“The Look” Your first impression won’t be your last with this project. Don’t rule out roadside or thrift store finds, or the old chair you put in storage, as most anything goes. Any upholstered piece with good structure and sturdy, low nap fabric free of holes or tears will work. Patterns within the fabric are fine, giving the painted piece added dimension. The chair we chose was outdated, but not for long! With a stroke of the brush we transformed it into a contemporary piece fit for any modern day home. Before you begin, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Where will I use this chair and what look am I trying to achieve? What decorating style am I working with? Is it traditional, contemporary, eclectic, mid-century or modern? What color works? Will I also paint the frame and, if so, in the same or a contrasting color? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to get started. For the best bang for your buck, choose chalk paint found in home improvement stores or online where larger quan- tities are available at a better price than craft store chalk paint. We took the liberty of trying different paints includ- ing Annie Sloan, Velvet Finishes and Rust-oleum. For the beginner we found it most cost effective to use Rust- oleum’s Chalked Ultra-Matte Finish. This brand can usual- ly be found at a variety of home improvement paint cen- ters. Our color choice for our project was “Pebble”, a rich mid-range brownish-taupe, with “Linen White” used for the wood. What You’ll Need Getting started you’ll need a few simple supplies that include a spray bottle with water, painter's tape, chalk paint for upholstery and any accent, a variety of brush sizes for painting, fine grit sandpaper (300) or sanding block, clear paste wax and soft cloths for waxing. 74 Take into consideration that chalk painting fabric requires more paint than painting an average wood surface. This will need to be taken into consideration when purchasing paint. The fabric will absorb the paint more and you will most likely need to apply two to three coats. June/July 2017 How To Before you begin you’ll need to prep your furniture. Thoroughly dust and vacuum the piece so you are starting with a clean slate. We used a tack cloth to remove all the dust from the wood surfaces. These can be found in the woodworking section of your home improvement store, or even a good ol’ fashioned damp ramp to remove any dust or debris. Next, search the cushions for any lost treasure– you may be surprised what you find! Once the piece is clean and free of dust you can get to the fun part. Easy Steps for Drab to Fab Transformation 1. If painting the wood, tape off the fabric with painter’s tape. Make sure to create a good seal around the tape. 2. Using a small brush, paint the entire exposed wood frame. We painted a thin layer that exposed some of the existing wood and detail to create a rustic, distressed look when completed. You’ll only need to wait 10-20 minutes for this to dry since chalk paint dries quickly.