How to turn a Chair into ART

I literally turned a chair into a piece of art! Just look!

 Learn 'How To' turn a plain chair into a stunning signature piece using only paint and an old gift card with Fiona Debell - The Paint Pro.  | fionadebell.com

Learn 'How To' turn a plain chair into a stunning signature piece using only paint and an old gift card with Fiona Debell - The Paint Pro.  | fionadebell.com

Pretty impressive if I do say so myself!

Here is how it happened. A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to find not 1, but 3, of these fabric chairs on the sidewalk - big garbage day in the 'hood!

I actually drove past them 3 times - the frustration of having a car full of kids.

I did briefly consider dumping the kids to grab the chairs...but..well, you know!

 Chair Painted and Iron Orchid Design Transfer Applied.  | fionadebell.com

Chair Painted and Iron Orchid Design Transfer Applied.  | fionadebell.com

On the fourth pass, I hardly dared hope they would still be there. They were.

I may have screeched 'STOP THE CAR' quite loudly.

The husband rolled his eyes and stopped the car. Happy wife, happy life right? (insert evil laugh).

So how did I get from a simple, plain, clearly missing its slipcover, chair, to this beauty?

 The 'Before and After' of a chair picked up on the sidewalk!  | fionadebell.cm

The 'Before and After' of a chair picked up on the sidewalk!  | fionadebell.cm

Step 1

Clean! I vacuumed and cleaned the fabric. It was pretty clean already, but I figured cleaning is ALWAYS a good call!

 Fabric Chair prior to being painted.  |  fionadebell.com

Fabric Chair prior to being painted.  |  fionadebell.com

I then flipped my chair on its front and added painters tape. For this project, the quality of the tape is not important.

 Use Painters tape to mark off 'tree trunks'.  | fionadebell.com

Use Painters tape to mark off 'tree trunks'.  | fionadebell.com

Step 2

Spray your fabric with a light mist of water. Take a variety of paint colours. This woodland colours.

I used Prairie Sunset, Midnight Blue, Liberty Blue, Laurentian, Ash, Copper and Pale Gold from Fusion Mineral Paint.

 Randomly apply various paint colours to the back of the chair.  | fionadebell.com

Randomly apply various paint colours to the back of the chair.  | fionadebell.com

Be liberal with a paintbrush, randomly splodging the paint down! Whilst the paint is still wet, use a rag to dab paint across the fabric, creating a 'leaf' type effect.

 Randomly apply paint over the chair back to create texture.  |  fionadebell.com  

Randomly apply paint over the chair back to create texture.  |  fionadebell.com  

Step 3

Remove the tape - now comes the fun part!

 Remove the painters tape from your chair to reveal the 'forest'.  | fionadebell.com

Remove the painters tape from your chair to reveal the 'forest'.  | fionadebell.com

Oh I LOVE this bit! You need an old credit card, or gift card and you can create some magic!

You need a brown and a black paint - I used testers of Coal Black and Chocolate from Fusion Mineral Paint.

To apply you need just a tiny amount of paint on your card and you sweep to the side. I think best explained in this short video clip.

It should look something like this when done. If you want to, practice on a piece of paper!

 Following the steps laid out, your fabric should look like a beautiful Birch Forest. | fionadebell.com

Following the steps laid out, your fabric should look like a beautiful Birch Forest. | fionadebell.com

Step 4

Flip The chair over and you are ready to paint. I taped the edges of my Birch Tree area.

Using a water sprayer I wet the fabric and began to paint. I used Ash from Fusion Mineral Paint.

 Wet the fabric then apply paint using a good size brush.  | fionadebell.com

Wet the fabric then apply paint using a good size brush.  | fionadebell.com

Continue until the fabric is covered. Remember the coverage will vary according to the colour you choose.

Step 5

Once the paint is dry (I left mine overnight), lightly sand with 180 grit paper. Remove the dust.

 Lightly sand painted fabric in between coats.  | fionadebell.com

Lightly sand painted fabric in between coats.  | fionadebell.com

Apply a second coat. See how well it covers - and it is still wet in this picture!

 The coverage on this painted fabric chair is amazing, even when wet.  | fionadebell.com

The coverage on this painted fabric chair is amazing, even when wet.  | fionadebell.com

Step 6

Next, I tackled the legs. I chose an 'Ombre' finish. Most chairs will have wooden legs, but these are fabric so I needed to do something!

 Apply and 'ombre' paint finish to the chair legs for interest.  | fionadebell.com

Apply and 'ombre' paint finish to the chair legs for interest.  | fionadebell.com

Ombre is not as scary as it sounds.

Damp the fabric and start with 2 colours.

I used my Ash from Fusion at the top and a white, in this case, Casement, at the bottom. Gently merge to 2 together. 

I think perhaps this technique can be the subject of a future blog post!

 Ombre fabric chair legs.  | fionadebell.com

Ombre fabric chair legs.  | fionadebell.com

Step 7

I could have easily skipped this next step - but I wanted to add some interest and I happened to have an IOD transfer to hand.

My IOD was black, but one of their white ones would have been a showstopper!

I simply trimmed the transfer and applied it following the instructions. It takes only a few seconds.

 Position your IOD transfer on the painted chair.  | fionadebell.com

Position your IOD transfer on the painted chair.  | fionadebell.com

Once in position I removed the paper backing and burnished the IOD to the fabric using the stick provided with the transfer.

 IOD Transfer in position ready to burnish and apply to the painted fabric chair.  | fionadebell.com

IOD Transfer in position ready to burnish and apply to the painted fabric chair.  | fionadebell.com

It turned out wonderfully!

 Top image is the 'before'. The IOD was then burnished and the image below shows it a few seconds later.  | fionadebell.com

Top image is the 'before'. The IOD was then burnished and the image below shows it a few seconds later.  | fionadebell.com

Step 8

Finish with a Clear Coat (or wax).  I chose Tough Coat from Fusion Mineral Paint, because it is wonderful on fabric - it is flexible and wipeable. Perfect for me and my kiddos!

It feels kind of like leather when dry.

 Tough Coat from Fusion Mineral Paint is great on fabric.  | fionadebell.com

Tough Coat from Fusion Mineral Paint is great on fabric.  | fionadebell.com

I used a brush to apply the Tough Coat. That is not white paint on my brush...just poor washing from me the last time I used this brush!

 Apply Tough Coat using a brush.  | fionadebell.com

Apply Tough Coat using a brush.  | fionadebell.com

Wait for the Tough Coat to dry and you are done!

I LOVE it! and I have 2 more to do! Oh my!

 Use an IOD Image transfer to bring a plain painted chair to life.   |  fionadebell.com

Use an IOD Image transfer to bring a plain painted chair to life.   |  fionadebell.com

 Before and after painted chair.  | fionadebell.com

Before and after painted chair.  | fionadebell.com

 Furniture becomes art with this super cool DIY.  | fionadebell.com

Furniture becomes art with this super cool DIY.  | fionadebell.com

I would love to know if you give this a go yourself!

Have fun out there!

FionaDebell_creativity_explained