Thursday, November 2, 2017

Updating an Antique High Chair with an Old Fashioned Finish



Now that the bees are taken care of for the next few months, and I've put the garden to bed, I can turn my attention to the inside of my house just in time for the holidays.

Project 1: Antique High Chair

Once again in my zeal to start a project I neglected the "before" photo. 



I have had this high chair for about 30 years. When my mother gave it to me she said my grandfather used it as a baby and it was old even before that. It's put together with pegs. Over the years it had been spray painted numerous times and then about 20 years ago my father-in-law helped me strip it.

Something about it being natural wood made it invisible in my house.

Last week I decided Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint would be an appropriate finish for the time period as well as add a bit of cheeriness to it. Chances are if this chair had been painted when it was made, milk paint would have been used. It was looking pretty somber for a high chair.



Because yellow can be a difficult color to get good coverage in any type of paint, I started with a coat of Miss Mustard Seed's Grain Sack to help the yellow pop.



I have another project with this color coming up soon that you are going to love!

Milk Paint comes as a powder and you mix it with water to create your paint. There is something unbelievably fun about that. Stir it up really well. For larger amounts you can use a whisk.

This paint dries super quick so it is wonderful for a project that you want to knock out without hours of drying time between coats. It's perfect for pieces that you want to look authentically aged.

After Grain Sack was dry I was ready to mix and brush on my layer of MMS Yellow.





I added a second coat for more complete coverage.


The last step was to take a dish sponge with a scrubby side and while the paint was still damp, distress the chair in areas where it would have received wear and tear over the years, the edge of the seat, arm rails, and the front of the legs.


 Last I distressed the seat a bit to complete the time worn look. You can also wait until the paint is dry and use fine grit sandpaper.


Seriously, who wants new and shiny when you can have old and beat up?

To finish this off I added a light coat of wax and rubbed it off, then did a bit of buffing the next day. Those pictures in the background are my grandmother's class photos for a couple of years.



If you have a family heirloom that doesn't fit with your decor or your personality it's okay to update it unless the finish is one you love.  But for most of us, the ugly table and chairs or hideous dark dresser can be given a fresh start with a new finish.

That way you can technically tell Grandma that you are using it and it looks fabulous in your house. 

I don't see the painted furniture trend ending any time soon. Who wants to go back to houses full of dull brown furniture? 


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