"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


If This Chair Could Talk.......

Really, I do not paint everything. I have been busy making our new (old) house into a home all summer and there has been painting going on, but not everything. It just seems that way. And here is another chalk-paint painted piece. This time I painted an old chair that was my grandfather's. My grandfather died when he was in his 90's and he has been gone for 30 years. So I would say the chair is relatively old.

The chair had been in storage for a long time. It was not in the best shape. Someone a long time ago had varnished it in a horribly ugly color that had turned orange with age.

 My grandfather was quite an extraordinary man. He was a proud veteran of WWI, a farmer, rancher, politician, oil man, entrepreneur, and a newspaper publisher and editor.
Because this chair was used in his home office I thought I would pay homage to the newspaper side of my grandfather. I imagine him sitting in the chair as he typed out his weekly editorials. I had an idea I wanted to try.
Keeping in mind my grandfather typed out his editorials from this chair, the font I used looked like an old typewriter font. The letters are stick-on and I got them at Hobby Lobby.  I used blackboard paint because I needed a black and this was the only one I could find at the time!
The main color of the chair was a blue I had not tried before. I wanted to try it and I thought it matched the patriotic spirit I equate with my grandfather. In case you cannot read it, it is Napoleonic Blue.

I painted the top piece of the chair with the black chalkboard paint. I wanted what I was doing to have a little black underneath. I painted the front and back of the top piece.
Then I began painting the rest of the chair the Napoleonic blue. Admittedly it does look bright when it goes on, but I knew the waxes would tone that down.

My grandfather wrote a weekly editorial (for years and years and years) called "In The Cool O' The Evening". He was stepping on people's toes LONG before it was popular! My idea was to put the words "In The Cool O' The Evening" on the top slat of the chair. I wanted it to look old and worn....as it would have been. In no way did I want it to look like the chair was just printed up!! On the back I planned on putting his name.
I used those stick on letters and just stuck them directly onto the black paint (after it was dry obviously!) I did draw a line with a pencil and tried to make them as straight as possible. I was not trying to be perfect tho, as I had to keep reminding myself this was an old chair and I was painting it to "show" its age.

I then painted the Napoleonic blue right on top of the letters. I even used a little artist brush to get down into the crevices. One of my sons thought the chair looked good just like this, and I agreed, but I knew the letters would not stay on permanently AND it was not keeping in the final look I was going for.
I only had one sheet of the letters in the typewriter font, so I had to paint the front, wait on the front to dry, then peel off the letters I needed on the back and reuse them there. (See the first picture in this post.) And yes, it worked.

When I pulled off the letters, it looked like this. I had really wanted a cleaner look, but I knew in the end when I had done the sanding and the waxing, it would be fine. If not, I could always paint over everything.

After finishing the paint I waxed it with clear wax then sanded it down. I chose to sand it where I thought it would have worn down naturally in all those years it was used. Sometimes I sanded down to the wood, sometimes I sanded it to a lighter blue.
I put a dark wax on the chair and buffed away. I think it looks like a well-worn chair. The blue does not look as bright as it does in this picture. It looks timeworn, used and well-loved. Just the look I was going for. I plan on making a cushion for it, but that is "on my list".

I plan on putting the chair at my computer desk. It will be a daily reminder of an extraordinary grandfather that instilled so many important virtues into our family.
The front with the "In The Cool O' The Evening" words. I smile just thinking about all the issues he wrote about for so many years.  And on the back "Jo O. Ferguson, publisher (and what I did not put on there....extraordinary grandfather!)

Linking this with Wow Us Wednesdays, Open House at No Minimalist Here, Furniture Friday and Show and Tell Fridays. 
And Funky Junk Interiors.http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com 
Also Be Different Act Normal . And I am at Lettered Cottage Tutorials too!


  1. Oh I love this!

    So sweet and thoughtful, sentimental and lovely.
    You are so clever to put the letters on and then pull them off for a time worn look.

    Is your grandmother still around? I would guess this would bring tears to her eyes.

    Such a lovely tribute to a beloved man.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi, Lori! Geoff's Aunt Terri here. This chair is wonderful - such a great family piece and you've made it even better! I like everything you've painted and hope to get chalk paint soon for my grandmother's buffet.

    You probably already know about this blog, but if not, I thought you might enjoy it.

  3. Wow, what a great chair re-do! I have yet to try chalk paint, but seeing how this turned out, I may have to give it a try. ~Delores

  4. I love the chair, and the story behind it even more! Great way to preserve a memory!

  5. I love it, I am really enjoying all the blue projects. This chair looks very comfortable!

  6. Your grandfather sounds like he was an extraordinary renaissance man. I'm sure he is very happy knowing you treasure his chair and have brought it back to life. Love your idea of the lettering. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I am visiting via Romantic Homes.

    What a wonderful chair!

    Have a happy weekend!

  8. Great redo and color! There are a lot of things I wish could talk!

    Hope you will please drop by and enter my $50 Overstock.com Gift Card Giveaway!! If there are 500 entries, the amount will increase the Gift Card to $100.

  9. That chair is so sweet and so cute and I love the story behind it. I miss my grandpa, maybe I'll do something inspired by him:) Thanks for the ideas!

  10. I love this chair and the story behind it. Thank you for sharing both!


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