importantly, you can not ruin any piece of furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  If you make a mistake, or don’t like it, just keep adding paint until you do. If I had used latex or oil based, I would have had to strip and sand and probably would still be doing it now.  Or more likely, I would have given the chairs away.

8 Comments

RitaG

Hi Leslie,
Thanks for the information about your process with the chairs. I’m painting a small table right now and am struggling with the colors. I’m going to keep painting till I like the result. Your chair is beautiful!

Reply
Leslie Stocker

Hi Rita, really it does work. I’m glad it is only one small table and not six chairs. If you start to feel discouraged put it away for a while. Sometimes ideas come in spurts. Send me a pic or let me know if you post it (FB, Pinterest, etc.)
Thanks,
Leslie

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RPK Interiors

Does it help you to know you aren’t the only one who has made some ‘time consuming’ mistakes on chairs? :) These turned out beautifully, though. Thank you for sharing your ‘layering’ technique!
Robin

Reply
Leslie Stocker

RPK Interiors,
Yes it does help. At the time I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. Doomed to keep painting those chairs over and over. I look back and wonder, what was I thinking. Now you can see why I do “practice” photos and paint them on the computer before I begin big projects! Thanks,
Leslie

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Adrienne Cummings

I love this layered look. I did 6 chairs and a pedestal table myself and it’s time consuming. I have a bureau I painted with graphite but I don’t like it. I need another color over it then distress a bit to bring out the black. What colors do you like to use with graphite?

Reply
Leslie Stocker

Adrienne,
I’m not a big fan of high contrast accents So I would probably go with Coco, French Linen, or another dark color (maybe one of the dark blues). To be honest I haven’t done many pieces in Graphite as main color. Here is a link to one of my graphite posts http://lesliestocker.com/graphite-the-new-black-2/s. I would love to see a photo of your bureau when finished. Thanks for writing. Happy New Year,
Cheers,
Leslie

Reply
Leslie Stocker

Adrienne,
Thanks for sending the photo of your chairs, they look fantastic. I like the way you did your layers with Graphite and Coco. Let’s keep in touch!
Cheers,
Leslie

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