French Settee Makeover

For quite a while, I have been looking for a settee for my living room.  We have lots of guests and needed more seating space.  I finally found an antique one that had been stripped down to the bare bones.  When I saw it, I could see the potential right away!  It's a 1940's piece piece.  The cane backing was in good shape which was great because caning is dying art and it is hard to find someone who can replace the caning. 

I first painted the settee with my creamy white chalk paint that I made with Plaster of Paris.  It took 2 thin coats then I sanded it around the edges.  I have never tried glazing so I decided to try it.  I learned pretty quickly that I couldn't control the glaze the way I wanted.  You'll see that the glaze unexpectantly cracked here on the arm which was a welcome suprise.  I thought that it added an aged character as if time had created it. 

However, on the back of the setttee, it bubbled up with a rough texture.  I didn't like how that looked at all! 

Not a problem though! I just just sanded it lightly, painted over it and proceeded to finish the rest of it with wax.  I definitely can tell you that I prefer wax over glazing anyday because I can control it better! 

 The settee still had the springs entached but they needed to be restrung and the seating needed to be rebuilt. Originally the settee probably had an upholstered bottom.  I wanted to facelift it by making it more like a sofa with an overstuffed lose cushion.  I talked with my upholsterer and he said, "No problem!"

The paint facelift really made it looks like an entire different piece.  Before, the wood was dull and old look.  Now it is light and airy and looks like it was aged to perfection! 

When I picked it up, I couldn't wait to get it home to see how it looked in my living room.  This is how it turned out.  Isn't it an amazing transformation?

The upholster was actually working on 2 pieces I had taken to him.  He took the nailheads from another piece of mine and reused them on my settee to tack the material down at the bottom.  Also, I asked for an overstuffed loose cushion.  I sent him pictures to show him what I was looking for.  I still wanted it to be firm but have the overstuffed look.  He used foam, wrapped it with batting and then gathered the material just a little to give it the look I was going for.   

I had pillows from another piece in the room that I wanted to use to try to pull the furniture together.  They worked perfectly together. 

I was very pleased at how this piece turned out!  I love creating far better than just purchasing something.  Sometimes you just have to step out on a limb and give your creativity a try. 

My grouping isn't quite right in this area so I am still working on that, but you know what I always say, "Great Design Takes Time!" 


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