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Chantelle Lourens' Pressback Chair Makeover

Chantelle Lourens' Pressback Chair Makeover

Blog written by: Chantelle Lourens      


It’s amazing how paint can breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. I’ve been storing these pressback chairs in our basement for a while and finally had the chance to give them a fresh update. I absolutely love how the vintage details turned out, so I thought I’d share with you the process on how I achieved this look.
For the colour I used Beauti-Tone Powdered Donuts (WB024-0). It’s slightly off white with a hint of warmth. I love using chalk paint for projects, but it can get pretty pricey! With the help of the paint experts at our local Home Hardware I learned how to easily make my own using any of their Beauti-Tone matte paint!


Here’s the Beauti-Tone chalk paint recipe:
  • Mix ¼ - ½ cup of drywall compound into 1 litre of paint. The amount of drywall compound depends on how thick you want the paint
  • Note: do not exceed ½ cup. The first coat is normally straight paint with no drywall compound added.

For my project I simply mixed 8 cups of paint with ½ cup of drywall compound. It’s better to start with less drywall compound and slowly add more until you get the consistency you like. It should be a little thicker than normal paint. I love the matte chalky finish this recipe gives!

Here’s How


Step 1:

I did 3 coats of paint on the chairs with an angled Beauti-Tone paintbrush. I left the top portion of the chairs untouched until step 2 because this is where I wanted the beautiful details of the pressback chairs to shine.

First coat– Don’t be afraid of how it looks! This is just meant to be initial coverage.

Second coat– Adds more coverage and a great opportunity to find any missed spots.

Third coat– The nice finish. Make sure to smooth out any brushstrokes. Don’t be afraid to sand off paint drips and paint over again.


Step 2:

While I love the design at the top of the chairs, I didn’t want to leave it the orange oak colour, so I used Beauti-Tone Black Licorice (D35-1-0529-3) with another angled brush to paint over the details.
Step 3:

Next, I took a baby wipe and quickly wiped it off because the design is indented, the black paint was left behind.

Step 4:

I used an angled foam brush to finish painting the tops of the chairs white, being careful not to press too hard and get white in the design.

Step 5:

I wanted to add a bit of aging to the chairs for a vintage look. The fun part about this process is you can make it look as rustic as you like. I really liked how the chairs turned out so I ultimately decided to only add a little bit of aging for the time being, but will likely add more when I want to change it up! It’s always easier to add more than it is to take away.

For the aging I took a cloth and dipped it in the Black Licorice paint. I wiped away any excess on the cloth and lightly brushed it into some of the edges and grooves of the chair. It adds a bit of a shadowing effect.

*Note: If you prefer a more rustic/antique look – scuff up the chairs with sandpaper marks along the edges, corners and grooves.
Step 6:

Since these chairs are high traffic items, it’s best to apply a natural paste wax. Take a lint free cloth and dip it in the paste wax. Apply a thin even coat to the chair and let it dry.

Step 7:

Once dried, buff with a clean cloth.

Step 8:

Repeat steps 6 and 7.

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