Rhiannon-An Abalone Inspired Chair Makeover

4 Materials
6 Hours

So, I was driving back home one afternoon and a garage sale caught my eye. I immediately fell in love with this chair and it's beautiful carvings and details and for $20 in the car it went. I already had all materials on hand so I didn't have to spend any additional money for this project. I have always loved abalone jewelry and decided to give this look a try and I'm so glad I did.
First I made a chalk paint with Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black (cause that's what I had on hand) by mixing Pixie Dust Liquid Mineral Additive to the paint in an empty butter container. I lightly sanded before painting. Here is the chair before.
And here is the chair after 3 layers of the chalk paint.
After chalk paint
Then I started coloring in all of those beautiful curves and carvings. I used Unicorn SPiT Sparkling Stains and Modern Masters Pearl White Metallic. The Unicorn SPiT Sparkling Stains are in a very limited supply right now, but you can use various mica powders in the Unicorn SPiT Gel Stains to get a shimmery effect too. This product can be purchased through specialized vendors, on Amazon, and in some Hobby Lobby and Home Depot stores. I personally purchase through a specialist. You can join the Unicorn SPiT Gel Stain Q & A group on facebook and inquire for the nearest specialist in your area.
I just kept layering the Sparkling Stains with the pearl paint until I liked it using art brushes. I sealed the entire chair with 3 coats of General Finishes HP Top Coat in Gloss and recovered the seat in a black fabric. And here she is. It's like a piece of jewelry for your home. Classic and elegant and totally original.
After front
My inspiration picture
I probably spent around 6 hours total on this project. It's hard to say since you work on it a little here and there waiting for drying times etc. I am on the look out now for more chairs or furniture with these kinds of details to try this look some more. I think it would look beautiful with white too. More pictures are on my facebook page @angelrockstudio. Thanks for reading and always be soul happy.
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To see more: https://www.facebook.com/AngelRockStudio/

Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Jaswan
    on Sep 16, 2019

    The chair turned out so well, I wonder how you price such a unique piece, and where do you sell your creations? I would love to dabble in revamping pieces- just have no room for any and not sure how to go about selling them?! Any tips would be great!

    • Traci Heimer
      Traci Heimer
      on Sep 17, 2019

      Thank you. It is currently on display at an art gallery in a small town in Iowa. You can find me on facebook at Angel Rock Studio. I can answer any questions for you there. Pricing items is something I struggle with too. :)

  • Were you layering the Unicorn spit paint with the different colors? Or did you stripe it to get that effect? Do remember what order you used the different colors? And did you use every color that is in the picture of the paints?

    I love your chair! You did such a transformation!

    • Traci Heimer
      Traci Heimer
      on Sep 17, 2019

      Thank you Margaret. I mixed each color with a little bit of the Pearl White Metallic by dipping an art brush in each. I didn't have a certain order for applying. I just kept adding and blending until I liked it. It is hard to know when to stop. And yes I used all those colors. These are the original sparkling stains that are no longer available. There are new sparkling colors that have replaced these. :)

  • Dolores
    on Sep 23, 2019

    Hi just a quick question. Do you have to seal chalk paint? I am doing a chair and not sure whether I should do it?

    • Traci Heimer
      Traci Heimer
      on Sep 24, 2019

      Hi Dolores. If you are just using a chalk style paint then it needs to be sealed with any topcoat of your choice-a wax, or any sheen of a water based polycrylic. If you are layering SPiT over a chalk style paint you don't necessarily have to seal the paint first. Really depends on the project.

Join the conversation

2 of 197 comments
  • Cammie Hauser
    Cammie Hauser
    on Sep 17, 2020

    I thought it was beautiful in just the black... ohh and ahh with that! Then I finished scrolling to the Unicorn spitt-ed final. Really gorgeous!

  • Robyn Garner
    Robyn Garner
    on Sep 17, 2020

    WoW! The first unicorn spit project I've actually liked!

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