before and afterchairs

before & after: reupholstered chair + painted plant stand

by Kate Pruitt

I’m a huge admirer of the quilts of Gee’s Bend, and I think part of the reason I love this reupholstered chair from Amy is that the seat has the same kind of modern looking, graphic-collage quality as the Gee’s Bend quilt designs. It provides a great contrast for the warm wood and curved lines of the Thonet-style chair, and I am always a fan of the dip-paint style on legs — it’s a fun and unexpected touch. Great work, Amy! — Kate

Time: 1.5 hours

Cost: free (everything was on hand!)

Basic Steps: To paint the chair, I removed the seat cushion with a screwdriver and had to pry it off after removing the screws because it was glued to the wood frame. I washed the chair with soapy water and let it air dry. I then taped the legs where I wanted the white to end and wrapped the ends with newspaper. I SHOULD have sanded the wood with a fine-grain paper, but I skipped this step.

I sprayed the chair outside, and the wind carried away the paint mist more than I would have liked, but I had just enough left in the can to finish the whole thing. It took about three coats. Before taking on a similar project, I suggest taking the time to sand it. I also recommend spraying outside, but in a sheltered area to cut down on the wind factor. Practice on cardboard or something first to get the feel for how fast and thick the paint comes out. I usually hesitate to paint over beautiful wood, but this wood was not very beautiful, and this chair is not rare. It really brightens up my dining room! — Amy

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE to see Alexis’ plant stand after the jump!

Attractive yet affordable plant stands are somewhat hard to come by, so if I ever find one that has any potential, I think I will follow Alexis’ lead and modernize it with a simple refinishing. The addition of the few white-painted bars add much more interest to the base, and it’s nice to see a piece in such good shape get a new lease on life. Nice work, Alexis!

Time: 5 hours (including drying time)

Cost: $33

Basic Steps: I followed The Brick House’s steps for refinishing wood; sand, clean with Murphy’s soap, apply teak oil and apply Howard feed-n-wax. After that I taped off the slats I wanted to paint and painted them; it took about four coats. My advice would be that when painting, keep Q-tips and water handy; if you get paint on the wood where you don’t want it, immediately use the Q-tip dipped in water to wipe it away. Also take your time taping off! — Alexis

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