Adding Character to a Chair: Graphite, Coco, and Black Wax

Are you ready for a chair makeover? 
I picked this chair up at a thrift store for a few bucks. It's made of solid wood with a caned seat and is sturdy. But I thought it looked too plain, so I decided to give it a make over!



I wasn't sure if I would paint the seat or not, so for the time being I taped it off.

Tape off areas you don't want painted.
Starting with the underside of the chair I applied two coats of Graphite (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).

Paint the underside first.
I applied two coats to the rest of the chair and decided at this point that the light color on the seat was too much of a contrast.

The seat needs something . . .
 After the Graphite was dry I taped off the area surrounding the caning and then I brushed CoCo on the seat.

I painted the seat in Coco (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).
Next sanded back the dark paint to give a worn appearance. It looks almost grey in the photo below from the sanding dust. I brushed off the dust and then wiped it down with a damp shop towel.

Distressed finish with sand paper. Sanding dust needs to be wiped off.
Normally I apply clear wax at this point, but I've been playing with the new waxes, white and black wax, recently introduced by Annie Sloan. The black wax I applied directly on the Graphite as shown in the vertical back of the chair below (contrasted to the un-waxed back support). The black wax deepened and enhanced the dark color. I applied clear wax to the seat and then a very small amount of black wax.

Black wax on the vertical back.
The horizontal back support is un-waxed.
I let the black wax cure overnight and then sealed the entire chair with clear wax to add an extra layer of protection.

After

I really like the color combination on this chair. I think the black wax helps the two colors work together.
Graphite, Coco, and black wax.
I was so thankful the caned seat was in good condition!
The caning was in good condition which makes for an easier makeover.
Distressing throughout gives the chair a well-loved and aged appearance.

Distressing adds character and history to the chair.
Here's a close up of the front cross spindles.

Front cross support spindles.
I took the chair to my booth yesterday and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will find a new home!

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