After the big 9 drawer dresser from last week, I needed a little break with a smaller project. So this chair was the perfect thing! It started life as a standard heavy oak desk chair. Now, it’s a boho and French lover’s dream!
I’ve done a bunch of previous pieces for this wonderful client, and you can see a couple of them here and here. This desk chair goes with a previous desk project I did for her, this beautiful purple desk with a floral transfer.
Here is what the chair looked like when I got it. I gave it a good cleaning with White Lightning, and it was ready for paint since it didn’t need any repairs.
The 2 colors I blended for this finish are Aubergine and Driftwood. I kept the light gray Driftwood to the middle of the seat, the middle of the spindles and a little across the top plate. That way it works as a highlight and brings a little more interest than a solid purple finish.
To blend, I painted the purple around the edges of the seat first, then I painted the full strength Driftwood in a square in the middle approximately 5” wide and tall. I sprayed the seat with a mist of water, and used the brush with the purple paint on it to start blending the colors together in the transition area between them. Then I used a large clean oval brush to perfect the blend, brushing very lightly in all directions. I painted 2 coats this way, sanding in between.
Being a lover of all things French, my client requested the French phrase “C’est la vie” painted across the top plate along with a bee or a crown. Let’s be clear; I am not capable of free-handing such a thing. But, I do have a method to get this done and I’m happy to share it with you!
You start by printing out the words in the size you need. You can design something, or as I did in this case, you can find the whole phrase as a graphic by Googling it. Then you cut around it with scissors, and lightly apply chalk to the back of the paper. I use chalk for dark colors, and pencil for light colors, so I can see the outline when it’s done. Tape the phrase exactly where you want it on the piece. Use a sharp pencil, and outline the words. When you pull the paper off, you should have a nice outline of the words.
Then you take a small artist’s brush (I like a liner brush for this), and paint in the lines. If you rest the palm of your hand on the piece while you paint, you don’t even need that steady of a hand. When the paint is dry, you can wipe away any excess chalk with a baby wipe or damp cloth.
For dark colors, my absolute favorite new method to seal them is wet sanding with hemp seed oil. I use a 400-grit sanding pad, dip it in the hemp seed oil and sand the piece with the oil all over going in sections. You can sand in any and all directions. Using a shop towel, I wipe off any excess and then allow it to dry. It dries to the touch in a couple hours, and cures fully to a durable finish in 30 days.
What I love about it is the subtle sheen it gives, the smoothness, and the durability.
Here are the products I used for this project:
(These are affiliate links, for which I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.)
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