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Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Hand Painted Parson Chairs and a Resurfaced Pine Table
There was a great deal on a pine table a few years ago that I couldn't pass up. Ditto some Parsons Dining Chairs I saw in a second hand shop. The chairs I knew to be valued at over $200.00 each as I'd seen them in magazines. And they were going for only $18.00 a piece! I bought the six they had. They were a linen cream color in dire need of cleaning. I washed them with bleach but unfortunately some dirt stains did not come out. The legs were cloth covered and were the most marked with dirt. So I ripped the fabric off the legs and underneath was rough looking wood that looked like pine. I left it as is for it went with the pine table. Then painted white stripes on only the front part of each chair. Lived with that for a couple of years.
Because I use this table in the kitchen frequently to work on art, and everything else, it has taken quite a beating. Lately I looked at it with new eyes and realized I wanted to have a tabletop that would wear well and look great for when clients come when I teach art and photography. So I resurfaced it with a cementitious product called aurastone. It binds to anything. Then I layered color upon color using acrylic and biocolor. While wet I sprinkled a lot of sparkles on it, clear, green and metallic, as well as pearlescence. When dry I taped all around underneath the table and also covered the iron bars that hold up the table inserts. This is vital as epoxy runs everywhere and it is deadly if you don't protect your floors, your walls, your hands, your eyes. The two inserts for the table that I've got were done on a plastic covered countertop and lifted so the epoxy can drip off the edges. It dried overnight and the following morning there was another pour of the epoxy. This made for a surface that will be very durable, and I love that you can 'see' into it and get the sparkles from different angles. Right now I like it shiny. Down the way, when there are any scratches on it, I'll probably just hone it down, sanding it to a matte finish. I love it that way too and it won't show scratches. But right now, shiny it is. Note: the dried epoxy drips must be sanded down on the underside of the table with a power sander or grinder so that the edges are smooth. Don't want people to bump their knees into those drips as they can be sharp.
The chairs were looking kinda mangy. But they are incredibly comfortable and solid, so they are worth saving. Recovering them in fresh fabric was not the direction where inspiration flowed. Having lots of paint here right now, inspiration struck so off I went. From the first dab I was committed to complete it. All the while wondering, as it went through ugly stages, 'OMG what have I done?'. The paint used was fluid acrylic and biocolor with fabric medium added. It was all done freehand, deliberately using inundating lines to impart an organic feel, with the nubbly texture of the linen coming through. This needed a couple of coats as the colors sunk in and became too light. Then a damp cotton cloth was used with a steam iron on the chair to heat set for durability so that it can withstand dry cleaning, or scrubbing. This is finished off with a spray of fabric guard. The chairs can be recovered later when I tire of this.
The legs were first painted in white primer with holes filled. And will be painted with white satin melamine paint later, as soon as the weather permits, so as to not have the paint fumes inside the condo.
Now, having done all this, I can say that some things can be done to make the process shorter, easier, or even for a different style. I think next time I'll try using a metal ruler with laundry markers to mark permanent lines where I want them. And then the lines can be filled with color. The straight lines will be more sophisticated than hand drawn so it may be a good thing for a wing chair that I can see done in this manner and it may just work. :) Adding black lines, then painting in with yellow on the blue will make it green, and adding white on some of the green will cool it lighter to an aqua. I must show this a bit later when I get to it.
There are permanent markers that may change color over time, but that may not matter. After all, if a black changes to a deep maroon, it may just be fabulous. But if you want to have colors that do not shift then fabric dyes, waterproof india inks and acrylic paints with fabric medium, are the way to go.
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