French Country Chair Makeover

Heather Olinde
by Heather Olinde
6 Materials
1 Hour

A few weeks ago, our neighbor just happened to mention to my husband that he had a chair he needed to get rid of. My hubby knows me well and immediately told the neighbor that I would want it. He knows how much I enjoy giving new life to something that someone else may think is “junk.” As I bring life back to a piece, it’s as if it brings life to my soul. When I saw the design and detail of this chair, I knew it was perfect for a French Country Chair Makeover.

The first thing I did was remove the seat. I flipped the chair over and the seat was screwed in through the bottom at each corner. I unscrewed them and the seat came right off. Then I wiped down the chair with a damp cloth.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen to paint the chair with my favorite paint brush. This is one of my favorite Annie Sloan colors.

This is what it looked like after the first coat. I always use 2 coats when painting with chalk paint. If the paint doesn’t get in to every little crevice, I’m okay with that because I am going to distress it anyway.

I knew all the detail on this chair would be perfect for distressing. Distressing can be intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s the best part! I used 100 grit sandpaper and went along the edges and corners. All the places that would normally get wear and tear are where you want to sand and distress to give it a more natural appearance.

After I was done sanding, I used a cotton cloth to apply the Annie Sloan Clear Wax. I dipped the cloth in the wax and rubbed it all over the chair. This helps to put a nice seal on the furniture to protect it. Once your wax is dry, you can come back with a clean cloth and buff it by rubbing in a circular motion.

After I had all of the painting and distressing done, I begin working on the seat. I removed the old fabric by taking the staples out of the bottom of the seat. This cushion was in good condition, so I left it as is. I used drop cloth to cover the seat. I measured the area that I needed and cut the drop cloth accordingly. Then, I used a staple gun to attach the drop cloth by stretching the fabric across the top of the seat and stapling underneath.

I love drop cloth! It is like the perfect material. It has a linen look, lots of texture and is the perfect neutral color! I’ve used them to  make no-sew curtains (you can check that DIY out here), cover furniture, and of course for its intended use, to paint.

That’s it friends! I hope I’ve given you a little inspo today. The next time you see that piece of “junk” in someones trash, you may want to grab it and turn it into a treasure, like this french country chair. And if you have any specific tips about painting or distressing, please reach out to me in comments or email. I’d love to help. xoxo

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Heather Olinde
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  • LisaShawn Howard LisaShawn Howard on Apr 13, 2019

    I am getting a old chair of my Grandmother's. I think you done an excellent job. I am going to try this with the chair. The question is does the bottom of the seat on every chair have staples to hold on the material? If not how would you get the old material off, and could you put new material over the old?

  • Michelle Michelle on Apr 15, 2019

    Can you use the chalk paint on iron chairs

  • Judith Judith on Apr 18, 2020

    Did you cover over the welting or pull it off? Is it difficult to make welting with drop cloth fabric?

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  • Frances Anderson Frances Anderson on Apr 16, 2019

    Truly the best thing I have seen on this site in 2 years. Now that is hometalk to share. Thank you I have an awful plastic door I hate. But original old solid wood one is in shed am off to measure it up..Thank you this beats painting stuff xxx

  • Machetta Machetta on Apr 17, 2019

    Cute enough! Love it.