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Before & After | Beauty is in the Imperfection

May 27, 2014

CREATE   |   Published May 27, 2014

Hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

Character gives an item some life.  It can tell a story.  It lets you know that a piece was used, and possibly loved.  And while character can sometimes lead people to think that these pieces aren't nice to look at or worth anything, I believe that the beauty of a piece lies in the imperfections it has.

I think I like to be reminded of a simpler time, when people made do with what they had....even if it meant using something for a different purpose.  We all like to go out and buy what we need and throw away what we don't. But I think people were more creative when they didn't have the money or desire to do that.

Hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

Last summer, I purchased this child's chair that has a lot of "character".  After it's intended purpose of being used by a child, the chair was obviously repurposed in a workshop.   It was spattered with paint.  Rungs were broken from the bottom.  Parts of the chair had saw marks cut into it.  The chair was in rough shape.

Many people probably  looked at this little chair and thought it belonged in a wood pile to burn, but I saw something with potential.  It has taken me a year, but I finally figured out how I wanted to paint the piece .....sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out how a piece will look it's best :).  I decided I wanted to paint the piece, but still maintain the character and fact that the chair was in rough shape.

The first thing I did was sand away the paint spatters on the seat.  They came off quite easily, and instantly cleaned up the chair.

Add paint haphazardly on wood piece to get a great distressed finish

I rubbed clear candle wax in areas to help with distressing the paint.  Then I randomly brushed on two coats of chalk paint in a light blue/green color.  (The picture above is after just one coat).  I was trying to paint this as primitively as possible to aid in the distressing process.  When the paint was dry, I sanded the piece all over and finished the chair with some antiquing wax to add a little more age.

Hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

Corner of hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

I mentioned the two of the rungs were broken or missing on the bottom.  I decided to just add a little more "character, and remove the broken one as well as one that wasn't broken on the side.  I did leave the one in the back.  The chair is still very sturdy even without the rungs.  It can always just be used as a decorative piece, though, which is what I actually intended.

Hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

Legs on hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

I really love how the paint chipped off in areas.  This is partly from me using the clear wax and partly because some areas were not painted.  Both techniques help to chip away paint easily, and combining the two really seemed to work well.

Hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

I have to say that this is probably one of my favorite completed projects.  The painted finished looks perfectly distressed.  And to be quite honest, I spent the least amount of time on this that I've ever spent painting a piece of furniture.  Sometimes it is better to just get something done, without analyzing and second guessing what you should do....a hair dryer helped to speed up the painting process, too!

Hand painted and distressed kid's chair from

So what do you think?  Are you seeing the beauty in my imperfect chair?

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