Decayed Elegance Meets Painted Upholstery…From Frumpy to Frenchy Fabulous

Painted Upholstery Close Up

Without a doubt, the most popular piece that we have blogged about has been our original painted upholstery chair.

Our blog readership skyrocketed on the day that we posted about this chair, and it was our quickest piece to sell in our booth. In fact, it was sold the first hour that we had it on display. Most interestingly, we still receive emails about this chair and it has been repinned on Pinterest many times. So, I was so excited when we found another chair that would be a great painted upholstery piece.

Why did we buy this chair? First of all it was in perfect shape…it was just really ugly. It had it’s original poorly distressed finish with Autumn Gold velour type upholstery.

It had a total Brady Bunch vibe and would never interest most people. It sat in the thrift shop for a couple of days before we snatched it up but as soon as Cathy saw it, she knew that it was right for this Creative Couple. We had to look past the present look of the chair and look toward the possibilities. The chair was as solid as a rock, in perfect condition, had a wonderful shape and looked like it could be very regal if done correctly.

Originally I was going to reupholster the chair in a linen type upholstery and paint that but after I saw how perfect the Gold velour was I decided to paint that. Why not? It was ugly but could become beautiful.

First, I applied one coat of MultiSurface Sealer to the gold velour and left it dry overnight. The sealer helps to seal the fabric so that it doesn’t absorb as much paint. I followed the sealer step by applying two coats of a lovely toned light blue to the fabric seat and the caned back.

After the upholstery was painted, I had to paint the wood. I knew that I would distress this so I underpainted everything with a Raw Umber or brown color. Since most of this would be covered by the topcoat, I didn’t have to be particularly picky with this step.


I then applied chapstick to the brown underpainting in random places so that I could imitate a chippy paint look. Next, I applied a few topcoats of a toned white. I sanded the painted area allowing the paint to be removed where it was applied over the chapstick.

Next it was time to paint the design on the chair. On the original painted upholstery piece I painted large, oversized flowers. I was determined to break out of that mold and paint this chair very differently while sticking to the floral painting that I love so much. I made the decision to paint a bouquet of flowers while incorporating a ribbon and some interesting birds. The results are so pleasing and our thift store find became a wonderful example of Decayed Elegance. This will be placed for sale in our booth and will be snatched up quickly. We really love this chair and are excited for it to find a great home for this piece of art furniture.

Painted Upholstery Final 3

Painted Upholstery Final 4

Painted Upholstery Close Up

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