Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A New Antique

As a family we have never had "nice" dining room chairs. They have always been pass-me-downs and free finds (of course these are always the best!)
I decided to play around with a few of our chairs. Starting with this guy...

Let me introduce the test chair--"Bob". Bob was found on craigslist for free. When I went to introduce myself to Bob and invite him to live with us, he gladly accepted. You see, someone had taken several coats of white paints and tried to cover his flaws. He's lived w/ us for almost 6 months and the most I did to make him feel a little bit more at home was wash him down. Bob had nasty grime under the top frame and in every crack and crevice. I quickly decided that we were going to give Bob a proper makeover.

This was the stripper of my choice. There were SEVERAL layers of paint and I didn't want to brush it on...
Since we live in Colorado and the weather is extremely unpredictable I decided to throw down some plastic and get started. Bob was sprayed "head-to-toe" and sat for 15 minutes while I caught up on Lost.

To my surprise Bob had endless coats of paint! I scrubbed with a wire brush but could not get all of the paint off. So I proceeded to my husband's garage, grabbed his sander and started sanding away at the paint runs and other rough spots. The next chair that gets a makeover will probably skip the stripping process and go straight to sanding.
After the chair was sanded down smoothly, I used mineral oil to clean up any remaining dust and grime.
Then started the fun stuff! My husband works at Lowe's and grabbed me a small quart of Val spar Mocha Glaze. Make sure you shake it well, then poor some into a plastic cup or tin. I only used maybe 1/4 cup of Glaze. I started on the bottom of the chair so the seat and parts that are seen right away wouldn't smudge.
With glaze it's simply a "brush on" "wipe off" technique when antiquing.

Make sure you get into the grooves really well. I let the glaze sit longer in the grooves than on the white too ad a little drama to the look.

After the legs were done, I worked along the edging....It was a little darker than I thought I would like, but ended up being beautiful after I finished.

I glazed 3 areas and then would go back to the first and wipe it clean with an old sock. After a while the sock was getting goopy. Instead of starting a whole new sock and loosing all of the good glaze on the old sock, I layered them. First putting on the clean sock then the used sock after (like doubling up on gloves). This worked great and I didn't have any glaze on my hands afterwards!

In this picture you can see how dark the wood got. Like I said, I wasn't sure if I liked it so dark, but it ended up being beautiful.
You'll also notice, I did the edging, then 2 back supports, then, I went back to the edging and rubbed off the glaze, then the back supports. Always remove the glaze in the order you put it on so the coloring is consistent.

Here is a better picture of the seat. Notice the difference in color? The right side is obviously the side I just glazed.

And here is Bob with his make over! He's a bit rough around the edges, but I like my "chairs" rough and al'natural.

This is the before picture. (below)

Bob's new look. (below)

Bob's old look. (below)

Bob's "brother" is next...

Now mind you...I still need to put the clear coating on, but this will give you the general idea of what he looks like now...Oh! and it does NOT have a pink tint to it...that's actual a reflection from the floor and my flash (dang camera). "Bob" now has more of a cream warm look to him instead of stark white with grime.


  1. Love the out come. The chairs would go great with a FARM Table haha.. Great antique look.

  2. CJ, your chair turned out beautiful!!!! My goodness, I should start collecting chairs for our table since ours are starting to crack, and go at it too or just have you help me ;) he he.

  3. aw thanks you two! Sam mom and I are actually going to trade tables! I'm going to distress her white one w/ a butcher top just a bit before putting it in the kitchen ;)
    Nicole, just check out! Only look under "free" things. Start collecting chairs and I'd LOVE to help you get started or finish up when I come out! Love you two!

  4. Chris,
    great job documenting it all. Thanks for the help with the chair! You did a great job. I love it! Mom