Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Painted Chairs

How many of you like to paint chairs? I love to paint chairs.  I met a lady who loved color, so of course I had to show her some of my colorful things I had painted. She was so enamored that she decided to have me paint some chairs for her dining room table. She is having her husband make her a farm table for them to go around. This is part of a series of 4 chairs that I painted for her.  She wanted them all different. She is such a fun and vibrant person..

One of the questions I get a lot, is "Did they tell you what they wanted on them, or what colors to use?" Usually I visit with a customer about their interests, and colors they are drawn to. I then have them look at my blog and see if there is anything in particular they like or maybe even dislike. That gives me a pretty good idea of what to include or omit on their piece.  Most generally they tell me they want to be surprised, and to just use my imagination. In this particular instance, I went to her home and saw the room she was going to put the chairs in and we picked out some colors she  liked. As I toured her home, I got a very good sense of what she liked, and that she was a very colorful person. I saw things I knew had to be included on her chairs. She had already told me that she loved the big flowers I paint, and had talked about putting big flowers on all of them, but of course I had a little different idea after seeing her home. You will see what I did as you read through this post....

I keep thinking the thing that takes the longest is the spindles and the little knobs with all the details, but the truth is, it all takes a long time! Lol! The knobs do take a long time because every time I paint one color, I get it on the neighboring color, then I touch that up and I get it back on the first frustrating!!! But eventually I get it right and ..perrrrfect, which is the way I like them. 

The easiest way to paint spindle legs is like on a table where you can remove them and just twirl them in your hand while you paint. Chairs are more challenging and I end up turning the chair upside down, sideways, and on the other side, then on the other side, then back again (to touch up what I just screwed up lol!) lot of lifting. 

I love doing big flowers, and what is interesting to me is the fact that each time I start a flower, I think "well this certainly isn't turning out as well as the last one. Wonder what else I can do to it...."  Then I walk away for a while, and when I come back and start layering colors, it starts taking shape.  As it turns out, I usually was only half done when I was dissatisfied because I completely paint over the original flower. The original flower becomes just a base.  Does that ever happen to you?

One tip that I will share is my table I work on. It is an old TV swivel stand that I put a larger piece of plywood on top of, then covered it with an old towel so that it is soft and won't scratch the piece I am working on. It turns so I can reach several angles without jumping up from my stool all the time. You see them lots of times at garage sales.  By the way, my stool also rolls. Most things in my studio are on wheels so that I can move them when I need to. The stool is a auto mechanic's stool that my brother had for bar stools. Now I wish I had bought 2 of them at his garage sale..... It's all about making things easier and more convenient when you paint.

And finally, the end.  I like to put something fun and sweet on the back.  These chairs will be around a table so the backs will be visible all of the time.

The Turquoise chair is done, and Linda loved it, which is the best part...the smile when they see it! 

One of the things I saw at Linda's house when I toured it, were owls..and owls, and more owls. So, I asked the obvious question, Do you like owls??!  Of course she did!  It was a no brainer that owls were something I would put on one of  her chairs. 

 What started out as a great idea for the back of the chair turned into tedious work trying to come up with all the different designs. Needless to say, I was glad to be done with that part.

And..of course the little something to make the back interesting.

Here is the other flower chair. It was really fun to work on. I can't wear yellow, but I love to paint it! When Linda asked me to paint the chairs for her, she only had a couple of chairs. I found 3 chairs like this at a Goodwill Store and picked them up for her. I kept one and we used 2 of them. We didn't want to have 3 alike, and one odd one, so we used 2 of her mismatched chairs to finish out the set. I like this style, it has a lot of great lines. 

 I couldn't get the color adjusted right on this picture, it was outside and a sunny day. But you get the idea. The flower is more brilliant than this in person.

 I loved the way the back turned out. It is my favorite back out of the four. I like the way the colors blend.

 To get this effect I use a yellow base, then go over it with the turquoise, and go back in with some of a bright purple wash. I really like the way these colors blend and layer.   I think I will do my remaining chair I kept in this color. 

And, something interesting on the back. 
I would like to get a picture of them all together, but alas, I delivered them at different times. 

Hope you have enjoyed this. If you want to see more of my posts, sign up with your email and then when I post something new you will get an alert. If you like to paint chairs too, I would love to see some of your projects. You can email them to me at , or share them in your comments so we can all enjoy them!

Until later, remember " Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections."

TaTa for now. Carolyn