My Latest Find- A French Style Chair

Howdy! Or maybe I should say, “Bonjour!” I wanted to show you my latest thrift store find- a French style chair, maybe Louis XVI? Let’s just call him Louie.


French Louis Chair |


You may remember Louie from my Tipsy Tuesday post on removing paint from fabric. He didn’t really need much of a makeover. He only had a few spots where the finish was worn through. I tried just touching up the paint, but couldn’t get a good match on the finish. So, I painted over all the wood with brown milk paint, which resulted in the Tipsy Tuesday post. Then for a little more depth, I added a brown glaze and topped it with three coats of Minwax wipe on poly.


French arm chair |


I didn’t really care for Louie’s gold fabric. But, it was in good shape and I didn’t want to face another reupholstering job like the rocking chair makeover, so what to do? I stewed and fretted over it for days, wanting to stencil it, but afraid I’d mess it up. I really didn’t want to end up needing to reupholster it!

I laid several stencils on the chair, trying to decide which to choose, if any at all. My biggest problem was that I wouldn’t have a firm surface to stencil on. I knew I’d need to be extra careful about keeping the stencil flat against the fabric. This eliminated the larger stencils. However, the smaller stencils just didn’t look right scale-wise. Ack!

Finally, I realized I could mask off part of the same stencil I used for the area rug in my bedroom. Cutting Edge Stencils included a single stencil of the pattern in addition to the large overall stencil. I masked off the areas I didn’t want to use, and was left with a somewhat abstract leaf design. I painted it with Martha Stewart’s multi-surface paint in Sterling.


Stenciled fabric |


To tie in with the stencil, as well as highlight details in the wood, I dabbed on silver Rub n Buff  here and there.


French Chair arm detail |


Oval Back French Chair |


I’m still not crazy about Louie, but I think his new look is an improvement over his seen-better-days look.


Louis XVI Chair |


Louis XVI Oval Back Chair |


Have you ever been paralyzed by a project because of fear of messing it up? How did you overcome the fear? I’m slowly learning to take a leap of faith now and then.




Partying here:

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  1. Hi Sheila,
    The chair is beautiful! I’ve just finished a chair myself using the same Martha Stewart muti purpose paint in satin black for a “frenchie” motif. I’ve stenciled a fleur di lis on the seat and was wondering whether I need to seal in the paint.. I’m a little concerned of the paint wearing off because these dining room chairs will be used a lot.
    I’ve read some stencils done on fabric get sealed with heat but wondered what your thoughts are.

    • Jamie, I’ve stenciled on all sorts of things and never had a problem with the paint wearing off, even on clothing. Just think about when you’ve accidentally gotten paint on your clothing- it doesn’t come off in the wash, doesn’t wear off. The great thing about painting, though, is that you can always touch it up.

  2. Wow, Sheila you really did a great job to your chair here! I have seen many of chairs makeover but this one is the easiest way of getting a makeover… 🙂

  3. It’s beautiful Sheila, fun too. I was scared of everything – then I thought, what’s the worst I can do? Then I started blogging it and well you know the best and worst 🙂

  4. Great idea, Sheila! This is a wonderful chair; you really updated it with your stencil and Rub n Buff !

  5. Great looking chair, Sheila! I love these chairs, but never seem to find anything like them when I’m out. Maybe once yard sale season hits here.

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