Refinishing French Armchairs Using Chalk Paint To Create A Faux Wood Finish: Part 1

In previous blogs I have mentioned stripping six French dining chairs and the amount of work it took. I was so burned out by the experience that it took two years to even contemplate refinishing the armchairs that were part of the set. I took them out of storage and had them sitting in my office for a week and knew I still wasn’t ready to go through the whole stripping process again. But I had to do something because I really disliked the color of the wood.

I wanted a wood finish without the work, so I turned to chalk paint. I had created a faux wood finish on a half-circle table in the past and decided to give that a try again.

First, I painted the chair with two coats of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint and two coats of French Linen Chalk Paint.

Next, I used Waverly Antique Wax and water to make a wash.

I applied the wash using a paint brush to create lines giving it the look of wood graining.

The combination of the antique wax and the chalk paint underneath create movement like you see in real wood.

You can see the lines from the brush strokes.

I let the antique wax dry overnight.

I really like the color it’s so rich and best of all no red tones.

I am using Annie Sloan clear and white wax.

After putting a thin coat of clear wax, I applied thick coat of the white.

The white wax is definitely lightening the color. You can see the difference in the back leg to the front.

It is definitely looking like real wood, but I still need to play around some more to get exactly what I want. Which leads us to part two of the French armchairs!

Below are some fabrics I am thinking about to recover the chairs. I would love your feedback to help me make a decision.

Fabric 1

Fabric 2

Fabric 3

Fabric 4

Next week more progress on the chairs and hopefully you’ve help me make a decision on a fabric choice!

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