Once upon a time…. there were two giraffes that fell in love. Well in my mind they did! LOL!
Projects like this fill my creative tank to overflowing! When. my clients give me creative freedom to design and paint from the heart…… I have to force myself to work in time blocks…… because without them I would paint around the clock for days…… just being lost in sheer pleasure!
I was asked to create a whimsical chair with a giraffe on it. When I located the treasure of two chairs….. I knew there needed to be a couple! And the tilting of the top of the chairs just lent the design to the long giraffe necks….. leaning toward one another as a romantic gesture.
I won’t go into detail on how to draw giraffes or any of the actual art design. Instead, I will focus on what type of chairs are best to look for when considering them for this type of project and how to actually apply the paint.
I prefer to paint on cotton fabric….. especially polished cotton! Duck cloth and canvas are also really nice. I never choose chairs that are velvet, ribbed, piled, raised knap or microfiber. This particular fabric on this pair of chairs is rippled and textured….. and it was very challenging and I don’t recommend it for a first time chair painter… but, as you can see, it was possible. I also prefer to paint on chairs that have a wood frame…. it just gives the chair a very finished look and allows you to “frame” your art. Avoid chairs that are over-stuffed. It’s best to paint on chairs that have firm cushions and that the upholstery is tight.
I follow these simple steps:
1. Vacuum chair really well.
2. Paint over any areas that appear to be soiled. I use Boss in white or gray.
3. Paint the fabric of the chair in a single base coat of Dixie Belle paint in a light color….. usually Fluff or Drop Cloth….. using a VERY light mist of water….. just enough to allow your paint to brush on easily….but not so much water that your paint sinks into the cushion.
4. Once dry…. lightly sand with a sanding sponge and dust away residue.
5. Sketch the design.
6. Paint the background around the actual art design. I use both Chalk Mineral paint and Silk for my backgrounds. Again…. once dry… lightly sand and wipe clean.
7. Begin painting the main design. I use both Chalk Mineral Paint and Silk paint to create the focus art.
8. Apply any transfer embellishment at this point. Avoid using transfers on the seat where people will sit. They are not meant to hold up to that use.
9. Lightly burnish any applied transfers and sand your final art with a sanding sponge and wipe clean.
10. Add detail work using a black permanent paint pen.
11. Apply top coat for protection. I use Easy Peasy Spray wax….. brushing on a very light coat over the transfers and all painted cushions.
You are now free to paint the frame of your chair. I used the gorgeous new Silk color called Oasis (coming soon)…… in two coats and done, as it doesn’t require a top coat. I embellished all the trim work and tiny details on the wood frame in Gold Gilding Wax by Dixie Belle. This does not require a top coat once cured.
There is so much opportunity to create freely and make works of art that are interesting to pull up to a table or place in a corner for conversation! Pop a pipe into a man-giraffe mouth and paint a butterfly tattoo on a lady-giraffe’s neck! Just have fun with it! I’ve painted 100’s of chairs over the years…. and my style of fabric chair painting has certainly evolved. Especially as new products become available to the market. I hope to continue to grow in this niche….. and to inspire YOU to give this a try! Surely you’ve got a tossed aside chair somewhere….. or know someone who does! As I write this blog I actually just had someone message and offer me two for free! So this obviously won’t be the last painted chair blog from me!
For your convenience, the products listed here are what I used for this blog! Dixie Belle Paint Company offers amazing products that will make all of your projects successful no matter what your skill level! Just click on the product’s photo. It will take you to the page for purchasing! You can also find my favorite products and tools in my Amazon influencer list HERE.
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