9/10/13

Antique dining room chair makeover...

Hey guys! So today I'm coming at you with another home post. I'm going to *try* to at least do one per week from now on to mix things up! I just think they're so fun.

Anyway, today's post involves something that made me quite nervous. If you guys know me at all by now, you probably realize that when it comes to home stuff and diy, I get my hands dirty and take chances. Painting rarely makes me nervous.  Well this project totally got me.

See, when we moved into our last house years back, my Grandma gave me her dining room hutch, table, and chairs that were in storage. She had not used them since she moved from her house years back (she's lived with my parents for years), so I jumped at the chance to use them since I always loved them growing up and have so many memories of Thanksgivings, family dinners, and game nights around it. Hey, I even used the chairs to make some killer blanket forts in her living room as a kid, just saying.

Now I was a bad blogger and didn't really take many before shots because this project came about sort of quickly and I just jumped on it.  So I came up with a serious throwback "before" shot.
WAAAAY "before" I like to call it.
Here we are circa 1992 at Thanksgiving. I'm the one stuffing my face in the background...


Classic.

At our old place, our dining room was VERY brown. I loved that dark and dramatic room. I lovingly refer to it as "cinnamon" rather than brown of course, but I always felt like the brown chairs, brown table, brown hutch, brown brown brown... was too much. So I slapped some cheap chair covers over them in white to give the room some contrast.

It was ok, but definitely not working at the new house.
Mostly because the new dining room is much lighter and brighter than the old. So the white chair covers weren't really doing the dining room's vibe any favors.

So I removed the covers for a while. Again, too much brown. Maybe if the walls were a lighter and brighter white or cream, but the walls are a really warm golden tan. So not enough contrast to do the pretty brown finish any favors. FYI... the wall color is still a mystery to me. Some of you asked about it in my "office redo" post. The painters who repainted the house before we moved in left all the paint except for this one.... Which they used in about 90% of the house. Awesome, guys. Awesome.
I'm thinking it may be Tobacco Road by Sherwin Williams. Just because they used all other SW paints and I've compared a ton of photos of it and it's pretty darn close.

Anyway, back to the chairs. I decided I wanted to repaint them a rich, glossy, onyx black.  The room has other black accents (black chandelier shades and lampshades) and a black little sideboard piece of furniture, so I knew it would look fab.

The problem?? Convincing Grandma. I know she gave them to me and all, but I still felt like I needed to ask her permission before possibly ruining the chairs she loves so much.

The initial conversation didn't go super well.  I asked. Grandma got scared. Before she could hear me out, I could hear panic in her voice at the thought that I was going to whip out a paintbrush and slap black paint all over her beloved chairs.
So I sent her some photos of similar chairs in black and she started to come around. Permission, granted.
I got started.... And it took FOREVER.

This process was pretty tedious just because the chairs have so many spindles. I began by cleaning them super well and then sanding the finish to remove any of the glossy texture they had so the new paint would adhere.
We had such great luck with the Glidden Interior/Exterior high gloss paint in Black Onyx on our banisters (check out that transformation here), that I knew it would work great on the chairs.

Well, it totally did!
...and Grandma's diggin' it too.

I used an angled brush (one typically used for "cutting in" around trim) to paint all the spindles and edges. For the flat "ladder" pieces on the back, I used a small foam roller to get super smooth results since those reflect the most light and would show the most brush strokes.
I used a tiny brush to get around the areas where the wood meets the woven seats. I covered the seats with aluminum foil (hey, it worked) to avoid any drips or splatters. Only once did I drip paint onto one of the seats on an exposed area. Which almost gave me a heart attack. I saw my Grandma fainting in my mind.  I decided to just let it dry and peel it off later rather than smear it around.  I was shocked that it actually worked!

The trick was being patient between coats. I let each coat fully dry before starting the next. Which wasn't usually a problem because there are 7 of these bad boys and it took quite a while to make it through each one.

After painting them, even when the final coat had dried for hours, they were still a bit "tacky" to the touch. High gloss paint typically does that until it's fully cured for several days. So we were really careful with them for a few weeks and didn't touch them or sit on them for a long time. Which wasn't difficult because we don't use that table every single day.

I painted them about a month ago and they're perfect now! The paint is super hard and durable. I thought about maybe adding some clear lacquer to them to help them hold up better over the years, but I'm not sure that I need to.

I also added 2 of our new "Kubu" chairs I purchased from Pier 1 a few months ago to the ends. I talked all about them in this recent post about some home updates. They're so unique... I. LOVE. them!


I think the black added so much contrast.  At our last house, we always had such dramatic dining room walls... From super deep red to the dark and dramatic cinnamon-brown.  So I'm LOVING this brighter space that still feels cozy.

Oh and I'm also literally loving the SPACE. Seriously this dining room is huge. At the last house, I always had one of the leaf inserts out and had it set up for 6 place settings. Just last week it totally hit me that I could use the extra leaf section all the time and have it set up for 8.

Still with PLENTY of room... I told you this room was huge! Look how tiny the table still looks even extended for 8!


So I'm really loving this room now. Can't wait to host Thanksgiving this year!  The new look even inspired us to make it a point to actually use this room more often. We use our kitchen table every day for most meals, but it's fun to actually use this space when we want to, rather than feeling like it has to be so "formal" all the time. 

So what do you guys think?? Have you guys done any big diy projects? Painted antique furniture that made you super nervous? Any upset grandmas?  



67 comments:

  1. I just love your dining room! What's funny is we just inherited a beautiful antique mahogany table, but the chairs were in horrible shape. I sold them on craigslist and ended up ordering black chairs online. Everyone thought I was insane with the mismatched chairs - now everyone LOVES them and they are gorgeous. I love the look!

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    1. thanks! Yeah I was shocked at how the whole "black ladder back" chair thing is everywhere! Well, any style antique chairs really. It does give it a whole new look. Sometimes I think things actually look more "put together" when they're not so matchy-matchy!

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  2. It looks great Tiffany! I really like it! :)

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  3. I love this idea! I never would have thought to paint them since they have that woven seat. It is always hard to take something that was someone else's and make it your own. Especially when it's a close relative! I really want to have something like this from my grandma's house someday to keep those family memories alive.

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    1. Thank you! yeah, it's funny because for years after she gave them to me, she would always tell me to not feel like I HAD to use them and to buy something new if I wanted to. But to me, it's so much more meaningful to have it.

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  4. I was just talking to my husband about giving away our brown dining furniture before we move as I wanted something more modern but this is way nicer than anything I've seen! Where do you get all your inspiration? My style is really similar to your's so I'd be interested to know! :) xx

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    1. aw thank you! For inspiration, I'm all about Pinterest! Seriously, when I was considering doing something to the chairs, I searched on Pinterest "ladder back chairs" or "dining room" and just browsed tons and tons of photos in my spare time. I'm addicted...

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  5. wow you are incredibly talented, I envy you! <3

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  6. where do you find the small black hutch?

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    1. I got it years ago at Kirklands. I just recently saw a light blue version there so they may still have it

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  7. That looks awesome!!

    I <3 it!

    http://downtownhautefashion.blogspot.com

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  8. Do you plan to paint the trey ceiling? I've seen so many beautiful things like silver/gold leaf, chinese print, texture- I think with that much space and height, your room could really pop with that. What do you think?

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    1. a fun print would be awesome! I know I said in the post that paint stuff doesn't scare me, but that scares me ;)

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  9. Oh wow! This is beautiful! Your house is such a source of inspiration for me. It looks so incredible!

    Nicky
    zeeblikesit.blogspot.com
    xx

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  10. I'm actually painting some of my grandma's old china hutch (seems very similar to yours) this week....in black lol! I am SUPER NERVOUS!!! While grandma isn't with us anymore, I'm still terrified of messing it up! Top that with this being the first piece of furniture I've ever painted......no pressure! Lol....your chairs turned out beautiful!

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  11. we have the same chairs! maybe now i can actually make them cute again!

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  12. Love it -- have a lot of antiques, also in "cinnamon" :) -- so I hear you on the painting. This is a great inspiration, however. I have two tables, both with some severe damage - but have been too scared to redo. Now, I think I'll take the plunge! After all, like you said, if you'll use it more and it's a meaningful piece, why not?
    -Whitney

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  13. Would you please share where you bought the chandelier? Thank you!

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  14. The dinning room looks great Tiffany! you did a beautiful job! loooove your makeup tutorial but i gotta say after seeing your recent home makeovers i really enjoy when a home post comes up, thanks for sharing =)

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  15. It seems really awesome Tiffany. I will also like to share some home decors with you, it really helps you.http://www.luluhypermarket.com/GoodLife/infuse-colour-in-your-home-zzrod24.html

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  16. Nice job! Maybe I would have done the table black too. Or maybe sanding it and giving it a lighter finish, in the same colour as those two others chairs? Anyways, looks really good!!

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  17. Your dining room is amazing. I like the pictures.

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  18. they turned out pretty nice :)
    xx Stephanie (www.stephaniesstyleblog.com)

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  19. Wow what an awesome transformation! I'm amazed about how the color changed the look so much. It looks so classy now. I want to have your dining area! :)

    allthingsglitterandbeauty

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  20. I love how this projekt turned out. You did a really good job on these chairs. And although there are quite some contrasts with the different colors in this room it all looks put together.

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  21. Wow! I really loved your work with these chairs, You have really transformed these antique chairs into modern fabulous looking chairs.

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  22. Your dining room looks amazing! Your grandma must be proud of you. You really added value to these beautiful chairs by painting them. May be you will hand them over to your children and grandchildren one day ;). I also like that you painted them in a different color and mixed textures and styles. I will soon redo our living room and already got new artworks and have plans to change the curtains and purchase an antique lounging chair. The rest of the furniture is sleek and modern. It will be a nice contrast.

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  23. This looks like it should be in a magazine! Great job! Looks very high end. You are inspiring me to do my decorating projects I have been putting off. :D

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  24. what is the name of the wall paint color? I love it!!!

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    1. we're not 100% sure, bc it was painted before we moved in and they did not leave the paint behind, but I'm thinking it may be close to Tobacco Road by Sherwin Williams :)

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  25. Nice job, you always take the time to do it right, I tend to get excited about a DIY project, then losing momentum halfway though and doing a crap job in the end. Sigh.

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  26. so nice and stylish decoration

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  27. Looks great!!!
    Where you going to do the hutch in black or leave it the original color?

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    1. I'm definitely leaving the hutch the original color. Just because I left the table that color as well. I actually really love the color and finish of the wood, the chairs were just too much with it for me. :) So I'm loving the mix!

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  28. painters use a lot of Macadamia by SW to paint houses now days. Try looking at that. Also, is that a Ballard Design chandelier?

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    1. I looked up Macadamia and that could also be it! Tobacco Road is a bit to yellow I think, but Macadamia seems a bit light in photos of rooms I've found with it. But it's close! Could be it :) The chandelier is from Pottery Barn

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  29. Hi Tiffany! I am loving your home blogs. Have you thought about painting the legs of the table black to too?

    I have been following your blogs as my husband and I are redoing our home, and recently did a DIY patio project, sunroom and bathroom! It's been fun to see how you are making simple changes with paint!

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  30. These are gorgeous! So vintage and precious.
    lavitadihannah.blogspot.com
    twitter: hannahbeexo

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  31. I love your decor/house posts! You should start a new channel with tutorials on how to do this stuff!

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  32. Wow those came out great, I know how tricky that can be! Have you thought about painting just the table legs black as well to help tie it all together?

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  33. Thanks for sharing this great best beauty products info :) good work keep it up :)

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  34. J'adore, J'adore, J'adore. You have a second career in home decor.

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  35. رووعه اعجبتني بالتوفيق

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  36. The only DIY projects I attempt would be changing light bulbs. I am not skilled in the DIY dept. YOU, on the other hand, are fabulous at it! The chairs look SO much better and I would never guess they weren't made that way. Have you ever thought about getting an interior decorating degree and license?

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  37. WOW! You really have an eye for decorating and this project turned out AH-MAZING! I loved looking at all your decorating. Please share some pics of your screened in porch. We are saving to add one on to our house and love seeing ideas.

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  38. i nearly jumped of my seat after seeing the before and after
    what a great job Tiffany

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  39. Love the chairs! They are perfect for the room. We are moving and our new house has a long bar in the kitchen. I found four kitchen stools that will fit perfectly. I'm painting them black as well. We recently added black accents in our current house and we love it. Love all your posts.:)

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  40. yeiii!! last month i painted my dining room chairs in black too!! I'm glad you've done the same because i love your syle!! I guess I've learned a lot from you, haha now I'm sure I made a good decision of painting them black. Your grandma has to be thrill to see how chic and beautiful her chairs turn out to be now. What an improvement!!

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  41. I love how bright that room is with all that natural light coming in!

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  42. Where is the mirror from?

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  43. Awesome makeover! It looks great, I really like it.The online Bed Shop

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  44. Furniture is really a important element of an office and home which add style and beauty. Thanks for sharing this beautiful office furniture. keep sharing..

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  45. What color is on your dining room walls? I love it!

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  46. Hi there! I really love the color of your walls, which color is it?

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  47. Love how you just make things work Tiff! I recently did my hutch with Annie Sloan chalk paint and it was so easy! You put it on anything and seal it with a wax. There are tons of tutorials on the web. It gives a really cute shabby chic look !

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  48. Love how the chairs turned out. I have an Ethan Allen drop leaf table with these same style chairs and I've wanted to paint them for quite some time but it really makes me nervous as well. I think I might just have to go for it after seeing yours!

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  49. Amazing turned out, so nice and stylish decoration.online beds for sale UK

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  50. love it, where are the mirror sconces on the sides of the window from?

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  51. Love it! Where is the rug from? Its great.

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