I’ve been working like a mad woman trying to finish the painted/stenciled slipcover of the Ikea armchair for today. Well, I’m proud to say I managed to do it! Yay! To refresh your memory, here’s the before:
This project began several weeks ago when my aunt gave us an old accent chair she had at her home in Madrid. I spotted it and asked her where it was from, and she said I could have it if I liked it because she no longer had room for it. Score. We brought it home with us (actually my parents did because it didn’t fit in our car) and let it sit in our room while we thought about what to do with it. I knew it was meant to replace the Poang chair in the living room – it’s comfy enough, but I don’t really like the design – and that I wanted to restain the legs, but I wasn’t sure how to redo the slipcover. So I refinished the legs with a dark oak stain while I continued to think about the slipcover. I simply sanded them down and applied the stain with a brush and a rag, in several thin coats.
My initial idea regarding the slipcover was to make a new one out of a fun patterned fabric. The problem? I don’t really know how to sew, so I’d either have to learn, or ask someone for help. My next idea was to dye it. That posed another issue: there aren’t many dyes here and it wouldn’t be patterned, something I think is severely lacking in the living room.
So I decided to try my hand at stenciling the slipcover with paint. I had already done something similar with a rug and I loved the results, plus I figured if it didn’t turn out okay this time I could sew a new cover eventually. After checking out other armchairs out there I settled on a hexagonal design in a greeny-yellow cover. When I stenciled the Ikea rug I traced around the moroccan design, but this time I did it a bit differently. My idea was to tape off all the areas I wanted to leave as-is (the lines between the hexagons) and leave the hexagons bare so that I could paint them.
The first step was to create the hexagon on the computer. Easy peasy. I printed it out on a thick piece of paper (not cardboard, just thicker than normal paper, what I had at home) and cut it carefully. Then I added tape to the back so that I could tape it to the arm chair slipcover. I started in the middle of the armchair, and with painter’s tape, I taped around the hexagon. I moved it around and continued to tape, tape, tape. This was the longest step.
When it came to the seams, I imagined how it would look if it were a real patterned fabric. I cut off the hexagons at the seams, but then I imagined a good seamstress would try to continue the pattern when possible. So that’s what I did: at the top seam, the pattern continues seamlessly (ha!) but at the sides it doesn’t. At least hat’s how I figured a real fabric would look.
Once all the lines between hexagons were taped off, I started painting. The best thing about using the painter’s tape method is that you can use a roller for the painting step if you taped off everything properly. I used normal latex paint mixed with fabric medium. Unfortunately one coat of paint wasn’t enough in most places so I had to do two. Once it was dry I sprayed it with Scotchgard to protect it a bit.
After all these explanations you deserve some after pics, so here they are! (Note: I can’t show you a full room view right now because we’re in the middle of rewiring for the pass-through and everything’s a mess).
The verdict? Well, to be honest, I’m not sure. I really like the design, but I fear it’s too much for the living room (maybe it doesn’t really go with the rest of the room?). Also, the paint has more texture than I expected, and that kind of bothers me a bit. But it’s much better than the Poang, and I think if I add the proper pillow to it I can integrate it better into the living room. Plus, I only spent 10€ on this – and I have half a can of paint leftover. So, maybe eventually I will decide to reupholster it properly, but in the meantime, I can totally live with this, and I didn’t go broke over it. What do you guys think?