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make me pretty – let’s try upholstery part 2 – painting

July 22, 2010

For the next phase of my upholstery project I decided to paint the chair – this is my comfort zone. But I wanted to switch things up and try a paint technique I pulled out of an old Martha Stewart magazine.

The first step was to paint the chair a medium gray.

Then a coat of lighter gray.

You let the light gray coat dry for about an hour and then use steel wool dipped in warm water to distress the piece.

The next step is classic Martha. She gives you a paint recipe, to add a patina to the piece, rataling off obscure ingredients like you should know exactly what rottenstone is. I basically followed her advice but skipped the rottenstone, which is kind of like pumice and used to polish things, since I couldn’t find it locally. Plus I read that most furniture wax includes something similar and the wax is another of the ingredients.

From Martha: In a plastic container, combine 2 tablespoons wax, 1 teaspoon artist’s oil paint in raw-umber, 1/2 teaspoon artist’s oil paint in paynes gray, 1 tablespoon rottenstone, and 4 ounces mineral spirits; mix well.

You let it thicken and then brush it on your piece. Let it dry for 15 minutes and then rub it off, leaving it in all the crevices. Here is what it looked like when I first applied it.

And the finished chair.

I really love the aged look and I will be using Martha’s recipe again. Don’t worry, I wore my super ventilator mask the whole time! and gloves! I know that pregnant ladies should not be messing with crazy chemicals.

So next up, the actual upholstery part. I am going to get friendly with my sewing machine this week. Considering I have never even put on the zipper foot I expect a lot of frustrations and cursing but it should be interesting!

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