From Blah to Brilliant - Updated Front Porch Seating and Seat Cushions

4 Materials
$50
2 Hours
Easy

From dreary dark brown to Caribbean breezy these chairs and their owner enjoyed the make over process. The cushions are not only refreshed but oh so comfortable!
AFTER
AFTER
Decide what color will compliment and liven up the existing colors of the area where the furniture will be placed. I had some design and color inspiration from another piece I was working on - some bedroom side tables.
Inspiring coral color & Mandela stencil
Inspiring coral color & Mandela stencil
Even though these chairs were for a client - I could only be so restrained. I really loved the thought of a design on the chairs but given the unevenness of the wicker it wasn't going to play out there. Then I thought there must be a cushion with a fun circular pattern to offset the boxiness of the chairs. The prior cushions were stripped numbers flat as pancakes. I can't post a picture because you can't unsee them.

I pulled my color inspiration from the night stands I was working as well as the design inspiration of the mandela stencil on the inside of the night stand. My client is conservative so the vibrant blue wasn't going to be approved but the design idea was taking shape in my mind and I was willing to go ahead and paint the chairs while waiting for the idea to sprout.
BEFORE
BEFORE
Here is the chair before painting with full sun on it. It is in great shape because it was on a covered porch.
Dark color but good bones - Makeover
Dark color but good bones - Makeover
This darker color is because the chair is wet. I completely hosed down the chairs with a high pressure washer. I did not let them dry completely because I was using leftover chalk paint and I wanted the workability that having a pre-moistened surface would provide.

Wicker is usually very thirsty but pre-wetting the chairs cuts down on that of that and all the nooks and crannies take the paint much more evenly. I had debated on spray painting these but I liked the dimension the chalk paint provided and the lack of drips.

I simply painted the chairs with a chip brush and chalk paint one good coat let dry and then went over the light spots. So about 1 1/2 coats in all. Great use of the leftover paint.

Though I knew they were going to be on a covered porch, I did spray the chairs with a clear coat after chalk painting to resist moisture and sun exposure.
The coral is a mixture of orange & red paints
The coral is a mixture of orange & red paints
You need to push the paint with your chip paint brush into the various layers of the wicker but don't over load your brush with paint.
from blah to brilliant updated front porch seating and seat chusions
Just get even coverage with not too much paint on the first go. Paint always looks darker when wet.
from blah to brilliant updated front porch seating and seat chusions
Here is the paint nearly dry. You can go again with the paint to cover where the wood is still showing - your touch up 1/2 coat or leave as is.
AFTER
AFTER
I measured the seat size and took note of the rounded back and square front shape in order to select some cushions. When I found these cushions from Wayfair after I painted the chairs, I felt like I won the lottery.

If you set up a professional account with Wayfair you get a discount and shipping perks. All told the cushions were about $35 for the pair. The cushions are so thick and comfortable. Best part? They even have some blue coloring in the cushions. Zoom in!

The client loved the comfy seats but still could not believe how much she liked the color of the chairs. She would have never gone that bold on her own. But it is part of the joy of "Hometalking" to your client.
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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • T
    on May 23, 2018

    i am always nervous about purchasing used wicker to repurpose. Any pointers on what to look for?? Most seem very unsturdy. Thanks


    • MaryBeth Lodge
      on May 23, 2018

      Look for good “bones”. A sturdy frame means a safe chair. Old wicker can be very dry. Misting it several times over a period of one to two weeks will help put moisture back into the material.

      Little breaks in the weave don’t matter but steer clear of major damage to arms or apron. These require a knowledgeable professional for repair

  • Tia D
    on May 23, 2018

    Curious as to why you used CHALK paint?

    • Christine
      on Jun 15, 2018

      Why would you use anything else? LOL Chalk paint stands up to weather and works well with so many surfaces. Needs very little prepping...NO sanding, just a clean surface! No VOCs(if she used Annie Sloan) and easy clean up.

Join the conversation

2 of 24 comments
  • Red
    on May 26, 2018

    I love this too. The results (especially finding cushions that match) was magical. Thank you for sharing.

  • Susan
    on May 13, 2019

    What a score on the cushions. I just bought some old wicker chairs and I can’t find cushions under $45 each.

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