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Monday, April 16, 2012

The $15 French Bistro Chair

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Monday and that your weekend was good! :)

We had a quiet weekend, which I was thrilled about! Spring break was very busy with activities and sleepovers, and then, of course, it was Easter weekend~ so it was nice to keep things simple this weekend. :) I even got to work some on the girls' room, which was nice...

And speaking of the girls' room, I was so excited when I found these at IKEA a few weeks ago...I couldn't believe my eyes!

Then I looked at the price tag, and I almost jumped up and down right there in the middle of the store! But somehow, I remained {mostly} composed. ;) 

Well, they didn't look quite like this when I found them, but here is a before picture:


You see, like many of you, I love those sweet french bistro chairs. But the price of an authentic one is out of my budget this year, as they are often around 75 dollars per chair..There are just way too many things I want to do on our little home right now! :)

So, of course, when I saw almost exact reproductions for 15 dollars a chair, I bought three, planning to buy more if I could "antique" them up right!

I could see the girls using them as desk chairs in their room...bistro chairs have that beach cottage look to them, don't you think? ;) 
Now I had seen a post on making your own chalk paint, on Craftberry Bush. Lucy shared a recipe from Martha Stewart that she used on a chair that turned out amazing! 

So after giving my little chair a coat of spray primer, I gave this recipe a try...

Some things I learned about DIY chalk paint:

I found that this chalk paint was better if I only made what I would use in one painting session. Even by the next day, it was quite hardened, and even if I added water, it went on way too gritty, and didn't dry smooth. But if you find it is not smooth, you can sand it lightly after the paint has dried to buff it.

I also halved the amount of unsanded tile grout I added to the paint, and liked the consistency much better. So don't be afraid to play around with it a little until you find what works for you! 

Next time, I am going to spray paint the chair next time for a base coat, definitely the metal parts. I can still use chalk paint on the  wooden slats to get that soft, matte look. But now that I have found out how simple and affordable it is to make your own chalk paint, and how well it turns out, I will definitely be making more of my own!

Lucy from Craftberry Bush gives a couple of links to other chalk paint recipes as well in her post, in case you would like to check those out as well! I want to try out the other ones, just for the fun of it! :) 

Again, here is the chair before:

And after:

So, although antique chairs would have been my first choice, I am so happy with the results that I am going to be putting four of these around our dining table. I decided to keep this one in my room, and paint the other two I bought for the girls room...

{I am linking this to Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, the Weekend Wrap up Party at Tatertots and Jello, Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest, and The Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming.}

Well, that's all for me tonight! Thanks so much for coming by, and I hope you all have a good night! :)



awal.ny said...

The chair looks great in all white. I have a set of them too, but I painted only the slats white, I may just have to get the paint brush out again.

Lynne said...

There are so many treasures at Ikea!
I am amazed how strong the bistro chairs are for the price of 15.00.
I needed some extra chairs for Thanksgiving and these fit the bill!
Mine are still natural. I have been thinking about painting them. Your beautiful post has convinced me!
You are magic with a paintbrush, Jenni!

Anonymous said...

Wow they look amazing!!!
Beautiful job!
Have a lovely day.

Kate said...

Those bistro chairs turned out amazing!!! I love your vision and the touch of lavendar is perfect. Its wonderful when we create beauty on a budget. Have a terrific week

Much love

luci wallis said...

So I changed my plans for Wednesday morning I am running to Ikea to grab some of those chairs. Totally agree about using the paint in one setting. Like the idea of tile grout I used plaster of paris.

Do said...

Very nice, but I think they are rather "garden" chair. We don't have those chairs in Bistro. More these like "Thonet" Hello from Paris

Michele said...

What a great deal and pretty upgrade!

Seawashed said...

I have been waiting and waiting for Ikea to get these bistro chairs back in. They only carry them in the summer. I have one from two years ago. Last year they I didn't get there in time and they were sold out. So this year I hope to get some...and the table too, and I am going to paint them also...either white or grey.

Deborah said...

Jenni these are grogeous! What a beautiful job you did on them, and the price? Perfect!
Leave it to Ikea to have some great buys!!! :)
Bless you!

Deborah xoxox