French Chairs – Painting Technique

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Furniture Makeovers, Hand Painted Furniture, Painting & Refinishing, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials69 Comments

I’m picking up where we left off yesterday with my newly acquired French arm chairs.  So, the upholstery was removed and the frames were painted Georgian Revivial Blue by Sherwin Williams.  This color is a little shocking at the moment, but just wait. 
Before moving on to the next step, I want to point out the texture I left on the frame.  I did not sand this piece before painting it and that was intentional.  This texture is going to work in my favor. 

Once the darker blue was dry, I used a brush loaded with a very small amount of Light French Grey (Behr) and hit the high points of the frame.  I made sure to brush with the grain of the wood and kept the brush “dry.”  Now, remember when I said a couple of weeks ago that there is a point in every “faux” technique where it will look terrible.  Yeah.  This is that place.  It looks like a streaky, bad paint job.  Don’t quit here, though.  It’s about to get better.

 Once the light grey was dry, which didn’t take long, I sanded the edges with 80 grit sand paper.  I like a really rough sand paper for this step, because it leaves great scratches in the paint.  I also like to do this step by hand.  It’s harder on the biceps, but I have more control and it looks more natural than an electric palm sander. 

Working in small sections, I brushed on an antique glaze (I’ll share the formula on Friday), making sure I worked it into the crevices. 

I followed immediately with a wet paper towel to wipe off the excess.

Remember that texture I left…

Oh yeah.  See what I mean?  Imperfections really work to your advantage with this kind of finish. 
And a word to the wise…wear gloves during this process.  You see, I am a fool and I spent about five minutes at the sink with a nail brush and soap.  
Oh well. Look out for more details and the grand reveal in a couple of days. 
Now that I am out of my funk, I had a very productive day.  On top of running, feeding kids, changing diapers, building trains and painting these chairs, I finished two more photo shoots for 

I am loving my new lenses.

Only three more Christmas projects left and I am done.  Woo hoo!  I’m hoping to get the writing and photo editing done in the airport and on the plane next week. 
For those who didn’t notice the little button on my side bar, I am attending Blissdom this year.  I am really excited, but a little nervous.  Well, I was only a little nervous until I read this post about what to wear to Blissdom and now I’m about to cry.  Maybe vomit.  I need a formal outfit?  I need cute shoes?  Do grey Chucks fit in that category?  I’m ready to throw in the towel and wear my very worst painting pants. 
 I need a fashion consultant.  Like…now.  Can someone nominate me for an emergency episode of “What Not To Wear”?
Miss Mustard Seed
French Chairs – Painting Technique

Related Posts

five upholstery tips for beginners

organization tips for the new year

woven jute living room rug

top ten posts of 2020

69 Comments on “French Chairs – Painting Technique”

  1. The chairs are gorgeous!! Totally gorgeous!!

    I am loving your new lens too…AND

    you will be gorgeous and adorable and SHINE at Blissdom even if you do wear your grungiest painting pants cos…

    That's just how you roll!

    Enjoy….have fun….breathe…

    Lou Cinda πŸ˜‰

  2. Love it!

    And don't worry about your outfits. Words to the wise though, I live near Nashville, and that hotel is GIGANTIC! No exaggerating. And also, winter weather is coming tomorrow, so beware of the cold! πŸ™‚ Have fun!!

  3. Wow…those chairs are turning out beautiful!! Love the colors and paint techniques you used. Thanks for sharing! You will look great and find something cute in time for Blissdom…how fun for you! I am loving your new lenses! I am buying a couple of new ones for my cannon in the next week as well. What lens was this one that you did on these photos? I know you said you got a wide angled, I am getting one too. Exciting! πŸ˜‰


  4. The chairs are going to be beautiful. I bet with your creative style, you will look great in whatever you decide to wear. Go get em girl!!! Can you tell I am from the south.

  5. I've been painting furniture a lot these days…and I kept thinking MMS had some special way of painting. So, I had to chuckle at the no pre-sanding, paper towel, and no gloves! EXACTLY what I do! Thanks for making me feel normal! I'm sure you'll look great at Blissdom…wish I was there too!!

  6. It won't matter what you wear. You will shine like the star you are and everybody will adore you just like your followers. Have fun. Don't sweat the clothes. It won't be what you wore that you'll remember. But the moments with friends. PS Bring your camera so we can see what a great adventure you had!

  7. I just read someone's blog about Blissdom(can't remember)and she said don't bring fancy shoes and just wear what you have, don't feel like you have to impress, have fun, relax…that sounds like good advice.

  8. LOVE that painting technique, Marian. Don't freak out about Blissdom & a formal dress. (Although I'm totally with you on the Converse…a staple in my wardrobe.) Maybe a simple, timeless black dress and a pretty, kinda thin gray scarf draped elegantly with some sparkle at the edges. Throw some simple bling on the wrist and done. Heck, throw on your gray chucks and you'll really make a statement! (Totally something I would do.) Even some pretty palazzo-ish pants & a simple black top with the scarf would work. A little twinkle goes a long way. Whatever you do, you'll look great, my gorgeous friend. πŸ™‚ Not quite "What Not To Wear", I know. I'm much better at decorating houses than people. lol

    Love your photos. Looks like you're having fun with those lenses.


  9. I can't wait for the big reveal of the chairs because I am LOVING what I see so far! And I am just now starting to learn about Blissdom so I can't wait to hear all about it and live vicariously through you πŸ™‚

  10. Im so glad the funk packed up left your house of inspiration and creativity πŸ™‚

    and YAY for going to Blissdom! one of my online friends Angry Julie will be there… I think shes speaking or running something or something. I dont remember now. I just know she will be there.

    and in the end it doesnt matter WHAT you wear- you will have A TON of fun anyway!!!

  11. thanks for sharing details of your technique. I'm HORRIBLE at faux techniques, so I'm hoping some of your mojo will rub off on me by reading {and re-reading} your tutorials! πŸ™‚ And, I'm sure you'll be your natural beautiful flawless self at Blissdom, and I can't wait to read all about it!

  12. Ohhhh I live not so far from where you'll be (NEW hotel btw…HUGE flood last May) I would love to meet you (can you bring the UNION JACK dresser LOL?!) Almost scored one to paint today for twelve bucks but somebody grabbed it up while I was trying to see how to fit it in a little trunk :/
    Have fun in Nashville πŸ™‚ Take pics!

  13. I'm in love with the chairs already.I'm sure you'll have that whole wardrobe thingy worked out and be just fine. After all clothing is just another form of artistic expression…and we know your good at that!

  14. I totally know what you mean about the imperfections working in your favour, I love it when I find a dresser that the varnish has bubbled on, I just know it is going to give so much more character to the finish! Love the chairs, thanks so much for sharing your technique. I am a fool too and often end up with hands like yours were!

    How exciting for you to go to Blissdom, I am sure you will find something perfectly 'you' to wear, and I look forward to all the gems you share with us upon your return….happy travels!

    xx Karen

  15. Thank you for sharing!!!!! The tutorial is great, because now when I hit that spot where everything looks tacky – I know I just have to carry on and follow the steps. I suppose it comes with time and experience to know when to stop with a technique. You are the best!!!

  16. Love the chairs!!! Beautiful finish!!
    As for the formal attire…black always works. Add bling or pearls and you will have it.
    Enjoy Blissdom.

  17. Wow – this is an awesome result. I have saved this post for when I have the courage to take this on myself. Have fun at Blissdom – so wish I could attend.

  18. Ooo, I love to watch a master practicing her craft – just beautiful. I hope you have fun at Blissdom! What? With all of that glitter you use, you don't have something sparkly to wear in your wardrobe? πŸ™‚

  19. What? You mean you're not going to make yourself clothes to wear out of antique grainsacks and German glass glitter??? πŸ˜‰

    Have fun at Blissdom!

  20. You just really are amazing, Miss Marian. Honestly.

    I'm going to Blissdom, too–my first time to attend. I hope, hope, hope I get to meet you! I promise I won't even look at what shoes you're wearing. πŸ™‚

  21. You are something else my friend!! LOVE your chair and the detailed tutorial. I'll be back tomorrow to read up on your paint/glaze formula.

  22. Wow; you got a ton done! Do you ever feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day? I ask because one days I'm super productive, I just want to keep going until the projects are finished. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the painting tips. I look forward to your glaze formula!

  23. I am sure that you will look as cute as ever whatever you wear! Love the chair. I am amazed at your base coat color and what you ended up with. Wow! Looks great though!

    Do you have anything for cleaning goop, crud and grease off of wood cabinets?

  24. YOu always amaze me with what you can see… what might be with colors and textures for furniture and this chair is already looking amazing! You will be beautiful no matter what, so just be comfy and confident!

  25. I need to try to find your Tutorials on painting. Or, was it 10 Painting tips – something.

    There were all sorts of greats tips on how to care for brushes, etc.

    I just ruined a bunch and I have a list pf projects ahead.

    Thank you so much for all of your insightful and encouraging posts.

  26. Love what you doing with the chair…great patina…texture, coloration!
    Hey, I am just like you…I would need a fashion consultant, as well. You will be worries!

  27. Marian, great timing on the how to paint the chairs. I am going to copy this loosely on an old victorian chair with frenchy lines. Hey don't worry about clothes and all that stuff, be yourself, thats what makes you special.

  28. just wanted to say not to worry about what to wear at blissdom… if i could have afforded to go, i would have gone with the clothes in my closet… we are who we are (ok, now that kesha song is in my head)… anywho. just go and be you- that is why people follow you. they don't want you to show up being someone or something you're not. so don't be something your not- wear your chucks, maybe some docs if you really want to be dressy. πŸ˜‰ but seriously, just be you- that's who people want to see and meet.

  29. You will be wearing your kind heart, your clear thinking, and all your creativity. You will be beautiful.
    Your talent and reputation will go far ahead of you, and actually others will be a bit intimidated by YOU. So wear something you are comfortable in, and focus on others. There will be younger, less famous, and more insecure women all around you. Put your focus on making them feel appreciated, and then you will be drop-dead-gorgeous!

  30. Is the paint you use always satin/eggshell, or do you use flat paint?
    Also, is cleaning the paint sprayer you have a total nightmare? We have one that my husband used to paint our ceilings when we moved into our house, but it is such a pain to clean that we almost never use it.
    The chair looks beautiful as we all knew it would.
    Don't worry about what you wear, just be yourself – obviously you are very popular, just as you are! πŸ™‚

  31. Chairs are gorgeous – love the finish. Glad you're out of your funk. Been there myself lately.

    I have a faux finish friend who swears wearing her work clothes (completely splattered w/paint) is better than passing out business cards. But I'm sure you have something lovely to wear that will make you feel comfortable @ Blissdom.

    Have a wonderful time there. Can't wait to read all about it πŸ™‚

  32. Glad you're out of the funk and I love what you're doing with the chairs. Don't worry about what to wear just remember the KISS

    Hugs XX

  33. Gloves are for wimps. Hahaha… I always end up with messy hands and clothes too… it seems that paint has a powerful sway over me…I think about painting and then I just do it… pretty soon I've got a wrecked shirt and terrible looking fingernails.
    Can't wait for the glaze formula…

  34. This would be the perfect technique for some antique chairs from my childhood I've had stored for a long time…will check out the formula tomorrow…thanks for sharing!

  35. You are going! That is the most important thing. I would gladly wear my painting jeans if those could get me there.
    And as an outside observer who is obviously not going (and maybe it's a cultural thing too) but I really don't understand the fuss and big deal everybody is making about what they are wearing. Are women really that judgmental?

  36. I can't wait to see what your antique glaze formula is! I'm currently working on a project and I'm REALLY wanting to do an awesome glaze to finish it. Thanks for sharing!!

  37. What a wonderful website you have…so inspirational! Love the blue glaze chair transformation. I just linked up my most recent side chair re-do. I would love for you to check out and follow my Interior Design & Decor website, SAS Interiors @

    You sound SO busy, just like me…we are women and we can do it ALL, lol…

    Have a great time at Blissdom…I hope to make it next year!

    ~Jenna, SAS Interiors

  38. SW Paints, my favorites! I didn't even know they had that color! I am so in love with these chairs. You work fast! Do you sleep? Seriously, you should be so proud of your creative genius, love them! Good luck on the sale!

  39. Did you use a sealer over the whole thing after or do you just let it get more "rustic"? I am doing a mirror kind of like yours and I am trying to decide how to do it! Decisions, decisions! Thanks for the inspiration!

  40. You can not find pieces like your wonderful creations. You need to create your own furniture line with your wonderful finishes so people everywhere can get pieces like these.

  41. I found your blog, via Pinterest this morning and fell in love! Thank you for sharing your talents with your readers! I posted your image of the arm of this chair in my inspiration board and hope you don't mind. Thank you for your post, I look forward to returning for more inspiration! The link to my blog, and your image, is blow.

    xo Christina Leigh

  42. Use Coconut Oil to remove paint and stain from hands. Works like a charm! The lauric acid in Coconut Oil is a great surfactant, and in fact the infamous “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate” that is in most shampoos and laundry detergents is a surfactant derived from coconut oil. Works great with oil based paints since oil dissolves oil, but I also used it to remove stain from my hands and even from under my fingernails… clean as a whistle with almost no effort!

  43. Pingback: French Chair Reveal, Glaze Mix, & Simple Upholstery - Miss Mustard Seed

  44. Pingback: Best of painting techniques – Nur noch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *