Tuesday, January 25

A LOT of rambling and a little bit of tutorial

On Sunday, I received the following email from a super sweet blogger regarding the chair that I am currently making over:
Hey LeAnne, I found your blog a couple of weeks ago and love it. I don’t remember I how I found it but I’m glad I did. I was catching up with MMS this morning and there it is “THE CHAIR” “THE FINISH” “OMG”.
I have a French dining room table and chairs that I have been preparing to paint. I thought I had a plan!
Then ‘THE POST” “THE CHAIR” “THE FINISH” “I no longer have a plan. So here it is, would you be willing to share with me your colors, and steps that you did to get this look. It would be perfect for my dining room, I would be eternally grateful, I would give you my first born, wait no, ok maybe lend you my husband he’s great at building homes! That all I got! 
Well that was the most pathetic thing I have ever written, I can’t believe I’m going to send this, I know you’ll understand! Wont you??
 This made my day.  I was super flattered and honestly felt a bit undeserving.  First of all, most of what I am doing to the chair comes straight from the queen herself, Miss Mustard Seed.  I cannot take credit for coming up with this on my own.  I did do a few things differently, which I will get to in just a sec, but the general idea of the piece is inspired by her.  It is, after all, a "Copy Me Challenge."  She's giving us free reign to copy her?  Awesome!  ;)  But secondly, I'm still a novice at this junking thing.  I'm no expert by any means.  I just spend my time testing out new techniques, seeing if they work, and if they do, AWESOME!  If they don't, I call it a fail, and try again.  

So I do feel a little out of place offering a tutorial because this girl probably knows a heck of a lot more than I do when it comes to painting.  But I made a promise and I'm keeping it! :) 

She did bring up a valid point about "never giving away your secrets."  I understand that some people out there may feel this way and I completely respect that.  To each his own.  But here's my personal thinking on it:  I have learned a tremendous amount of information from your blogs.  I receive inspiration from so many of you and I am ever grateful for your willingness to share.  A good bit of what I do comes from somewhere in the back of my mind or from a vision or from a gut-feeling.  But there are projects that stem from something I see in a magazine, in a store, on a blog, wherever.  I'm not that creative to be able to do this all on my own!

I used to be able to sing.  If you know me personally, you are probably laughing right now.  But I did.  And I loved it.  And I was decently good.  But then something happened and I became super shy about it and I quit.  And now I can't carry a tune.  You see, I believe that my singing was a gift from God, a gift that He intended to use for the good of His kingdom.  And I stopped allowing that to happen.  I became selfish with it and He took it away from me.  

I would hate for Him to take this away too.  Everything I do, all of my creativity, all of my passion for pursuing this hobby, comes from Him.  He gave it to me as a gift.  And I truly believe that this is something that will be used to glorify Him.  So of course I am going to share it with others.  If I don't, what's the point?  I don't have the right to be selfish or shy with it.  I learned my lesson the first time.

So, finally on to the tutorial.  If you actually read through all of that, I'm amazed!  But thanks for reading :)

Ok, so as I said before, this is all inspired by Miss Mustard Seed's French Blue Chairs.  I would suggest that you read her tutorial here first because I am going to share with you the things that I did differently.  I took a few short cuts.  

So the chair had a great crackle to it when I started: 

I did not want to loose that texture because there was no way that I would be able to achieve it on my own.  It is something that only comes from being REALLY old.  Therefore, I did NOT sand the chair AT ALL in the beginning.  I only hosed it down with water and let it dry out in the sun.  

Then, I cheated and used spray primer because I was kind of lazy and honestly, spray primer is easier to use {most of the time}.  I just made sure to shake the can often and put it on THIN.  

After the primer dried, I cheated AGAIN and used spray paint!  I'm sure this may shock some of you, but I was really afraid of losing the original texture and I thought that maybe spray paint would prevent that from happening.  And it worked!  It actually helped to draw out the crackle more.  Usually, I sand down a piece after priming and before painting, but I did not do this with the chair.

 This is Krylon Gloss Bahama Sea.  I used two VERY LIGHT coats and I let the first coat completely dry for 24 hours before I proceeded with the second coat.

After the blue dried completely, I used a "dry-brush" technique with a light gray.  When I say dry-brush, I mean I wiped almost ALL of the paint off of the paintbrush before I painted on the chair.  I also used very light and quick strokes.  I didn't want to cover the blue completely but I wanted the gray to be the predominant color.  I'd say that I probably covered about 70% of the chair with the light gray strokes.  This is the gray that I used, a sample size from Home Depot:

Next, after allowing the gray to dry completely, I sanded down the entire chair with 80-grit sandpaper, per Miss Mustard Seed's recommendation.  Honestly, I was terrified to use 80-grit because I was so afraid that I was going to rub off too much.  But Miss Mustard Seed was right and I am so glad that I followed her instructions! 

After the sanding, comes the glaze.  This is what I used:

Valspar Translucent Color Glaze in Mocha from Lowes.  

I don't know if this is the right way to do it, but I added a little bit of water to thin it down.  I think the glaze is WAY too "goopey" and thick in its natural state.  The water helps the glaze go on a little more smoothly.  I brushed the mixture over the entire chair with a paintbrush.  Typically, when I "antique" a piece, I immediately rub the stain/glaze with a lint-free towel.  But I didn't do that this time.  It may be because the glaze was thin, but when I started wiping, it came completely off.   So instead,  I just left it all on there and let it dry for about an hour or two.  Then I came back and lightly wiped it with a lint-free cloth {once it was almost all the way dry}.  Much better!

Ok, so that's it.  That is where I stopped.  I will be working on the upholstery tomorrow.  Wish me luck!!  If it works, I'll tell you how I do that too. 

Hope this helps...And if you have any questions, just ask!



  1. LeAnne ~
    First I wanted to tell you
    that you brought tears to my
    eyes reading about your singing
    and your thoughts on sharing ~
    You are so very precious and I
    totally agree with you :)
    And... oh my gosh I adore how
    your chair paint came out ~ It is
    just beautiful !!!
    Thank you for sharing! I want to find
    something to paint now soooo bad ~


  2. OMG...there's a setting for light spraying on the spray can??? how did I not know this? Or did I read you wrong? OMG, I'm going to put on my glasses and read the can next time I have a project. Thanks for your blog, always fun, inspiring and lovely.

  3. Hi LeAnne,
    What a blessing this was to read your post. It was just what I needed. What a sweet soul you are. I, of course, love your chair and tutorial - but your totally unexpected testimony really spoke to my heart. I'm so glad I found your blog (via MMS). I really look forward to your future posts. I hope you have a subscribe feature!
    Sincere blessings to you girlie!

  4. You did have a beautiful voice (as did others) and lit up the stage (as did others) during those children musicals at VCC (Psalty, Amazing Grace, etc.) God used you then and He is using you now. I love you.

  5. Love that chair, and you are gifted in more ways than one!

  6. I so appreciate your humility in this post! I need constant reminders that if what I spend my time doing doesn't bring God glory then there's no significance in it at all.
    Such an encouragement to read your words today!
    I know He is glorified through these conversations you've started! I hope He continues to bless you with creativity and passion!!