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My Heart's All A-flutter... Butterfly Chair Revealed!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Heart's All A-flutter... Butterfly Chair Revealed!

I've been telling you about this chair for ages.  Probably because I bought the chair frame last summer and the fabric last fall.  And, pretty much since then have been alternating between chomping at the bit to finish this and procrastinating refinishing it til I had the cash to have it upholstered.

When I bought the chair frame it was raw wood...not a stitch of paint, or poly or anything on it.  Of course I didn't think to take a picture of it back then because I wasn't blogging and I knew what the before looked like.  And I didn't take a picture after the first coat of very bright aqua oops paint from my neighbor either.  But lucky for you, I did take a picture after the second coat of teal-ish paint that I put over the bright aqua.  (Mind you, I liked the aqua...but i wanted a layered effect.)

So here's what it looked like 2 coats of paint in...

I have the can of paint downstairs somewhere...and if you want to know the exact color I can tell you, but for right now that'd require me getting my tired tookis out of the bed and that's just not happening.

I still love you all though.

So after 1 coat of crazy bright aqua, and 1 coat of delightful teal-ish, I grabbed another lighter can of paint I had (Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue) and dry brushed over all of the higher areas to get just some color variation going again.

After that it looked something like this. ------>

Sorry that the color variation is looking kinda wacked out between these 2 pictures.  Take that as a lesson in what happens with different lighting during different times of day in different spaces.  Just fyi, the picture on the right looks a bit more accurate as far as the darker teal-ish color under the drybrushing goes.

After that step, I took a sanding sponge to the thing to rough it up.

<----- So then it looked like this.

Do you see how it left some of the Wythe Blue color, but then also exposed some of the crazy aqua under the teal-ish as well as some raw wood beneath?  Woo Hoo.  That's what I wanted.

And I'll tell you a little tip of what NOT to do.  Don't ever rub a candle on the piece to keep paint from adhering to certain areas.  This was one of the pieces I thought I'd try some different techniques on and I'd read a few things that said to rub a candle on before you paint to get a weathered effect.

Don't do that.  It's awful and messy and hard to get off of the raw wood (which means it made it harder for the wood to absorb the gorgeous walnut stain later too.  Just trust me on this's a bad idea.

So that being said...the next step was rubbing walnut stain over all of this.  I wanted it to dull the color (which is also why I used brighter colors to begin with)  I painted the stain on in very small areas and wiped it most of the way off almost immediately.  I used a paintbrush to apply the stain in this instance because this chair as you can see has a lot of relief areas and I wanted to make sure the stain would seep into the grooves.  So then it looked something like this. (in some seriously yellow afternoon light!) ------>

And after I finally finished all of that...which I didn't do until I had the money to have it upholstered, I sent it off to a professional.  The reasons being for sending it off were...

1. I wanted it to have springs in it so it'd sit comfortably and I don't know how to do that since it was just the empty frame.

2. I spent way too much money on fabric and didn't want to crap it up.

3. I'd also spent way too much time aligning and taping off exactly as I wanted it to be on the chair.  Yes, I did tape giant circles on the fabric with painter's tape to make sure the upholsterer got it right.  I marked each part and labeled them so my vision would be perfect in the completed product.

And it was.

Even the arm fabric is perfectly aligned!

Ps. The color of the frame in these pictures is pretty exact to what it looks like.  Oh yeah, I had it piped in lime green linen.

And now....the whole thing.


I absolutely adore it!  Now on with the rest of that room since this was my inspiration for it all!

Happy hump day to you!

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At April 6, 2011 at 12:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Logan this absolutely stunning!! So when can I get you to refinish several items for me---hehe! Hugs-Hunter

At April 6, 2011 at 10:10 AM , Blogger Ashley said...

Logan! I absolutely love this. And needed the how-to! I bought an old wooden school chair that I'm hoping to repaint to look like a piece of Amy Butler fabric....! We'll see how it goes...

I need to meet you in person!



At April 6, 2011 at 10:35 AM , Blogger said...


At April 6, 2011 at 8:52 PM , Blogger LoganW said...

thanks everyone! I'm pretty pleased myself!

At April 7, 2011 at 11:22 PM , Blogger Kristi said...

Wow! This is fabulous! I love the paint technique you used and that fabric is wonderful! Thanks for linking it up at Favorite Things Friday.

BTW, I'm in SC too. I live in Greenville. How about you?

At April 7, 2011 at 11:27 PM , Blogger Kristens Creations said...

This chair is just stunning!! I have a thing for's just beautiful!

At April 7, 2011 at 11:28 PM , Blogger Kristens Creations said...

*butterflies* oops!

At April 7, 2011 at 11:35 PM , Blogger Katie said...

This is so fun! I love it!

At April 8, 2011 at 6:02 AM , Blogger Mel said...

Wow, what a statement piece. Beautiful.

At April 8, 2011 at 11:21 AM , Blogger Cathy Wall said...

Fantastic! Love the finish and the fabric!

At April 8, 2011 at 12:11 PM , Blogger Miss Mustard Seed said...

Oh, I love this chair! It's striking and the fabric is gorgeous! You did a wonderful job. Thanks so much for your kind e-mail. :) I'm so jealous that you live near Barb.

Also, the colors in your header are great!

At April 8, 2011 at 1:35 PM , Blogger Jane @ Jane's Junk and Treasures said...

I am SCREAMING right now!!
I must have that chair!!!!!!!!!

At April 9, 2011 at 7:48 PM , Blogger Butterflies & Seashells said...

I love it! I love butterflies and I love the colors in the fabric. Great job!


At April 12, 2011 at 10:01 AM , Blogger Logan @LifeforDessert said...

OH yay hooray! Thanks everyone for your kind words! It's so much fun to share stuff like this with a community of people who get as much enjoyment out of it as I do!

At April 14, 2011 at 4:37 PM , Blogger Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Thanks for sending me the link to this chair! It is crazy fabulous. The fabric just makes it. I have nearly an identical chair waiting for a redo in my garage and I would blatantly copy you in a second if I could find your fabric. :)

At April 14, 2011 at 5:20 PM , Blogger Logan @LifeforDessert said...

Janell, if you want to blatantly copy me I'll consider it the finest form of flattery! And if you can't find the fabric near you, I'd be happy to get you some and mail it to you! Will see if I can at least find the manufacturer for you!

At April 17, 2011 at 9:25 AM , Blogger Brandy said...

Oh my goodness! That is AWESOME! What an incredible dose of happy that chair must bring to your home...I hope you smile everytime you see it!

At June 6, 2011 at 9:51 PM , Blogger lauren @ West Furniture Revival said...

another wow. this is absolutely stunning,
i love it. i often pass up chairs because I've never done the upholstery deal, but I've never
thought about having it done for me. ill have to keep that in mind if i see a great chair


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