I felt CALLED to add some whimsy and color to these chairs!
It was love at first sight when I spied these mysterious beauties online, making them the perfect canvas!
I couldn't believe they were local and the seller was practically giving them away! But I could already hear it in my mind, "DON'T paint those"!!!!
I brought the pair home and shared a photo of them on Facebook in hopes of gathering some information. My Facebook community is almost always better than Google!!
It was shown to me that this pair of chairs is very similar in style to Sgabelli chairs, but also resembles Greenman and Northwind furniture.
Catch the whole process on YouTube:
They are hand-carved but have no markings on them at all as to when they were built. They do however have new screws in them, probably indicating repairs of some sort.
The finish on this pair did not speak to me. The color of the stain and the shiny finish just seemed off-putting. All the ones I could find online were natural wood.
I wanted to see them in color! (even though I knew this would possibly break the internet)!
I chose green, hoping to represent life and to play into the Green-man vibe.
I wanted to highlight the hidden face with the full intention of having it be the feature of the chairs. It was very difficult to see the full detail of the carvings in the natural wood finish.
With a good cleaning using Terra Clean, all old oils and polish were removed.
Using Terra in Malachite, I gave every surface (minus the very back) two coats of this gorgeous rich green.
In order to highlight the hidden face, I chose Pistachio, which is a whimsical shade of yellow-green and makes the best highlighter ever!!!
After two coats of Pistachio to the faces, followed by a nice blend into the surrounding Malachite, I chose to highlight the front feet as well, using the same blend technique.
Here's a sneak peek at how that blend came out. Isn't it gorgeous?!
Turning the chairs around, I began to paint the back.
I chose MoonBeam white for a solid base color.
Here they are after painting on two coats.
Once dry, I taped it off and burnished it to prepare for the addition of stripes in Onyx black.
I applied a single generous coat of Onyx and immediately removed the tape for the reveal of my favorite painted pattern!
Look at how the stripes just make this chair POP!!
Moving back around to the front of the chairs, I randomly added Pistachio to leaves and back legs before top coating.
Then I used a damp cloth to wet distress the edges of the chair. I focused on areas that would receive a lot of natural wear and exposed the natural wood from beneath.
Afterward, I top-coated the entire surface of both chairs in Terra Seal which is a fabulous matte top coat for the clay paint.
This top coat locks in the paint so that I am able to add an ample amount of Best Dang Wax in Black without worrying about reactivating and rubbing off any more paint.
Once fully dry, I liberally applied Best Dang Wax in black.
I wiped back immediately, leaving black in cracks, carved areas, and surrounding carvings.
The black wax really enhances the green, and instantly ages the piece giving it an old-world feel!
And finally, GOLD! I applied Dixie Belle's Gilding Wax in Gold to add that extra bling!
Gold makes everything better, and fakes fancy like nothing else!
These dark chairs needed life!
They needed color and sparkle and royal playfulness!
I have no doubt I will receive flack for painting these, but I am ok with that!
Because I think they are alive with fantastic-ness, and if they could speak they would say THANK YOU!
Some projects to inspire your whimsy: