Covering a chair in drop cloth?? Yes! 😀 Maybe it’s a little crazy…but I loved this project. But first, let me tell you a little about this chair.
This chair has special meaning to me. Not all pieces of furniture tell a great story, but this one does. At least for me. You see, this chair – though stained, neglected and in desperate need of redemption – has potential. But like anything that is dirty and cast aside, it only takes ONE person to see beyond what it currently is…who sees the beauty in what it could become. And that person in my life was my Mom. Mom had an eye for seeing the beauty in things other people threw out or left behind. She would often bring home “strays” (furniture and other such finds) that someone else had discarded…because she saw *what it could be*. “Oh! But it has such great potential!” She’d say with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.
When we were growing up, we three kids would roll our eyes at her curbside finds – until she really would make something amazing out of them. Then of course, even *we* were impressed. 😉 Mom had a real knack for seeing the beauty in cast off things. And so it was with this chair…it was abandoned by previous homeowners who didn’t want it anymore; left in a dark and dusty basement when Mom and Dad bought my childhood home, a long time ago.
Mom hung on to this chair for many years – knowing it could be a great piece. I’m not sure why she didn’t tackle this chair…whether is was a lack of time, or maybe a little intimidation for recovering it? I don’t know. But she kept it for “someday” – when she’d have the time to make it beautiful.
Mom didn’t get to see this chair to it’s “someday” – when she could make it beautiful. My Mom very suddenly, very unexpectedly passed away this past July, 2015. Just two weeks after they moved here to be closer to us. It was the hardest, darkest valley we’ve had to walk yet. Mom was my very best friend and my go-to person for everything. We shared a love for so many of the same things…our family, our Savior, gardening, creating, painting, and yes…seeing the beauty in rejected pieces.
When some friends and I decided to do a drop cloth challenge, my first thought was “curtains!”, next it was “pillows!”…but then I decided I wanted to do something a little different. And this chair came to mind. Mom had given it to me when they moved and I knew I was ready to tackle it.
I dragged it out of the recesses of our garage and into the daylight to give it a good once-over. It was in pretty bad shape. Not the frame or anything …all that was great – it was solid. But the fabric was dirty, stained and basically just a hot mess. But those ARMS and LEGS had me at hello. I’m 100% sure they were what drew my Mom to the chair in the first place, too.
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Arms and Legs of the Chair
The arms and legs of the chair were first on my list. If you’ve been around here for long, you know I have a serious affinity for all things white. Newly painted white kitchen cabinets, white painted velvet chair, a white faux fur footstool… But this chair begged to be painted a fun and funky color. First, I decided on Turquoise chalk paint for most of the wood and Gold for those gorgeous, curvy front legs. I found the paints at my local JoAnn’s (but you can find the chalk paint here and the gold paint here). After one coat of the chalk paint straight out of the jar, I knew it wasn’t quite bold enough so I threw in a couple other plain old craft paint colors that I had on hand. Voila! THAT is the color I had in my head!
Now for those curvy front legs. I decided it was better to be safe than sorry, so I primed the front legs and gave them two coats of this gold paint. By this time I had a a huge grin on my face and may or may not have had a little party in my head. The colors were bold and just a little crazy and I loved them.
Time for the Chair to Get it’s Drop Cloth Recover
Supplies I used:
- drop cloth sufficient for your project
- good fabric scissors
- staple gun (mine is one I hook up to my air compressor, but you could do this project with a hand held staple gun
- plenty of staples
Now, before I get too far into this, I’m giving you a huge disclaimer. I am NOT a furniture upholsterer. Not even close. And I did not remove all this old fabric. I cleaned it up and vacuumed it as best I could and then just started in on the seat and back. Just keeping it real, my friends. Maybe someday I’ll strip a piece of furniture down to it’s bones and start from scratch, but not today. 😉
Seat first. I cut a piece of drop cloth large enough to cover the seat (make double sure you mark your pieces so you know where they go.)
and laid it on, trimming, rolling and stapling around the edges as I went. Nothing very technical here – I really just went with it as I worked. Starting on one side and working my way around. Once the top of the seat was finished, I flipped it over and cut a piece to size for the underside – again, folding and stapling as I went along.
Now for the back. Same deal. I cut a piece larger than needed and laid it over the front of the back (if that makes sense?). Once I had it positioned where I wanted it, I marked where I wanted my stencil and applied that quick:
I didn’t do any rolling of this piece before stapling because the backside will have the finish piece.
As I worked on the backside of the back (you staying with me?) I rolled and stapled more precisely as this was my finish piece. Once I was done, I stood back and looked at the finished product……expecting to love it!!
Aaaaand I realized I HATED the turquoise color in my house!!! Hated it. It was just all wrong. Nooooo!!!
Go figure. 😉
SO… I sent a frantic message to a couple girlfriends asking them, “WHAT do I do??!!?” After looking at pics I sent, they suggested I paint the whole thing gold. That terrified me. All of it? GOLD??!! But I figured I’d give it a go…
and you know what? They were right!! It was *perfect*. A little edgy, a little funky and definitely FUN.
This chair, with it’s funky color, out-of-the-ordinary fabric cover and stencil would make Mom smile. I know it would.
She might have shaken her head at my crazy choices at first, but she would have loved how this turned out. May 2 is her birthday. She would have been 63. Redoing this chair has been a bit of a healing process for me. That paint may have inadvertently had a few tears mixed in with it and at the same time a bittersweet smile was in my heart as I could almost hear Mom’s surprised-yet-not-so-surprised laughter over the crazy color choices, her cheerful voice in my head as I worked with the drop cloth. Had she still been here, she would have loved to tackle this project with me. A little paint, a little inexpensive drop cloth and this chair went from “blah” to “beautiful”!
So tell me: Is a drop cloth project in your future? It doesn’t have to be a chair, but how about something else? I’d love to hear… and be sure to check out these other great drop cloth projects below! 😀
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