Monday, April 4, 2011

Upcycled embellished altered art chair

My cousin Gretchen commissioned me to make her this chair. Here's how I did it...
1) Buy a chair (from a garage sale of course!)

2) Sand down any shiny surfaces. I used an electric sander.

3) Dust off any debris. I use a large paint brush so it can in all the nooks and crannies. Use a damp cloth for any sticky or dirty spots.
4) Now think of your design or theme. Gretchen came up with the original look from something she saw in Somerset magazine (Volume 5 2010, pg 94, "Black & White" by Allison Berringer). She wanted eggplant as a main color. Gretchen is a dancer, so I threw in some touches that had to do with dance. I found an old "How to Dance" illustrated book, and color copied some things from there. I also collected old hardware, old jewelry, and bought some flat backed rhinestones.

5) Spray paint the chair with primer. I used Rustoleum.

6) I painted on my main colors of eggplant and plum in various designs. For the seat of the chair I used a scrapbook paper that had a laser cut stencil design. I simply painted over the paper to make the stenciled look, then threw away the paper.

7) I sponge stencils to add more interest and design. Just paint directly onto stencil, then stamp onto chair. Let it all dry.

8) I then used scrapbook paper, and copied pages from the old book to decoupage. I cut out an Eiffel Tower image from a scrapbook paper, cause Gretchen loves Paris. I used Modge Podge - just apply some to the back of paper, stick down, then liberally cover the top of the paper. Go ahead and get messy. 
9) To add some more interest, I used a colored pencil (in this case white) to scribble some designs, phrases, and quotes.

10) I then used a dry brush technique to go over any dark colors and paper. Dip a brush into a lighter shade of paint. I used white. Wipe off most of paint onto a paper towel. Then lightly lightly brush over chair. Any wood grain or raised areas will get accented. 

11) Now it is time to distress. Make sure all paint and decoupage is dry. Use sandpaper to sand off edges, sand off some of darker paint (the white primer will show through), even sand some parts of decoupaged paper to roughen it up a bit.
12) To make the colors look a bit aged, apply some antiquing glaze. I use Valspar antiquing glaze available at Lowes Home Improvement. Just pour some on an old rag, and rub all over. Wipe away excess.

13) Finally, I added some embellishments. I included old hardware, old vintage jewelry, and rhinestones. I attached 2 curtain finials to the top of the chair.

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