A about a month or so ago, a lovely photographer named Carter commissioned me to refinish an antique Louis XV chair for her. I was equal parts excited and nervous, since I'd never refinished a chair quite like this one before!
It had been stored in an attic for quite sometime, getting very little use - so while it looks rough, the frame was in great shape! After browsing through trusty Pinterest to see how others had beautified their Louis chairs, Carter was able to give me great input on what she did and didn't want out of her chair. She told me that she planned on using this chair when doing her boudoir shoots, so she wanted it to be very comfy for her ladies and she hoped for it to match one of her brand's colors (below). I did some shopping around and found the best move would be to make it a deep plum! We decide on high quality upholstery suede and I got to work!
First I stripped the chair. There were a LOT of nails in there. Fortunately we had great weather that weekend so I could do it outside. I evaluated what could be salvaged and what needed to be trashed and was very pleasantly surprised to see that almost ALL of the padding could be saved! This saved Carter a bunch of money, and me a bunch of time - so we were both really happy about that pleasant surprise :)
However, while the padding was still usable, it definitely needed an extra layer. This chair was over 100 years old, so when you think about just how many times it had been sat on - it's no wonder it needed some extra cushion! I covered it with quilting fabric, which is thin and easy to manipulate. The wiring in the bottom cushion was a little on the poke-y side (professional terminology), so I added a thick burlap-like fabric on top to weigh it down and give it some extra structure.
Next I covered the rest of the chair in the quilting fabric, and here you can see how it's really coming together! I should also mention that I primed & painted the legs & arms with DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish Paint in "Whisper" which is a lovely creamy, almost yellow-y color. Carter told me that she prefers a natural style to her furniture, so I did a little distressing. When you distress furniture, be sure to cover it in a wax, I used Americana's Clear Wax in Ultra Matte so that it wouldn't be shiny!
Here you can see how the distressing looks up close, before the wax! Also a little sneak peek of the beautiful plum suede!
After covering both of the arms, I got to work on the top cushion.
Lots of staples, lots of cording, & a bit of fabric glue later and viola!
Carter was great to work with, be sure to look out for this chair in her photography! Her page "Ample Heart Photography" is HERE!
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Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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