When I got my hands on this French Louis XV chair, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of neglect and misuse that such a beautiful object had received. What went wrong in this chair’s life to get to this point? I knew right away that this one project would be a huge labor of patience love.
I began by stripping the entire chair layer by layer. The decorating tacks were the hardest part to remove. My husband, who is my ultimate resource when I get stuck on a project, created a wonderful tool for me to tackle this job. (For those whom rather find the tool and just buy it, you can find it here.)
After hours and hours of work, the chair was down to the bones and for the first time in this process… I felt hope!
I began by painting the entire body with Martha Stewart’s chalk paint in linen. Usually when painting carved furniture with chalk paint, the results look pretty flat. You have to take a few extra steps for the piece to look alive and vibrant again.
I decided that rather than distressing the wood, I would dry brush it with a metallic silver paint to highlight all the beautiful details on this piece. If you are wondering what dry brushing is all about, check this video by Refunk my Junk.
I then redid the entire chair webbing, covered it with burlap, added a comfy brand new 3″ foam for the seat and 1″ foam for the back rest; and finally a thin layer of batten.
It was then ready for the final touches… I had envisioned a chair that could easily be dressed up or dressed down and decided to go with a thin stripe gray and linen fabric and matching trim. It has a little bit of that farmhouse look that is so coveted these days, but it is also the kind of chair that can fit in a fancier setting and still be ok.
This chair reminds me a little bit of me… after I was sick for a long period of time (some day I will talk about this subject in depth), I felt like I almost had to be stripped layer by layer, down to the bones and redone entirely. I needed some new paint, some pearly dry brushing to highlight my – once dulled by the illness – best details and some new foam and fabric to give me a new life. The extra tools came from the huge amount of support I received from my doctors, family and friends, but the true outcome came from within… from myself, my biggest and most needed labor of patience and love.
Just like this chair, today I feel ready for life, for hope, for new beginnings and for a long lasting smile inside and out.