Have you ever been to an estate sale?

If not, I am here to tell you, that you are definitely missing out!

They can be a great place to find some amazing treasures.

Thrifting at it’s finest, I’d say!

Old furnishings, beautiful dishes, quilts, vintage toys and other antique finds of all kinds.

You may be surprised, but I didn’t go to my first estate sale until about six years ago.

I left work early, on a Friday afternoon, and was heading home when all of the sudden, there it was. A giant sign on the side of the road that said ESTATE SALE. I made a quick turn and headed in.

Having never been to an estate sale, I didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t looking for anything special. I just saw the sign and thought it would be fun to go.

There were so many items to look at. Each room in the house was full of someone’s prized possessions.

Someone else’s treasures.

After hitting up all the rooms upstairs, I made my way to the basement. It was dark and jammed packed with items. I wandered around, trying to take it all in, and then I found this amazing looking chair near one of the corners in the basement. It had the most beautiful shape and details. It still had the original casters on the bottom of two of the legs. I knew it was very old, I just didn’t know how old. An elderly man working the estate sale told me it was from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, which I later confirmed. The price said $40. Long story short, I bought it for $25.

Off I went with my new found treasure.

I decided I wanted to paint and distress the chair. I had never painted furniture before, so I signed up for a class and was told to bring my chair, along with me.

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For this project, I used Simple Green, a natural bristle brush, chalk paint, fine sandpaper, fabric for the seat of the chair and a utility knife for the detail work.

Below are the steps I took to achieve the final look.

1) I needed to prepare the chair for cleaning. I removed the casters from the bottom of the chair. I also needed to remove the chair cushion which was actually made from horsehair. Yes, horsehair! Way back in the day that’s what they used for padding. This piece had many tiny nails where the cushion was attached, so it was a process removing those.

2) I then began cleaning the chair with Simple Green. It took several times of washing and rinsing to get it clean. I encourage you not to skip this step. It is important to get your piece of furniture clean before you start the painting process.

3) There was some decorative trim work that was missing in several parts. Instead of removing it all, I used a utility knife to carefully remove areas of the trim work so each side would match. To my surprise, this was a pretty easy process.

4) Next, I went to my class to start the painting process. I used chalk paint for this project. I painted two coats and when it dried, I used fine sandpaper to go over the whole chair. I rubbed a little harder on the areas where I wanted the original wood to show through.

5) I picked out some fabric, bought chair padding, cut a new piece of wood to fit the shape, upholstered and inserted the new cushion. It was a bit tricky as the seat was bowed, but with Mr. Mitten’s help it came out great!

Most often you would use wax or another product to seal the chalk paint. For this project, I did not. I have also had no problems because I didn’t seal it. It looks as good as it did the day I completed it.

I am so happy with the way this chair came out. I have had many people offer to buy it, even the store owner where I took my painting class, but I just can’t seem to part with it.

I am so glad I saw that estate sale sign, early that Friday afternoon. This project began my love for painting furniture.

I hope you liked this post and have gained some furniture painting knowledge. If you have never been to an estate sale, I hope it inspires you to do so. I hope you can find someone else’s treasure and make it your own.

Peace and Blessings,


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