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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chairs Redo - Decisions, Decisions, Decisions - Part I

It has been a while since I did a step-by-step tutorial/explanation of a chair redo using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) - link to website   Several days ago, I blogged about a great sale near Lake Lanier, Georgia link to blog  I bought two chairs - both French style - with woodwork that badly needed refurbishing.  Since I have become such an ASCP devotee, this is no longer is a hindrance to buying!

One issue that is getting harder, however, is deciding which of my paints to use.  I now have six colors:

Old White
Old Ochre
Duck Egg Blue
Paris Grey
Chateau Grey

So, I had to make some color and treatment decisions immediately (although redo's are doable - but I prefer not to waste product or time if not necessary).   There were several factors I evaluated to make this decision:

1)  Level of Detail on Piece

When a piece has a lot of detail in the wood (e.g., curves, carvings),  it makes sense to use either one color of paint over the other (allowing the first coat to show through in crevices and other places) or to use dark wax over light (the dark slips into the crevices) - both techniques really show off the details in the wood.  

2)  Fabric Available

I have MANY fabrics in my inventory and these type of pieces do not require a lot but I do want to make sure that the ASCP treatment can be complemented with a good piece of fabric - particularly if I have one in mind.

3)  Likelihood of Popular Interest

Since I sell my items on-line (eBay and through my website link to site, I want to make sure that the piece appeals to a broader audience (than just me)!  So far, I have sold three pieces of my ASCP completed chair selection.  This is not easy to judge but something I must certainly consider.
Here is one of the chairs - it has a lot of detail - look at the "bow" and "drapery" affect on the sides.  I decided to do this one in two paint tone - duck egg blue over old white - at least for now.  I am looking at several fabrics that will work. 
This is the other chair - not as many details but elegant lines.  I have not yet used the Paris Grey and am trying to talk myself into using it.  I have tried the Paris grey only once and thought it looked too stark (gunmetal color) so decided to do a first coat of old ochre which has some warmth to it and to do a second coat of Paris grey.  I have a fabric in mind but it would not work as well with the grey, so I'll have to revisit that later.
So, my production line is set up in my garage (I'm also painting a coat-rack in graphite but it's not that interesting).  

Here's a TIP that I learned the hard way:

When working on an upholstered piece, remove as much of the fabric touching the wood as possible so you can get clean lines - minimally you want to take off piping and sometimes remove part of the cushion if it attached and rubbing up against the wood.  

For the old French chair, I brought the piece to my upholsterer (full disclosure - I have all of my "for-sale" upholstered pieces done by an expert - not me).   He removed the piping and also tied back the edges of the cushion to clear the woodwork for painting.
Even though all of the ASCP adheres well to just about anything, I always do a good cleaning first and use a great cleaning product (with steel wool or cloth) - Goof Off!  It takes off not just grime, dirt and old paint but also that awful "smoke stain" that is often present in older pieces that were at some times in their long lives in a smoking environment - you would be amazed at how much of this is often on old piece of furniture.   

So today, I finished one coat on each piece and did a slight of amount of second coating on the old French chair because I wanted to make sure that the white coat is clean and will show well once the duck blue is used as the second coat.  I may change my mind about the Paris Grey for the tall chair - I just am not sure how it will work.

That's the end of Part I - with photos of chairs at this point.

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