Old, unwanted chairs have a way of finding me. This one was waiting for me on the curb outside of my son’s apartment building in Milwaukee.
Here’s what it looked like when I found it. The hunter green was a little dated, but otherwise the chair was in great shape, so (much to my son’s embarrassment), I threw it into the back of my Jeep and took it along home with me.
I gave the seat a quick once over with a sander to get some paint spatters off it. I didn’t try to sand it down perfectly because I wanted it to have a kind of worn, uneven finish when I was done with it.
Then I grabbed the darkest color of stain I could find in my basement stash. When I opened the can and saw it was a hardened glop — grrr — I grabbed the second darkest color of stain I could find (Varathane American Walnut) and applied it to the seat.
After that, I dug out some leftover black chalk paint to cover the hunter green parts. When I realized my chalk paint was also a hardened glop — apparently it’s been a while since I’ve done any painting or staining — I mixed up a homemade batch (a little bit of water, a little bit of plaster of Paris and some black latex that was thankfully still in a liquid state).
My homemade chalk paint was a little on the thin side, so it ended up taking three coats to cover all of the hunter green.
After painting, I started marking out diagonal lines on the seat.
Here’s what the final grid pattern looked like.
I put a dab of black paint in the middle of every other diamond.
Then I started filling in the marked diamonds. I used painters tape to make sure I had nice, crisp lines to start with, but I ditched the tape after the first coat because it was slowing me down.
It took three coats to get full coverage on the diamonds, too.
(Next time, I’ll use less water when mixing my own chalk paint.)
To protect the paint, I gave the whole chair a couple coats of matte finish polyurethane.