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Question: How Should I Remake This Chair?

19 February 2012 7,784 views 35 Comments

by heather

wingback chair
This week, I found this wingback chair at my local Teen Challenge Thrift Store, and they were having a 50% off sale! I got it for $24.99, which I was happy with, because the chair is in very good condition. There is just a little bit of discoloration on the bumper of the cushion (the dark spots on the right of the chair aren't even really spots - they are pine needles... we have a forest next to our house.) I have a few cans of upholstery spray paint in Caribbean Blue (bright turquoise!), so I am planning to spray paint the chair.

Help me decide how to remake my off-white wingback chair! I kind of want to go crazy with it, and not just paint it solid turquoise, although if I did, it might end up looking something like this:

plain turquoise chair

1. Solid Turquoise

This photo is by Kristy Swain at Hyphen Interiors - she painted her chair solid turquoise with flat latex paint.

I did some rough mockups with some other ideas:

Wingback chair random letters

2. Random letters

I have some vinyl alphabet stickers that are about 3" letters. I could use them on this project - and stick them onto the chair before I paint it. Then, after I paint, I can remove the stickers, and original color of the chair will show through.

wingback typography chair

3. Typography Stripe

The random letters just don't look intentional enough to me, so I thought maybe I could do a stripe of letters that would give more impact, but still use the alphabet idea. I used random letters in this mockup, but some of my readers on Facebook suggested making the letters say something. Other suggestions included putting letters around the bottom of the chair instead (could be cool), or using a more flowery/curly font.

woinback pinstripes

4. Pinstriped chair

I could employ masking tape instead of letter stickers to make some pinstripes on the chair. I have to admit (and several Facebook fans agreed), that in this mockup, the chair looks rather Tron-like! Others were reminded of Blue's Clues furniture. As for me, I was hoping it would end up looking more like my Blueprint Filing Cabinet For $5.

wingback chair herringbone

5. Herringbone Pattern

I mocked up this herringbone pattern, but in the mockup, it looks way too busy. And, I think it would be hard to get the herringbone to look right on the arms and the wings of the chair.

wingback chair tardis

6. Playing the Geek Card - A Wingback TARDIS chair

Fans of Doctor Who will probably get this chair immediately, while everyone else will think I'm crazy. I made this mockup just because the idea amused me, and many of the fans on Facebook actually liked it the most. There are a few problems with this idea, though. One, my paint is turquoise, so it isn't the right shade to be the Tardis. And two, I'm quite the geek, but I don't know if I am confident enough to put an extremely geeky item in my home that proclaims it so loud and proud. And three, I'd have to figure out how to put the lettering on. And I'm lazy.

So, what do YOU think I should do? One of these ideas, or something completely different?

international delightp.s. I asked this question over at the Coffee Talk community, too! Check out what my fellow community members think!

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  • Shannon at madiganmade said:

    I’m a big fan of the typography stripe!! Can’t wait to see what you do, either way!

  • Truebluemeandyou said:

    You could use Duck Tape like the lounge chairs pictured over at Font Crafts. Just kidding – saw your comment on that post. But really, how awesome would a hello kitty duck tape chair be? I actually like the typography striped one :)

  • Brenda Melahn said:

    I would definitely go turquoise and bright orange — some polka dots maybe? I saw a crazy patch wing chair on Pinterest that I loved — which is something I can picture in your home — maybe paint a crazy patch instead of sewing one????

  • Kathy Van Wie said:

    Personally, I like a more subtle look and am a huge fan of turquoise, so am really digging the solid turquoise chair. I like the thought of a pop of orange though, especially since that is “the” color for 2012. Could add the orange in a bold graphic pillow which of course is easily changed when a new look is desired. Maybe even do your letter designs on the pillow?

    Right now, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that there is an UPHOLSTERY SPRAY PAINT!! Hello, where have I been?? Oh my gosh..the possibilities. :-) BTW, thanks for such a great blog, this is one of the few that I follow on a daily basis! Good luck with your chair, can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  • Juliette said:

    I think your chair is the perfect candidate for some patchwork applique that would cover the stained areas. If you did this and decided you didn’t like it/got sick of it after awhile, you could still cover it w/a slipcover.
    I love the chair (that looks just similar to yours!) by Sania Pell on the cover of the new Where Women Create magazine: http://www.stampington.com/wherewomencreate/2012/wwc_sp12.html
    I think that would be lovely and you could incorporate fabrics you may have on hand/pair with things in your room.

  • Kirsten T said:

    Check out this option posted on design*sponge. It’s been reupholstered, but you could totally recreate the idea with paint, and do the chevron stripes on the back of the chair much more easily with tape I bet.
    reupholstered wingback chair

  • Fatcat said:

    I like the letters in a stripe pattern, but I think they should either say something or be in order of the alphabet. :-)

  • Randi said:

    I like the typography stripe or the pin stripe the best!. Cant wait to see what you decide! looks like a fun project

  • Kei @ Unfortunately Oh! said:

    I’m a geek too so my vote would totally go for a TARDIS…but since that’s pretty hard to transfer onto a wingback chair, I think pinstripes. With a little TARDIS cushion XD

  • heather (author) said:

    @Kei, great idea! I was thinking maybe I should do a version of all the mockups on pillow covers…

  • heather (author) said:

    Kirsten, great inspiration. I love the chevron on the back… I might just have to go that route!

  • Nikki Prindle said:

    oh TARDIS. absolutely.

  • Wendy said:

    What a AWESOME idea! IMO, I like the typography stripe but agree with your FB followers and have the sporadic letters words instead (love, inspirational, friendship, family,relaxation, creativity – I guess depending on what room). Maybe even a soft, translucent large, off centered circle. I usually always think in odds and would put a third color in the mix (circle). Can’t wait to see the final product ;)

  • Hertzey said:

    Tardis chair hands down.

  • Kati said:

    Love the turquoise and I like the letter stripe the best.

  • Pip said:

    I love the typography stripe! Rather than making it spell out a whole bunch of words, though, I would pick a single word that means something to you, it would stand out a lot more amongst the random letters.

  • Darby said:

    pinstripe, pinstripe, pinstripe!!!!! great find by the way

  • Sherry said:

    As a design fan, I’d seriously consider where in your house you want to put this chair when finished, and make your choice after that — turquoise with orange polka-dots might work in some places and not others — for example. (In other words, don’t make the CRAFT project more important than the function of the end result.)I’m sure the end result will be fun, and my favorite is the typographic stripe, but see how it will work in your house before deciding.

  • ide-puffen said:

    Nice chair. I would go for the letters in a stripe.
    can’t wait to see the result. Good luck.

    Upolsterer :))

  • Dawn said:

    I like the typographic stripe, and the Doctor Who chair. Great ideas!

  • Crystal said:

    Definitely the typo. stripe!!!

  • Laura M. said:

    I actually REALLY like the herringbone one!!

  • sue said:

    Pinstripes, absolutely!!

  • Kathryn said:

    It probably should come down to what you already have in the room it is going in and if you already have an item or two that will tie it in.

    Personally, I would go with the geek option and go for something fun, wacky or exotic like the Tardis, or if your kids are into something go with something that theme and it would make wonderful memories when reading stories to them. You could also make up slipcovers or put a throw over it to cover it up for when company comes.

  • Becky said:

    Fun ideas. Maybe you could frame out some letters or owls but have those cool antique frames design. Does this make sense. or even just some subway tile message on the back front and cushion. So curious if you paint are you adding a medium or adding something so that the paint wont be hard and scratchie when you sit on it? This is what I really want to know.

  • heather (author) said:

    @Becky, if you use regular acrylic paint (like in the solid blue chair example above – click to her post for the full info), you can add fabric medium to keep it form being scratchy, but I have heard it still affects the feel of the upholstery. In my case, I am using Simply Spray Upholstery Fabric Spray Paintwhich is specially formulated to use on upholstery. It doesn’t make the fabric scratchy at all.

    I am going to post about the project and how it turned out next friday so stay tuned!

  • RebKnitz said:

    Sorry for the late response, but I love the typographical stripe. You could even hide a word in it, or do a few of the letters in a different color.

  • Becky said:

    Heather thanks for responding. Yes, when using the medium it stays stiff and scratchie but after washing (like when we do lettering or pictures on shirts) it goes soft. So I have never heard of this simply spray upholstery paint. Where can I get some to try. I am excited to find a project to use it on. Oh, I just thought of something. My daughters have a white quilted quilt for their bed and was thinking I could mask off a zebra and strips. Tell me, tell me where can I get it and about how much. Thanks a bunch!

  • heather (author) said:

    @Becky, Your best bet is to get the upholstery spray on Amazon or online from Simply Spray: http://www.spraypaint4fabric.com/

  • partycraftsecrets said:

    type-stripe it for sure; place vertical words in there (relax, sit, etc)but a little erratically so they’re not obvious at first glance.

    I did vertical word-stripes for a paper craft, your chair could follow the same idea, only with the words more squashed up!


    Good luck!!

  • Dollar Store Crafts » Blog Archive » How I Painted a Chair Blue & Upholstery Paint Giveaway said:

    […] few weeks ago, I asked you how I should make over an off-white wingback chair I got from my local thrift store. You told me to remake the chair with a typography stripe. I used […]

  • Juliann aka The Sick Chick said:

    Do your own logo(s). I love the Tardis idea but you are right, not in turquoise. I’d go for an Andy Warholeqsue mask/faux screenprint myself. Saw some really cute Warholesque porrtaits of pets recently :)

  • Dee said:

    Have you ever done anything with this chair? I check back every now and then!

  • heather (author) said:

    @Dee, yes, I did. Here’s the post: http://dollarstorecrafts.com/2012/03/how-i-painted-a-chair-blue-upholstery-paint-giveaway/