This fantastic carved wooden arm chair find was to be the beginning of unique and individual chairs for our dining room table. On an early March afternoon, my daughter and I went to one of our favorite antique malls especially to look for chairs. We found this beauty early on in our shopping and with thoughts swirling in my mind I continued walking the aisles that eventually led us back to this chair. The owner happened to be in his stall-like space and told me a bit about the chair. It was a antique from England and was solid wood that was hand carved and the craftsman paid attention to detail. I asked for a lower price, but I was told he had just lowered it a week ago. I could see a line drawn through the older higher price and would have even paid that because this chair thrilled me. We purchased the chair and were excited that we now owned the first chair that would go around our dining table. My daughter’s idea was to find six chairs that were each unique and I would paint them a dark color and paint and distress the oak farm table like I had planned . We were strategizing how to gather at our table since our beloved man had passed on. We thought if it could look different we could gather again.
The chair was one that thrilled my senses of sight and touch! It was beautiful everywhere you looked with all the perfect curves, raised designs on legs, carved filigree back, and claw and ball feet. This was the kinda piece I wonder about… What was the person like who designed it? Who actually carved the wood and put it together? Who was the original owner and what room did it grace? Who sat upon it with regular familiarity?
This was the first chair found and as my decorating friend, Michelle, declared we had found the best chair first and how would another chair even compare! She was correct in her declaration. We searched many shops, estate sales, yard sales, ads, and in a year found nothing else suited to sit next to this chair or around our table. We finally gave up on that idea and I put my hands to work on this inspiring elegant chair. I began with cleaning the chair well as it had white spots from age forming so I used my favorite Zinsser B-I-N primer that blocks stains and seals the wood. I primed once and let dry for 24 hours. On the can it says it dries in 45 minutes, but I find that when painting a piece of furniture I want to make sure that I do not need another coat of primer and that my paint will adhere well to the piece. We each form our habits on painting and ultimately do what works best from our experiences. This chair and I were not parting ways so I choose the color agave based on my bedroom quilt and accent colors. I next painted the chair with my 1 1/2 inch Purdy brush. The paint made the chair details pop which was satisfying to see. My appreciation for the person who created this chair grew as I painted. For those of us who paint and distress you know what I mean when I say I couldn’t wait to take sandpaper to this chair. I painted two coats of agave and let the chair dry 24 hours between each coat. I love the Purdy brushes because you can just rinse with a little dawn soap and warm water.
For this chair I decided to use the wet sand block to keep the really smooth to the touch finish. I dipped my medium sanding block in water and began to move my hands in circular where needed and straight lines on other places until I achieved the look I was aiming for. Sometimes the furniture piece tells you and this chair was speaking as I moved a long.
Next, I wiped down the chair and clear waxed the piece to seal the paint. After a couple days because of my schedule I used Annie Sloan dark wax lightly which gave me the final color I was desiring. You can see that white streaks are also showing through that is from my primer and I like the added benefit of using primer. See the next blog for finished chair. If you live in my area I will paint your furniture just contact me for details and quote. Thanks!
I was in the process of up-doing my oak farm table when I began searching Craigslist for dining chairs. Let me first tell you that my neighbor and I went to a local furniture store and searched their large floor rooms with my shared concept of dining room chairs in our minds. To our disappointment, we left sticker shocked and no where close to the concept. I enjoy purchasing re-sale furniture for many reasons but love when you happen upon a piece that speaks and is timeless. Treasures that fill you with wonder and appreciation and stir curiosity and bring forth welcoming feelings from the past are my favorites.
Remember in an earlier post I commented on being content to wait for my vision of what our dining room could look like one day? I had looked on and off for chairs out of four of our eight years in Texas. I imagined high back carved wood with soft cushions. Kinda like the Bennet’s chairs around their table in Pride and Prejudice, the version with Keira Knightley, the idea was old world style.
The same day we visited the furniture store, I found incredible chairs listed for sale on Craigslist. I took my laptop next store and showed my neighbor the listing photos. We both loved the chairs and began wondering if they were still available and how would we get them to my house etc… I inquired through email if the chairs were available and bravely asked for a reduction in price. The owner of the chairs explained that they were brand new chairs that did not fit in her dining room as planned by a decorator. She loved the chairs too, but needed to move them and search for new ones. She wonderfully worked with me on the price and with my neighbor’s help we figured out how to move eight rather large chairs to my home.
I do believe God gives you gifts and I do not think it was by coincidence that I had started painting the table and searching for chairs when I did. These chairs were way better than my imagination and had arrived just on time as planned. I do have to say I felt a bit sad for the woman I purchased them from as they didn’t work out for her, but having said that, I know the right ones will eventually grace her dining room. Also, it helped that she was really interested in selling them and having them gone from her home. I do believe these chairs were meant for me and sometimes God uses others to bless us when they do not even know it.
The wooden carved chairs have the old world appeal with comforts of today in both back and seat cushions. They are lovely to look at and fit around our table like they belong. I now wanted to get us back around the table like we belong!
I’m happy to say we are eating at the table which for us is a huge accomplishment in our grieving process. Today my youngest brought her sewing machine to the table and stayed for about an hour. Thank You, God!!! You will restore the places that have been devastated. (Isaiah 61) I will paint your furniture if you are in my area and interested contact me for a quote.