Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ashleigh's Dining Chairs

Okay folks, this is gonna be a long one. It's appropriate because these particular chairs taught me a lot. They taught me not to pre-quote or under quote on hand painted detail pieces. They taught me that the hardest work isn't the work that makes you sweat, but the work that is tedious. My mind doesn't handle tedium well. However, having said all that, these chairs also taught me what I am truly capable of with furniture painting and upholstery and I loved learning that. Ashleigh found these chairs at a cute little shop here in town and wanted me to come and look at them right away. Based on the size of her dining table I was taken aback. These chairs seemed small. But, when we started talking about ideas everything seemed to make sense. These are the chairs before, sad upholstery and a little beat up

And without the fabric as I started stripping them down

As far as color goes, you may think we're crazy at first to mix navy with a black and white striped table, but bear with me. I promise it works. Though I will say the paint terrified me when I first started spraying. Wet it looked royal blue instead of navy!



Next comes the part that showed me what I was made of. I would paint until I started shaking and had to quit, then I'd start again the next day. It takes TIME to do this people. Lots of time!

Next comes the upholstery. Would I have chosen this fabric if the chairs were mine personally? No, I honestly wouldn't have. But, this fabric is SO Ashleigh and her family. It totally works for them and lends a quirky and eclectic feel to the dining room, which is what she was going for in the first place.

Here is the fabric on the chair before piping:

Now comes the next tricky part. Before the summer of 2011 I had never used a sewing machine. I could sew on a button, but I didn't have a lot of experience at all and no real desire either. My mother is an amazing seamstress and so I always let her do it all. I suddenly realized I was going to need that skill if I was going to do any upholstery or make things for my daughter. Anyhow, sorry for the aside, I learned just enough this summer to make me think I could do more. Make my own double welt piping? SURE! Why not? So, that's what I did...under my mothers supervision.

It WORKED!!! Woot! Now to finish these babies!!!

The finished chair

At the table, while still showing you as little as possible. I'm going to take great pics when we are completely finished with the entire space.

Front side by side

And the finished back

I am so pleased with what I accomplished with these chairs. I'm not gonna lie, it was a TON of work. But, Ashleigh loves the chairs and the space is really coming together now.  It has been a blast working for Ashleigh and really she has given me the opportunity to learn so much about what I love to do! I can't wait to show you all the finished space, so stay tuned ;)


  1. Wow-waht a fab job! I'm following you from miss mustard seed-stop by for a visit!