Thursday, October 4, 2012

French Style Settee

Last December, my husband and I spent the Christmas break re-decorating our living room. One of the fixtures in that room was an antique settee that has been in my husbands family for generations. 

That's it...underneath the mirror (this is the pic of our living room before we re-did it).

About eight years, my in-laws had it re-upholstered for us. The fabric was a beautiful and traditional Victorian print with a lot of jewel tones in it. 

When we were re-doing our room, I was trying to find a way to make this settee work within our more casual atmosphere. It needed to be re-upholstered...simple as that. 

But, what to do. I was ready to splurge on some antique European grain sacks. They run abut $65 a piece and had that authentically vintage, casual yet sophisticated look that I wanted to carry through the room. Unfortunately, the grain sacks are about 3 inches to short to cover the length of the settee. Plan B: make my own faux grain sack. 

For about $22, I bought a canvas drop cloth from home depot. I used a French Bakery stencil that I had just bought and painters tape to outline the ticking stripes for that grain sack look. 

I used Graphite for the stencil text and Aubusson Blue for the stripes. 

Once I finished painting the fabric, a girlfriend of mine took it home with her and re-upholstered it for me. 

And, I left the natural wood! See...I don't paint everything!

Gorgeous lines on this piece and great legs!

The paint is perfectly imperfect! If you look at real grain sacks, the imprinting on them typically is worn in spots so I like that my own painted version shows some of that "wear."

You wondering how painted holds up? Well...this has been in our family room for about seven months and hasn't had any major wear and tear.

A noteworthy lesson we learned from this project that is worth passing along...

When upholstering with canvas, it's not a bad idea to lightly glue the edges where you cut the fabric as it frays much more easily than a standard upholstery fabric. 

Have you painted any fabric recently? 

On a side note, join us for our 2nd WOW us WEEKEND link party, starting every Friday through Sunday at midnight!


  1. This upgrade is amazing! Great to see your beautiful work, as always!

  2. I love it! Can't wait to try it myself!

  3. Wow, that is some pretty amazing upholstery! It turned out beautifully and I am glad to hear that it has held up well. Another thought about using canvas dropcloth....if you use fray check on the pieces that you are upholstering with it will be easier than hot glue and won't add bulk to the edges. I do not recommend trying to make welt cord with shreds too easily and stretches too much.

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