A Wicker Chair Makeover..... French-Style!

So we had this wicker chair that was from the hubs old office that eventually ended up in our living room. Looking a bit like the ugly stepsister in the room of late, I had an ADD moment and decided on a whim that she need a facelift.

There I go gender-izing my furniture again.

Since imperfections are my thing, I only primed the metal parts of the chair to help the paint adhere permanently (I have four kids, nothing is ever permanent around here though!). It was a bit on the cold side when I did this and I eventually had to bring it inside (stinking up the whole place and driving the hubs nuts in the process), because it wouldn't get pass the tacky stage of drying.

I was having ADD and I needed to get this chair going.... fast!

I ended up taking most of the day for the primer to cure, so painting took a back seat until the next day.

I chose old white and coco again from the Annie Sloan “collection” They're my favs, along with the Paris Grey color! The coco went on the metal parts of the arms and legs. The rest of the wicker chair got two coats of old white. But not before I suddenly decided stripes were in order (I told you I had ADD).

Artists Note:
If you've never tried it, grab a roll of green Frog Tape.
It is the best tape if you don't want “bleeding” of your paint.
I always had that problem when using the blue painters tape and
ended up having to use a layer of matt medium to stop the
paint from crossing over; but not with this stuff.
I have never had problems with my paint oozing
past my marked off areas.

I did stripes in a grain sack design. It was gonna be a French-style chair after all.

When painting wicker, throw your regular brushes out the window and opt for a small sized stencil brush instead. I found that regular brushes splattered paint in all directions (I am NOT exaggerating here!). When using the stencil brush, I dabbed the paint in, rather than stroke back and forth. It allowed for more control in where I wanted the paint to go (like on the chair and not all over the room).

More Artist Notes:
If you do paint with a regular brush, do NOT do it inside the house.
My wood floor still resembles a speckled egg at the moment.
So do the parts of the walls, and a few of my pots hanging on the pot rack.

Have you ever bought something thinking you had to have it because you just knew one day, it was gonna come in handy for some project? I think it's called “Supply Hoarding”. I have it bad! I picked up these “Tim Holtz” tissue tape rolls. It's a one inch roll of adhesive tissue paper with various vintage/antique/steampunk designs on them. Baby, they ain't just for scrapbooking anymore!

In this case, I had a couple of French rolls that were itching to be used. I think I heard them secretly calling me as well.

Does that make me schizoid too?”

I decided on the French script one and applied it on the bottom edge of the wicker with a small screwdrive to push its' edges into, and around the wicker. It was SO easy to put on, I couldn't believe it. It had the right amount of adhesive that allowed for re-adjustments without tearing. It got the “Wow” factor from the guys in my house, and that's not easy to do.

I finished up on the chair using two coats (four on the legs for extra protection cause I do have kids), of a flat varnish that protects, yet without all the unnecessary glossiness. I wanted to retain the flat finish of the chalk paint.

Next, it was time for the cushion. The chair didn't originally come with one, and the chair was now just screaming for it. I purchased a foam cushion and then a cut out a template of the seat to cut the foam to the size I needed. I added some more poly-stuffing on top, and then covered that in linen. Pretty simple!

Choosing the fabric is always an ordeal for me and I was dragging stuff out all over the place trying to find the “perfect” one.

I thought about purchasing something new, but since we're in the season of Lent and my sacrifice is NOT to buy any antiques for 40 days... period, and only buy that in which I absolutely needed; I was left to use whatever I had in my stash. Luckily I had gobs of canvas drop cloth that I got at Home Depot one day. The stuff is simply devine for that old French look!

I used the original template to cut out the top and bottom of the cushion; cut out the side edging and enough canvas to make piping for the top and bottom as well. Making a cover for a cushion from scratch is much like making a slipcover; you do it in layers – from top to bottom - and pin it together like an easy puzzle.

After sewing the piping on the cushion, I grabbed a graphic image from my file for the top of the cushion. Not sure where I got it, but it was most likely from the Graphics Fairy. She's got graphics to die for over on her site!

I reversed the image (also called "mirroring") so that it was backwards and printed it out on a couple of iron-on transfer sheets. I cut the image in pieces so that I could place it where I wanted on the canvas.

After ironing it on, the cover got a final sewing, inserted the cushion, added a little more stuffing, and WA-LA.... a perfect cushion for my chair!




Now to figure out just where she's gonna go in this ever-shrinking house!

Vintage Resurrections
- est. 2011 -


  1. This is a superb spin on the Bergere chair!

  2. seriously??? this is what you do w/ your ADD?? i want ADD!!! and the chair!! it's gorgeous!!

  3. WOW!!!!... love this chair makeover. Thanks for sharing your secrets... especially the printed tape. I am off to Ebay to see if I can find it there.

    Great job.

  4. The chair is fabulous, and so glad to know about the tape....thank you!

  5. Nice makeover. I can side with your spouse on this one though. I wouldn't have been too happy about the odor. It's always good when you can quickly repurpose something or restyle it to suit your tastes.


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