I got this chair from my brother in law who collects antiques. She's really sturdy and just needs some love and purpose in her life. She's going to be my new desk chair.
I call her 100F 44, because it was painted on the bottom. I say was, because I did paint over it. I was tempted to leave it unpainted, because it adds to her character and mysterious history. But I was too anxious to get her painted, to spend time carefully covering it up, so that it wouldn't look totally sloppy.
First step was to sand away the rough spots. Just enough to make sure she didn't have any splinters, but not enough to take away any of her natural wear and tear. Then I gave her a coat of stain all over (walnut). She was already looking so much better.
After the stain dryed, came a coat of primer. I used a brush to paint it on, and it took me over an hour to do it. After that, I decided spray paint for the other layers would be quicker.
After the primer dried, she was ready for some fun bright color. But before I applied the spray paint, I put a little Vaseline here and there on the chair, in places I knew I'd be sanding of the paint, for an antiqued look.
I used Valspar spray paint called "Everglades Glen" (and no, Valspar doesn't compensate me to use their stuff. I just like it, so that's what I used).
Then, after drying and a few more smudges of Vaseline, I sprayed a good solid coat of Valspar "nautical".
When the paint was dry, I pulled out my sand paper. I started with 120 grit, and it quickly fell apart. Spray paint is tough and hard to sand off!
So I grabbed a piece of 60 grit, which lasted a little longer, but still fell apart after a while.
Then I found a piece of steel wool, which worked the best for making my chair shabby. The steel wool also darkens the wood (if you go down that many layers) which helps it look more aged.
On the few places with smudges of Vaseline, the paint easily flecked of. I wish I would have used more of it, because it took a lot of elbow grease to get her looking like this. So if you want your piece really roughed up, don't be afraid to use lots of Vaseline in all the places that would naturally show wear.
Oh, and please don't judge me for not having base boards. We've been working on a major remodel, and replacing them is one of the next steps. Someday, we will finish and I'll post some pics!