A Much Needed Update For An Old Vinyl Chair

We've been living in our new house for just over two weeks.   It's been a lot of work, but I've enjoyed it.  I might be crazy, but there's something about taking everything, putting it in a box and moving it somewhere new, then unpacking it to start over again.  Yes, that's probably an odd way to look at moving, but it is a fresh start and everything does feel so new when looked at in a new place.  I don't like not knowing where my clothes are,  or the drill,  or my kitchen tongs, but I like the sense of starting over (I found out the kitchen tongs weren't missing...the hubby had just borrowed them to take the frogs out of the pool skimmer....I don't want them back!).

  When I was growing up,  I loved moving all the furniture around in my room.  When I got bored with where my bed was,  I would try it on another wall, which meant I had move the whole room around.  I loved playing with Barbie and her doll house because that meant I could change the furniture around whenever I wanted without all the work.  I guess I've always liked that 'new' feeling of moving furniture, pictures and nick knacks to give the room a new look.

On to my point....When we got all our furniture moved into the new house,  I realized I wanted to have our family room furniture in our living room.  This meant everything in these two rooms had to do a switcheroo.   Once everything was in it's proper room, it dawned on me that I needed more seating in the family room now.  I didn't have an extra chair to move in from another room,  so I needed to buy one.  No matter what configuration I tried I needed another chair.  The room is big and has 2 entrances into the room so it's a challenging to place furniture.  

It just so happened that our first full day in the house there was a barn sale in town!  It was fate!  I told the hubby we needed to stop by just to check out the sale.   Low and behold I saw the perfect chair off in the back corner of the barn.  When I pointed the chair out to the hubby,  you could hear a pin drop.  He said, "What on earth could you do to that?  It's ORANGE VINYL???    When I told him my plan there was more doubt and questioning, but eventually he went along with it and paid the man his $25.   You'd think after almost 16 years of marriage, he would finally just go with my plans and trust me!  HAHAHA

Here's the orange vinyl chair once we got it home.




What the hubby saw as an ugly orange chair I saw as a gorgeous chair with tons of possibilities .  I could see past what the chair looked like right at that moment.  I  saw the lines and fell in love with the tall back and curves.  I knew it could be a beautiful, modern chair without reupholstering.


Now,  I had a zillion other things I should have been doing....like unpacking boxes, putting things away, organizing the kitchen and my closets, but I had to get to work on this chair.  It was calling to me!  You might be asking yourself if I'm certifiably crazy and the answer is probably yes, but there's always a method to my madness (or at least that's what I like to think to make myself feel better!).  

I'd read recently about painting fabric chairs with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.   I'd even read about people painting leather chairs so why not an ugly vinyl chair?  I figured, what's the worst that could happen?  It was only a $25 chair, so if the whole thing went south it wasn't a huge loss.  I grabbed a can of Old White Chalk Paint® and a brush,  and started painting.  

At first I was a bit nervous and decided it was best to start painting a spot underneath the cushion.  It was fabric so I thought it was a good test.  I trust this paint....I've used it on metal, laminate and mirror but never fabric.  It worked really well and I could see this was going to work perfectly!!!  
  

Next I moved on to my first vinyl section.....the cushion.  I couldn't believe how well the paint went on. The vinyl is textured and the paint dried nicely and kept the texture.   It didn't crack at all when I pushed down on the surface once it was dry either.


This was after my first coat and you can see the texture on the sides. 



In hindsight I could have saved a lot of paint by using a darker color, but I really wanted this chair to be a creamy white.  It took about 3-4 coats (some parts needed a bit more than others) to cover the whole chair.  If you consider how much this chair would cost to reupholster,  just in labor (not including the fabric),  $40 in paint is a steal!  After each coat of paint,  I sanded the chair with 500 grit sandpaper to make sure it was smooth.  I didn't want a lot of brush strokes or bumps, just the texture of the vinyl showing through.


Once I got the chair painted, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan clear soft wax to seal the entire thing.   The chair was so smooth and it felt like soft leather.  


I liked the creamy color, but I really felt the chair needed something else.  I added a thick stripe down the middle of the chair by using my trusty Frog Tape.  I measured off the middle of the chair back then went out a few inches on each side and tape it off.   I painted the stripe in French Linen Chalk Paint®.  I decided I wanted to paint the cushion and front two legs in the same French Linen color.  When I was done, I applied a mix of  dark and clear soft wax only on the French Linen painted areas.  I wanted these areas to have a bit more depth.   I was going for modern, funky and fresh,  not distressed so I used the dark wax sparingly.  French Linen is one of my favorite Annie Sloan colors because of it's depth of color and versatility.  It's a great neutral without being boring.


I was happy with how the chair was progressing.  While I was in the garage working one day,  we had painters working on our kitchen, family room and play room.  When they came out to take a break they were shocked when they saw the chair.  They asked what I had done to it and when I told them I painted the chair they couldn't believe it.  They assumed I had used a very pricey and specialized paint just for vinyl.  I pulled out my iPhone and showed them the before pictures.  They couldn't believe their eyes.  Then I showed them my can of paint and again they were shocked.  Hadn't I primed the chair or used special chemicals on the vinyl to make the paint adhere like that?   Once I explained the process to them, they couldn't stop commenting on how amazing the chair looked.  They thought it was so cool and wondered if I was I selling it!  These were two manly men who painted for a living so I was flattered by their comments and knew I must be on the right track.  

Here it is all done!   I have a new yard and lots of good places to take outside pictures!! Now,  if the weather will just stay like this all year I'm set.  




In this picture you can really see the definition in the cushion and the front legs where I used the French Linen and dark wax.

  


On the French Linen stripe the character and texture of the vinyl shows through nicely.  It was easy to tape off the stripe using my Frog Tape.  It didn't pull any of the paint off in the process.


I left the back legs Old White to add a bit of funkiness.


You can really see the sheen in the waxed paint in this picture.  I buffed the wax a lot to make it smooth.  I wish there was a way you could feel it through the picture!  It's so smooth and soft like an old leather coat!






I painted over the brass nail heads on the front corners of the chair.  I had originally planned to distress them a bit, but I didn't think it with the modern look I was trying to achieve.  I like how the nail heads are noticeable, but not in-your-face obvious.






This is a picture of the chair in its new home....my family room.  I'm not revealing too much of the new family room right now because that's a post for another day.  I've taken this room in a new direction  and I can't wait to share it with you!


This is the only room that's done so far.   At this point the family room is my favorite.  It's warm, cozy and homey even though it's a large room.   All three of us enjoy spending time hanging out in this room and it reflects all of our tastes.  


I adore this chair and I'm so happy with how it turned out!  OH how I wish there would have been two of these chairs at the barn sale!  I'm glad I was able to get this one however!  I'm happy we have this beauty sitting in our new family room.  I've sat in the chair and I have to say it's super comfy (the cushion is down filled so how can it not be, right?).  The painted surface doesn't feel like a painted surface at all.   The hubby was worried the paint would crack and the wax would wear off on our clothes.  I assured him this wouldn't happen....guess what?  I was right!  The paint is wearing well and staying right where I put it!  

Thank you for reading and leaving comments.  I enjoy reading what you have to say.  Without you there wouldn't be a blog!  I appreciate each one of you for coming along on these journeys with me. 

Thank you and take care,

Melody 

LINKING TO:

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Mod Vintage Life

63 comments:

  1. This looks fabulous! I have a few projects that I could try this out on! Great job.

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  2. Melody- You did a fabulous job with that chair. It was well worth the effort of 3 or 4 coats to get the outcome you did. I love the sheen the wax added, too. GREAT job- xo Diana

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    1. Thank you Diana! You're always so kind :-)

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  3. OMG...this is amazing!! It looks so good! I absolutely love it :)

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  4. That looks so cool! Now you've got me thinking about painting chairs (that's the LAST thing I need to add to my list!).

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    1. I hear you Heather!! But it's a lot of fun! ;-)

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  5. Wow! Just wow! I love it - it looks like leather. Amazing. I finally have signed up for an ASCP class. Can't wait!

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    1. Thank you Cecilia! You'll love your Chalk Paint® workshop!!!

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  6. What an amazing transformation! I love the color you chose and the addition of the stripe. I had no idea that you could paint vinyl!

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  7. I've got an ottoman sitting on it's side for that "one day" when I'm going to get it reupholstered....guess what's happening instead? Thanks for the inspiration, Melody!!!

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    1. Can't wait to see your project Claudia!

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  8. Love it! I never really believe those posts about painting upholstery, but you answered all my naysaying question! Next time I see an old vinyl piece of furniture, I will think of this! xx Charlotte @ CIburbanity

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    1. Thank you Charlotte!! I have a chair I ripped apart last year and I'm wishing I'd have just painted it! Now I need to have it reupholstered! Could have saved a ton of money!

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  9. Wow! It looks soooo incredibly fantastic! I'd love it if you linked it up at my weekly party - Mod Mix Monday at Mod Vintage Life - http://www.modvintagelife.com. Just amazing...it was bad before but fabulous now.

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    1. Hi Nita! Will do this week...thank you!

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  10. Wow, fantastic!!! I would love for you to update this blog after a few months or so and comment on how the chair has worn for you. Like if you have to reapply the wax or if any of the paint has come off. Love it!

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    1. Thank you Missy! I will do that. I can tell you so far it's perfect. I saw a video on the Annie Sloan Unfolded Facebook page where someone did the schootch test on a chair with painted fabric wearing a suit!

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  11. I am completely impressed! I have heard of painting fabric before, but it makes so much more sense to paint vinyl! It won't soak it up so much. You did an incredible job--the color combo is fantastic. I am totally itching to find some vinyl pieces to try this out on!!

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    1. Thank you Susan! It was a lot of fun doing the chair and seeing the transformation! Give it a try :-)

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  12. Oh my gosh!!! LOVE THIS CHAIR! You did great as always :)

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  13. I just saw a pair of chairs at Goodwill yesterday with vinyl seats and the rest was wood. I was wondering if there was anything I could do to that vinyl! What brand paint did you use and where did you get it? garnette89@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Annette, I used Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in Old White and French Linen. I order my paint online at www.bestfurniturepaint.com

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  14. Oh WOW!!!! This is fabulous!!! You need to send Annie Sloan a tweet or IG picture of this! Gorgeous!!!

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    1. Thank you Debbie!! Means a lot coming from someone as talented as you!! :-)

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  16. Oh wow! I've been looking for a chair like this for my lounge...never thought of ASCP ...now I'm off to the Goodwill stores to find my perfect piece and try it out

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    1. Good luck Sacha! Let me know if you find one, I'd love to see pictures!

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  17. Melody, you have outdone yourself! This is fabulous!! How does your husband like it now, lol??

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    1. Thank you Cindy! The Hubby loves it now :-)

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  18. Love your chair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Linda

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  19. Really love how this chair turned out. It is a show stopper now. I featured it today at Mod Mix Monday on Mod Vintage Life!

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  20. Melody - this looks amazing - you are so brave with your ideas - I am inspired to paint some upholstery now - I have been skeptical, but your chair looks fantastic. Looking forward to seeing your new home come together.
    We have been in our house 10 days and there is still so much to unpack...

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    1. Thank you Tracy! I'm really happy with how the chair has turned out and I'm glad I took a chance and painted it. I know how much work moving is. I hope you're getting some help with all the unpacking. We've been here almost 2 months and I still don't feel settled!

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  21. Your chair looks incredible! I say, it was an amazing find to start with finding this chair for $25, but what you did with it is absolutely stunning!

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  22. Thanks for the play-by-play! I love to see before-&-afters with all the details in between and have been on a furniture painting rampage, so thank you for your post.

    I'm wondering, now that you've lived with it for a bit, if anything happens to the finish after someone sits on it for say, and hour or more. I'm about to do wax over chalk paint on a vinyl face cradle (for massage table) and find I can't get myself to trust that it (the wax) won't somehow melt from body heat. Has anyone sat in your chair for an hour or more? Blessings.

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    1. KK please message me at mypassionfordecor@gmail.com

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  23. Great looking chair! I'm thinking of doing something similar and wondering is it still holding up okay? Thanks!

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  24. Wow that inspires me! I want everything in my home to be filled with color. And the brown desk chair I have looks so sad on top of the rainbow rug, next to the rainbow pouf and rainbow pillow. Hmm, I wonder if I could do as great a job as you? Time will tell!

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    1. Patty, the chair hasn't held us so well. I'm going to be doing an updated post in the future. However, if you check Pinterest or Google you will find a lot of successes. For some reason, my paint has peeled and now the chair needs to be reupholstered.

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  25. I love this! How has it held up to wear and tear over time? I have a vinyl restaurant booth that is on my patio but it's hideous. I've been thinking about trying this paint but if it's just going to chip off as soon as somebody sits on it, I don't want to waste the time or money.

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    1. Hi Hallie, My chair hasn't held up well at all. The paint is peeling and cracking on the parts that get sat on or bend with weight. I know there are a lot of people out there in the blogosphere that have had great success, so it could just be the chair. I suggest doing some more research on Pinterest or Google. Good luck!!

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  26. I am now considering hitting thrift stores and garage sales. This is better than any piece I have ever bought!

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  27. Hi, love it. Now that it's been a few years, how did it hold up? I am going to paint a huge sq ottoman and a chair and had almost decided on Rusolium for vinyl but maybe not now.

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  29. I have big bulky dark chocolate couches my parents gave me...although they are beautiful...i cant deal with the DARK colors. You think i could paint my couches?

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  30. Can you tell me what kind of wax to use?

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