Monday, April 14, 2014

Gustavian Rococo Dining Chairs Before and After Tutorial

"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "otherwise you wouldn't have come here."

~Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

I have contemplated changing my name to the Cheshire Blogger in honor of the way I fade in and out of Blogland.  It reminded me of the conversation between Alice and the Cat...then it dawned on me that we are all mad here...
and that you would understand.

[Insert grin here.]

Wait until you see what I have been up to, though!
This post is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg!

The chairs were actually rather simple to finish.
Let me walk you through the technique...

One of a set of four  Queen Anne chairs found on Craigslist. Though not Swedish, the shape is very similar to my inspiration chair.

Inspiration: Gustavian Rococo chair found on 1st Dibs

Step 1: paint entire chair with Annie Sloan French Linen
You can see the shape much more clearly...the similarities to the inspiration chair are more evident.

Step 2: Sand and distress chairs

All chairs painted with French Linen and sanded.
It was nice to be outside after such a harsh winter!

Step 3: Paint chair with Annie Sloan Old White then remove majority of Old White with wet cloth. Keep a bucket of clean water nearby and rinse cloth often.  You can actually use less Old White.  I have never done this finish before so I was experimenting.

I didn't like the way they looked.  I sanded them too much so...

I repainted the chairs with French Linen to cover the overly sanded spots. When I distress furniture I usually end up using my bare hands to manipulate the paint into just the right places.
I decided not to wax these.  I love them the way they are!
However, I may add a bit more Old White wash to the splats (chair backs).

Here is one "Gustavian" chair in the Dining Room!

$2,500. vs $25.!
Not exactly the same, of course...but I'm happy! 

Detail of patina...

The patina mimics years of use...

I reupholstered the seats in a grey, cotton velvet.  

I am in love with this room!

I don't think I showed this to you yet.  It is a plaster frieze salvaged from a hotel in Germany. One of a pair.
These friezes have a very interesting history.
I found them on my local Craigslist!

The empire wall sconces in the reflection were actually cheap reproductions that I repainted and aged to mimic antiques.

The painting was my first ever attempt at art many years ago. I dug it out of the basement because the colors are reminiscent of the robin's egg blue taffeta curtains.

Detail of painted table leg...

We replaced the chandelier with one from...Craigslist!  
This chandelier was never used.  The owner was formerly employed at a high end furniture store and won it in an employee raffle several years ago but she never hung it.
It still had the $2,300 price tag on it!

The wreaths on either side of the mirror are actually drapery tie-backs that I found on ebay for $10 for the lot.  They had their original price tags on them as well...$50 a piece!

I painted them gold with acrylic craft paint then aged them with burnt umber craft paint.

I found this epergne at a local antique mall for $2.50.  The pair of silver candelabra was a Christmas gift from Handsome Husband.  There are two.  Trust me. I just take lousy photos.

The almost life-sized angel was purchased several years ago at Homegoods after Christmas. It was part of a large manger scene originally sold at Horchow.  The finish was bright, shiny gold.  Very bright.  Very shiny.
I painted it with acrylic antique gold craft paint then went over it in green craft paint.  I left it outside for two seasons and it "aged" very well.  The crown with the candle in it was purchased at Hobby Lobby.  The base was purchased at a local discount furniture store and I used the same paint treatment.

I ordered new candle sleeves from ebay for the chandelier.

Aren't they perfect?

Have you noticed that I am fond of this chandelier?

It really completes the room!

Though I also love the former chandelier, it was too small for the room.

So much has changed in this house since last October!
This is a view from the Dining Room, looking out into the hall.
The orange doors are gone too...

 Mabel always manages to photobomb blog shots.  LOL! 

Still love these chairs too...but the profiles were a bit too low.

This image was taken at night with the flash.  You probably had not noticed until now that the tabletop is silver leaf!
The flash certainly has a way of distorting the colors.  Doesn't it?
I wanted you to see the chandelier all lit up, though!

However, the topic is...

Here is the image of the original chair and the inspiration chair from my last blog

I am very happy with the result!

Don't you love it too?



Sharing with Kim, at Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesdays!
Kathryn, at the Dedicated House, Before and After Wednesdays!
Pamela, at From My Front Porch to Yours, Treasure Hunt Thursday!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Procrastinating at a High Rate of Speed

I never have fewer than ten or so projects going at once, for I have the attention span of an espresso-addled gnat.

I'd like to claim it keeps me sane...but that would be a lie.
Not to mention that sanity was never the goal in the first place...or an option for that matter.
My mind never sleeps.  I don't even try to fight it anymore.

In between being forced to do things that responsible adults are expected to do I have been attempting to get the house ready for Gracie's annual tea party!

I suppose it might be more effective to concentrate on one task at a time but I am utterly incapable of doing that.
Short of a lobotomy, it isn't going to happen.

I moved the family room back to its original layout.  The problem is, I like it both ways so each time I change it I obsess over whether it was the right thing to do.
I still like it best with no curtains but until we pick the entire house up and move it to a lot with a view the drapes stay.
Handsome Husband is ready to glue the furniture in place.
He never knows where it will be when he gets home.
Men seem to like their sofas stationary.

Vignette in Family Room.

I found a zebra print cowhide on Craigslist!  It was brand new and now the Library smells like the shoe department at Nordstrom! One of the happiest places on planet earth!

The gentleman I bought the rug from has many more.  Let me know if you would like his phone number!  He also sells on ebay!

Here I am creating vignettes when I should be washing dirty breakfast dishes!
The dishes are soaking in the sink so, technically, they aren't dirty.
They aren't even dusty.
Am I the only one who washes dishes before I put them in the dishwasher?

I liked this vignette so much I decided to make it into my blog header!

We removed all the remaining mirror from this gorgeous French screen.  I am waiting on toile fabric from ebay to cover the panels. It will be stunning!

This is a Before of two chairs that I reupholstered in toile for Gracie's playroom!  Stay tuned!

Craigslist! Can you believe it?  Three hundred dollars.
Should I paint it?

Craigslist.  Thirty dollars for the pair!  You can see them in the Dining Room vignette, above.

This is also a Before photo.  I am in the process of painting and recovering them to resemble a Swedish Rococo chair I saw on 1st Dibs!

Inspiration chair

The chair on the left cost $25, the chair on the right $2,500.
I have four.
Note the similar shape.  
I am fairly certain that I will never own a $2,500 chair, let alone a set of four for $10,000!
I am happy with the alternative!

Seven foot tall bird cage.  Craigslist.

I have a ga-jillion more things to share with you but my mind is already twenty steps ahead...

I am off to visit my blog friends before this rare moment of quiet focus recedes...




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