8 January 2016

Mid-Century Modern Chairs

My paint, Chalk Paint®, has been influenced by the painter’s palette, which means that it is perfect for recreating any style – and mid-Century Modern is no exception. I adore this modular streamlined look, made bold by use of colour and pattern. For this project, these mid-Century chairs have been transformed into something quite tremendous using just a small set of products from my range. This is a project that would be fairly straightforward to try at home. The chairs I used here were languishing in an attic, having been cast aside as too dated – yes, really!!

1.The first thing was to strip the old shabby velvet from the seat pads and add a new piece of polyester wadding and some fire-retardant calico before adding a new fabric covering. I chose the Gentleman fabric from my range – it’s perfect for the Modern Retro look and, as a natural cotton fabric, it’s so simple to dye using my paint, Chalk Paint®. 
2. Use masking tape to mark out the area you’re going to paint and get a good clean line. If you look carefully at the set of chairs you’ll see the colour is painted over different sections of each seat pad – the devil is in the detail! 
3. Mix the paint with water until you get a loose consistency, roughly one part paint to ten parts water. If you apply it too thickly it may dry with a crust (this can be brushed off, but it can be a messy job). Better to layer washes of paint, until you reach the intensity of colour you’re after. Use a small, flat brush and make sure to work it into the fabric as you apply it. 

4. For the frame, I wanted to contrast the colour of the seat pads with something stark that would make the colours sing out. I used Graphite on the legs and supports for the seat back, but kept the panel in its original grain, polished with some Danish oil to bring out its natural lustre.
5. Once the paint is dry, apply my Clear Soft Wax and take any excess off with a dry cloth or rag. 

6. Pop the pad back into the seat and they’re good to go!

I’m so pleased with these chairs – they work really well as a set, but, individually, each one works just as well on its own.

I hope you enjoyed this project – follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and please, please, please share your own projects with me by sharing your pictures with me there.

Yours, Annie


  1. Wow! I love what you created ..

  2. It looks lovely. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Wow I love this design. THank you for sharing this.
    Modern Furniture

  4. Just LOVE this! I have old school chairs with "kind-of" the same design, and want to use this idea to update them. Want to knnow, please, do I use the soft wax over the newly-painted seats as well as the legs? Want to give this a try! Isobel

  5. I have some chairs just like this but the wood has been varnished and is shiny. If I use graphite chalk paint do I really not need to rub them down first for the paint to stay on the wood? In the past I have stripped back to bare wood then primed, under coated and top coated. Can chalk paint really replace all these steps?

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