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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

Whimsical Chair Transformation

I felt CALLED to add some whimsy and color to these chairs!

Whimsical Chair Transformation showing the front and back designs made with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint and Gilding Wax i gold

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:

Chairs that are similar to found chairs for Whimsical Chair Transformation

Similar chairs that can be bought on ebay that are similar to the chair Tracey used for Whimsical Chair Transformation project

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)!

Going Green!

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.

Using Malachite Terra clay Paint to add green touch to Whimsical Chair Transformation

Painting on more Malachite onto Whimsical Chair Transformation

Comparison of Whimsical Chair Transformation faces with base coat of Malachite and added Pistachio Terra clay paint

In order to highlight the hidden face, I chose Pistachio, which is a whimsical shade of yellow-green and makes the best highlighter ever!!!

Adding Pistachio Terra clay paint onto Whimsical Chair Transformation faces

Blending out Terra clay paint Pistachio on chair face for gradient effect

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.

Adding Pistachio to chair feet

Blending CMP on chair feet for gradient effect on Whimsical Chair Transformation

Here's a sneak peek at how that blend came out. Isn't it gorgeous?!

Example of completed and aged blend techniques used for Whimsical Chair Transformation

Turning the chairs around, I began to paint the back.

I chose MoonBeam white for a solid base color.

Painting Moonbeam onto back of Whimsical Chair Transformation as a white base before painting on stripes with onyx

Here they are after painting on two coats.

Showing both chairs' backs painted with Terra Moon beam

Once dry, I taped it off and burnished it to prepare for the addition of stripes in Onyx black.

Applying painter's tape to plan out stripes

Painting more Moon beam to help create crisp stripes for Whimsical Chair Transformation

Finished second coat of moonbeam for stripes on Whimsical Chair Transformation

I applied a single generous coat of Onyx and immediately removed the tape for the reveal of my favorite painted pattern!

Using Onyx to paint black for stripes on Whimsical Chair Transformation

Removing tape immediately after painting on stripes to keep crisp edges on Whimsical Chair Transformation

Look at how the stripes just make this chair POP!!

Comparing both chair backs to show how stripes make the chair pop more

Detail work

Moving back around to the front of the chairs, I randomly added Pistachio to leaves and back legs before top coating.

Using more pistachio to front of chair bottom to add highlight on Whimsical Chair Transformation

Blending out paint on bottom front of chair

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.

Using a pad to weather and stress edges of Whimsical Chair Transformation to give a weathered and worn look

Finished weathered look on Whimsical Chair Transformation

The Finishing

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.

Applying Best Dang Wax in black to add depth and texture in Whimsical Chair Transformation

Using a baby wipe to removed wax in order give an aged wash

Removing wax with damp cloth

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!

Applying gilding wax in gold onto face in Whimsical Chair Transformation

Rubbing gold gilding wax with finger to add texture

Finished application of DB Gold Gilding Wax

Gold makes everything better, and fakes fancy like nothing else!

Front view of whimsical Chair Transformation

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:

Giraffe Chairs by Tracey's Fancy

Upcycled bedframe turned into a Cinderella Bed made by Tracey's Fancy

Products used:

Want more fancy furniture & design?

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