Bar Chair Makeover
Ten years ago, my sister found this wooden, Pier 1 bar chair for $5 at a yard sale. Score! It had several coats of paint, the latest of which was ivory with some hand painted flowers. So very floral. We gave her a fresh coat of white paint and put her to work at the end of our kitchen island.
After doing hard time in my kitchen, those layers and layers of paint were a little worse for wear. I decided to strip the chair down to the raw wood and see if I could achieve an English pine look. Little did I know how time-consuming this project was going to be!
We used CitriStrip to remove all that paint. I like this product because it does the job without the overpowering smell of most chemical strippers. We used a small wire brush to remove the paint in the carved detail of the legs.
Rabbit Trail: One time, I saw wire brushes for sale at a home improvement store and they were mislabeled as wire “brishes”. I’ve called them brishes ever since. #imadork
While stripping the wood, we were surprised to discover that the factory stain was ebony which was deeply ingrained in the wood. We used Formby’s Paint & Poly Remover to try to remove the dark stain. We applied it and scrubbed with steel wool, but the grain of this wood is so tight that it just didn’t penetrate very well. I would use this product for final cleaning before staining raw wood, not for removing old stain.
After the Formby’s, we used Clorox gel bleach to continue removing that ebony stain. Working in small sections, we applied bleach to the chair and used a small wire brush to work it into the wood. This worked very well and did not leave harsh bleach stains. Note: I would not recommend this on antique pieces or anything rare. We felt okay with risking bleach stains on this piece because we could sand them out if necessary.
Once we were happy with the paint/stain removal, we began to sand the chair. And sand. And sand. And sand. This is the time to crank up the tunes in the garage and zone out. Such boring work. Thank God that I don’t sand furniture for a living! We started with 100 grit sandpaper and worked our way to 220 grit for the final sanding.
Once the chair was a smooth as a newborn baby’s butt, it was time for the star of the show: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Wax in Clear! I ordered it from Carolina Pine Country Store. This was my first order with them, and I had a fantastic customer experience. They’re very responsive to questions, and even though I didn’t pay for expedited shipping, my order was delivered with lightning speed. 10/10 highly recommend!
Can I just tell you how excited I am about this wax? Using a lint-free cloth, simply smooth it onto the wood, rub it in like lotion and let it cure. It’s amazing. I was concerned that the final finish on the chair would look yellow, but not to worry. This wax delivered on a soft, beautiful finish and I couldn’t be happier with it.
We’ve done two coats of wax and will likely add a third coat. Let’s just take a moment to admire this beauty in her natural habitat, shall we?
See that island? It’s on the short list of furniture needing a makeover. Soon. Very soon. I’m thinking something in the tiffany blue-turquoise range for the cabinet and maybe some more Annie Sloan clear wax for the top?
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