One of my favorite clients gave me this lovely pair of black lacquered chairs (Thank you Michelle H.!). She knows of my current obsession with black and gold and that I had mentioned a few old chairs I was planning to paint black and gold for my kitchen table (but never seem to have the time to work on). So, to save me some time and to add some seating around my table for a bit of entertaining I’ll be doing over the next few weeks (and because she is SO incredibly nice and thoughtful), she generously gave me chairs that were already a pretty black lacquered finish, with woven cloth cushions (of almost a hessian or burlap texture), with black piping. They’re perfect for my table and all ready to go as is…I just wanted to somehow incorporate some gold and perhaps spray Scotchgard to protect the fabric seats from kid fingerprints and food stains…I figured this could be a quick weekend project.
After painting two antique travel trunks Michelle had in her bedroom, I was inspired to paint our G monogram onto the chair cushions. I pulled together a bunch of font styles I liked and put it up to my husband and sons for a family vote. Of course, they nixed all the ornate and flourishy script styles and opted for a traditional, but bold, serif font. My eight year-old, Mason, even sketched out his own typography style with his new favorite technique…shading and drop shadows. I was hoping for something a little softer, so I found a nice G in one of my clipart books, which the family agreed upon (as long as I got rid of the fancy floral motif and added a drop shadow, per Mason).
I printed the G out to size onto card stock and hand-cut a stencil, taped it into place onto one chair and painted in the monogram using a mixture of Modern Masters Brass and Champagne gold metallic paints.
After painting the gold, I removed the stencil and cleaned up the edges with a small brush. While the gold paint dried, I used some Rub N Buff to highlight the black lacquer and accentuate the shape of the chairs. I’ve been using Rub N Buff for 10+ years, it’s always in my painting and crafting tool box. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add a permanent metallic (simulating a gilded/gold leaf) finish to almost any surface. I’ve use it for picture frames, light fixtures, lamps, raised carved areas of wood appliqués, furniture or molding…even on costume jewelry and candles. It’s super easy to apply with a fingertip, dries almost instantly, and it can be buffed or polished to the desired finish.
When the gold paint on the cushion was dry to the touch (about 20 minutes), I hand-painted a thin black outline with watered down acrylic paint. Then, per my son’s request, I added a “drop shadow” using very watered down black paint (it was basically the water I used to rinse the brush with the black paint). All in all, the project took me about 2 hours (a quick project that I worked on before we left for a friend’s party on Memorial Day). After my husband protects the cushions with some Scotchgard, these monogrammed chairs will be ready to take their place at our kitchen table.