Because we entertain a lot, my dining room was functional long before it was pretty. I always wanted to have french Linen dining room chairs hugging a dark wood table in there. We entertain a lot and so I needed at least 6 but preferably 8 chairs. Often, I would go to the Restoration Hardware website to drool over their French Vintage camel back fabric armchairs. The only trouble is, at their lowest sale price, it would have cost me about $2000 for 8 chairs.
If there is one thing, I can neither afford nor justify, it is $2000 for 8 linen dining room chairs. If I wanted those RH chairs, I really had to find a different method. However, Because I had never done anything like this, I thought it was just impossible and so I simply made peace with the fact that I could not have chairs like that. Besides, there were other chairs that suited my preferences, like the french white cane back chairs. That look was a lot more attainable since all I had to do was find some cane back chairs and paint them. I was at a yard sale one Saturday morning and noticed these 4 chairs scattered on the porch of the home.
They didn’t seem to be a part of the yard sale as the porch was a bit of a distance away from the actual sale. I had been looking for some queen Anne cane back chairs for a while and these were the first ones i had come to and so I asked about them. Though they were not officially a part of the sale, she was willing to sell if I was willing to buy. The price was right and so I gave her my $25 and managed to fit all four of them in my little Pontiac Grand Prix.
At first, it did not occur to me that I could make these look like the linen dining room chairs that I wanted for so long. I had already given up on the idea. I knew that I wanted these chairs to be white and so, eager to see the difference, I replaced the cane in the one with the hole, painted them, and reupholstered the seating with dropcloth . I did not like it at all. Although i used “old white,” the color was way too bright.
(excuse the mess, I was in the middle of making 18 grain sack tablecloths for an event that i was decorating and so i had junk everywhere)
After painting everything white, It became very evident that the cane on the others was not in good shape. I had replaced the cane in the one with the huge hole but not the others. I counted the cost and effort to replace the rest of the cane and decided against it. They sat like that for about 2 weeks until it hit me that i could just remove all of the cane and i would be left with the perfect skeleton for my Restoration inspired chairs. My dream was instantly revived and it seems now that i began working on them right away. I watched a few tutorials on YouTube tutorials to make sure that i was on the right track and went for it.
I wanted at least 6 chairs and i had only purchased 4 chairs at that yard sale. I wasn’t worried though because i knew with time, i would be able to find a pair of captain’s chairs that i could make work with this set. A few weeks later, on craigslist, i found what i was looking for. You saw the refinished captain chairs in my Christmas throw pillows post a few weeks ago.
I was ready to update my dining room. I recruited husbs to help take the fabric off of the arm chairs, remove the cane from the cane backs, and to help me reupholster everything in dropcloth. I painted the chairs grey and went over them with a very light stain coat. Below you can see a picture of the chairs with the gray coat of paint.
2 months ago, If I knew I’d be blogging about this when I did these, I would have taken more picture of the process but I did not know. However, see my post on how to get the unfinished wood look on a surface to see how you can achieve this wood look. Once you get the cane removed, the process is the same as it would be to reupholster any other chair. The only difference was that I had to buy padding for the backs of the cane back chairs. I just went to JoAnn’s and purchase the 1″ padding for about $25. I also, added a top layer to the seat of each chair because I have a hard time when I imagine what could have fallen on the existing foam. Anyway, After all of that, Voila my very own linen dining room chairs.
Linen Dining Room Chairs Materials:
4 Cane backs: $25
2 captains chairs; $50
drop cloth: $10 (at harbor freight)
upholstery trim: $20
total for 6 chairs: $130
Husbs had staples and a staple gun but he says that you could spend about $20 for those.
I love them so much and for only $130, I’d say I did good.
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