Last fall, during a spin through the Goodwill up in Wappingers Falls, New York, I picked up this pair of old shield back chairs. They're a good size with pretty lines and a shape that's simple and classic. The problem was they looked so…well…dusty, they made me want to sneeze!
I knew they needed a good dose of color to bring them back to life, but I wasn't sure where to go with them until I found inspiration in this vintage pair of Tiffany playing cards from the flea market. The colors I love! Very Fire King Jadeite and Turquoise Blue. A quick trip to the Silk Trading Company for their year end sale, and look what I found! It's a gorgeous woven homespun silk in the precise coloration of the cards!
After a fast stop at Home Depot for paint (Ralph Lauren's Sunwashed Blue in semi-gloss) and a couple of cans of my favorite primer (Zinsser), it was time for a little Designer DIY! With the paint all dry, here I am upholstering the seat with new batting, the woven silk, and a staple gun.
For even more Designer DIY, I added inexpensive grosgrain ribbon around the bottom of the chair with a super strong adhesive called E600. Fashion designers and upholsterers use it all the time to adhere embellishments. Just be sure to fold over the beginning and ends of the ribbon for a much more finished look!
Check out the final result! Our friend Jordan—do you remember her from Team Ross?—was swooning over them in her West Village apartment yesterday. I especially like how pretty and playful they are now. The Lucite coffee table brings glamour to the mix, while the natural sisal rug from IKEA adds warmth and texture.
So as you consider what projects you're going to undertake this month, remember this: Be Daring. We all have safe zones that shield us from mistakes, but stepping outside those lines can yield fantastic results!
Your last two posts were great. I think you are right for 09. I loved that green.
OMG – I totally love the colour combo! What a fantastic job you’ve done. You always inspire me with your wonderful ideas!
Michelle – Sydney, Australia
Oh those are beautiful! I have a gross old chair that is just begging for this treatment
I like the blue. Lovely!
Fabulous, light and fresh and stylish! Rachaelxo
These look great…I just found some chairs and was considering some blue instead of my normal black and white…I am going to do it!
Gorgeous as usual. Can you belive ducks lay eggs in almost the exact same color? Lol.. Picture evidence: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_cUVI7Tsgfww/STuaBJV5lgI/AAAAAAAAAQ4/LaCafirI1-k/s1600-h/brambleberryfarm.jpg
I love this. What is a good color black paint, I am going to try this primer. A good idea would be to show us non pinters how to do this on a video. Thanks. I want a pottery barn type black paint. Have a great table that needs a good paint job.
Klunk. That would be me swooning as well. Lovely! Thanks for the trade secrets, too – type of glue, etc. Keep ’em coming Eddie Ross. You rock!
Eddie – These are so gorgeous. I love the Tiffany inspiration too. I would never have thought these would look so good next to a lucite table – that’s why I love your style! I must admit that when I saw your headline I was hoping to see the chrome chairs you picked up a while back – I am anxious to see their new faces! Love the site! 🙂
I love how you found the diamond in the raw. The chairs turned out beautiful and the perfect color for them.
Did you strip the chairs before painting them?
Love this project Eddie!
I saw the colors and was thinking, “oh my G-d! Not those colors Eddie!” And then I see the finished product and once again, wala, an updated, unique, inspired pair of chairs! I really need to listen to you and move outside of my safety zone! Great post!
Thank you everyone for your sweet comments!
Joyce: I just primed the chairs no need to strip them.
Caroline: I love Ralph Lauren Ebony. I painted my bathroom in it and it looks great!
Wonderful chair makeover, Eddie!
Rock on!! They look incredible. Where are you spray painting? I ask only because I don’t spray paint during the winter due to the temperature – and I’m too spastic to do it inside.
Fun! Love the updated look!
Q: Eddie, if you were painting kitchen cabinets, would you recommend sanding before priming? Flat or eggshell finish?
You are so perfect for 2009. And I love the “Be Daring” motto!
From “Hachoo” to a gem. Looks like it belongs in Tiffany’s.
Eddie, these chairs are like ribbon spools, Easter eggs and Jadeite all wrapped up in one! I absolutely love shield chairs and this project not only perfect, it’s perfectly do-able. Great job!
That’s furniture candy! Just lovely 🙂
Love the chairs, and I have that same Target purse!!! ox
Love, love, love them, Eddie! Wish I had more room for chairs like that, such a fresh twist on traditional.
Amazing transformation! Thank you for sharing…especially about using the primer and not having to strip. I agree that this project would have been good for a video.
Simply divine…amazing save, with that blue and green…PERFECT! Found you via junksophisticate (JunkMarket contributor).
They’re beautiful & so much fun & they look great in Jordan’s apt!!
Fabulous, would you believe I have paint chi[p cards in alomost the same colors of blue and green and also just completed a painting in those shades!
Ya gotta love a Goodwill makeover. The chairs are beautiful. Now I need to goto the GW and see if there are any treasures I can change. 🙂
Lovely, as always. Will you be able to go a video tutorial that explains what you look for in furniture, and more importantly, what contributes to the paint/no paint decision? I believe you say, “not all wood is equal.” Unfortunately, I was told you never take the finish off wood else you’ll ruin the value.
Can’t wait to see what you do with the demilune bureau and the metal chairs.
SO happy you like the chairs!
-Love those eggs. Araucana are my favorites for the colors!
-We used Ralph Lauren’s Ebony black in our bathroom. Check it out in Domino!
– Didn’t strip the chairs; Zinsser primer is great because it hides the wood tone
– Of all the purses Jordan has, that Target one is her favorite too!
– I used a brush (2 coats), so we’ll definitely do a video on painting next time!
Absolutley gorgeous!! I get so inspired to remake pieces when I see your examples! Thanks!
Lovely! The colors are perfection.
I am so excited for DIY month!
Now that is the way to make something that is old and dingy have a fresh young look.That is what I love about you.You take traditional and give it a twist,therefore making it have beauty and longevity.This is what makes me keep coming back for more,xoxox kathysue
Love love love the chairs – they are so fresh looking! totally gorge! I cant believe how well they work with that lucite table too!
Love your blog, and not only are you doing the Designer DIY thing wonderfully, you are also recycling/repurposing too! Such a “green” thing and wonderfully chic in this economy! (While I am not a “designer”, I just re-purposed an antique sewing table into a table for my home on my blog)
you need an electric staple gun, sweetie. it’s a change your life thing. 🙂
the chairs are lovely, who can resist a good thrifty makeover?
Thanks for the inspiration. Especially the reminder to step outside of my box.
Love love love.
I would have never thought of that color combo
Eek! You truly are the transformation king, Eddie—and this is one of your best yet! I LOVE the lines of the chairs, and the colors you chose play up their preppy glamour just perfectly.
Isn’t it funny how a good before/after can get the heart racing? From house flipping shows to ‘the biggest loser’, I love me a good makeover!
Lovely, the color combo is Fab. Thrift store finds have been a favorite of mine for years. Love your creative ideas.
Gorgeous transformation!! So stylish!!
I’m looking forward to MORE makeovers!!
I predicted you would be the “in” thing before Apartment therapy did!
Big things are in your future Eddie!
Why don’t you do a step-by-step guide on how to upholster a bench or a chair? I’d love to give it a try but am afraid the end result will look messy.
too cute! i am actually about to paint a chippendale cane chair my mother gave me for christmas…i was thinking apple green….
Lovely results, as usual. Finish question regarding all painted furniture-do you use a sealant or top coat? I have painted two dressers, using Benjamin Moore semi-gloss paint, and I find they have chipped a little. If anyone has a an answer….thanks.
Honey — you can do MAGIC! What a fresh, fun transformation — and another cinderella project! Just popped in from spray-painting some old mirrored sconces — and my fingers are covered in paint! LOL! You always manage to look amazing even when working — and I manage to look like Medusa! LOL!
Jan at Rosemary Cottage (looking around for more things to paint! LOL!)
Love the chairs, and the color combination. Meanwhile, I’ve been looking for a lucite or plexiglass coffee table. I think I remember seeing one that was with flat shaped legs, kind of cartoon Queen-Annish. If not, I really like the one in the picture. Do you know where it’s from?
Plexi-craft.com is one of my favorite places for Lucite furniture!
Love the color combo! That’s what I did my first son’s nursery in and my baby shower was done in those colors as well!
Not one of my favorite projects of yours; the ribbon seems a little out of place, and I would have loved to see a little gilt on them.
Oh well! Next time, gadget!
So pretty – I’m so excited for this year and all the creative things you’re going to teach us how to do. I already find myself going to antique stores more and I even made a stop by the local Goodwill recently to try to find something I could work with. I think that’s half the fun – hunting for cool stuff!
Tiffany still makes those playing cards….really great and affordable hostess gift.
Those chairs are amazing!!! I adore the color combination Eddie and the ribbon adds a beautiful touch!
Hi! I was wondering about your process of painting furniture. What brushes you use and any tricks. It seems like every time I paint old furniture the end result isn’t as smooth as I would of liked. Any tips to make it look smooth?
I want one! This is so great, Eddie!
I had no idea I could use E6000 on fabric! This is very dangerous knowledge 🙂
Hello Eddie and Jaithan,
I actually found a GOODWILL maybe at least 15 minutes from where I live. I went to drop off some donations, but I did not see anything as wonderful as these chairs. Actually, I do have to take that back. There was this piece of furniture that I saw. I am not sure what to call it. It was tall, thick wood, fancy doors, compartments, maybe like a old secretaries desk slash cabinet. I have an old secretaries desk, but this was much taller and it did not have glass doors anywhere. I wish I would of had my camera. Looked very old. Hard to explain it, but at $99.00 I believe it would be a great buy. PROBLEM though, I have no more room in my home, but I am sure if someone got their hands on it and did some great paint work on it, like yourselves, it would be to die for.
Sorry so long….. just had to share.
Peace to you both,
Eddie, I found the EXACT two chairs in bulk pickup, redid them and when I purchased new chairs I put them out for bulk pickup someone else picked them up! Mine did not come out as fresh and fun as yours but I was happy at the time with them.
THese chairs came out great and I really appreciate that you tell us all your tips!
I love, love the secretary! What a clever idea to use the mirrors.
I’m telling everyone I know about your blog!
Wow, those are amazing. I love the color combination and the extra twist of the ribbon. Keep bringing us great stuff! I am going to bug you again about a Alameda, CA Flea Market trip….
I can’t believe those are the same chairs! Nice.
Absolutely fabulous!! The transformation is amazing, Eddie! I love it!
Ok, I was thinking it, …you said it…that confirms it for me! I am going to venture outside the norm.
Funny, I was looking for a glue that was ok for fabric too…BINGO! Thanks
PS…When are you coming to NC?
love your comments about the questions people ask. makes your site so much more personal.
Wish you would post twice a day. Am pm
I get up each morning excited to read your posts,
Oh Eddie, fabulous as usual! Can’t wait to see the other makeovers.
If only my local thrift stores had such great finds….(sigh)
Wonderful colors! Love them, fresh and so “new”.
Here’s a silly question —
Eddie, the chairs are nice and all.. but that coffee table is FAB! Where did it come from?
And I love your blog!
Eddie, can I ask you a question? I love the painted pieces of furniture you do. I have done two pieces, repainted reclaimed old ugly dark wood chairs and both have been prone to chipping and scraping of the paint easily so I don’t let people even sit on them, which I don’t like to do. How do you remedy? Is there a sealer you put on as a top coat? Or a special undercoat that’s the charm? Love your blog.
The Goodwill is no joke! My lovely antique sofa came from one! I have a question; I love what you did with your mantle in your living room. Can you email me and explain the proces you used? I love the idea of the glass behind it, and I purchased a free-standing mantle over the summer that I want to mount to the wall with a piece of glass behind it, as well. Can you please advise, Eddie! Thanks, hon!
I did a makeover on the same chair! (mine is the end chair) Can I email you the before/after? I’d love your opinion!
I love your blog and all of your styling/decorating tips, you’re the best!!
: ) Ellice
Eddie, could you direct me to a simple tutorial on how to do a chair makeover like this? You of course had years of experience and are a pro, but a gal has to start somewhere, right? The question is: where?
Thanks so much for the inspiration you provided in this post. After several months I finished my own chair project – sanded, painted and recovered a set of 5 dining chairs.
When you get a chance, please take the time to read my post about the process and final results: http://bit.ly/cJQR0w
Love your work!!
I have 8 of these Hepplewhite chairs, straight from my grandma….I so want to lighten the finish. Did you sand or did you paint over the varnish? I want a bleached look. Any ideas?
I love this approach! What a creative and savy way to refresh an old piece!
I LOVE the color you chose for the chairs… I thought I had the perfect turquoise color already picked out for my master bedroom makeover, but I’m going to have to check out this paint sample! Thanks!