I get so many questions about our French grain sack dining chairs.
Every time they show up in a photograph, there are lots of comments and questions about them, so I thought I would share again how I created their look.
If you’ve been following E&E for awhile, you know that I love grain sacks and french chairs, and I love combining the two.
When I found this great set of four French dining chairs at an estate sale, I knew they would be perfect to upholster in some of the old grain sacks that I had been hoarding.
The chairs were in great shape, they just needed a little updating!
When buying used chairs, always make sure that they are sturdy, that you can sit on them, and turn them over to make sure that the springs are all intact. I’ve learned this the hard way!
I’ve had chairs in the past that I picked up at estate sales that are beautiful……but you can’t sit on them! I didn’t do my due diligence, I just grabbed them because they were so pretty and a good price, but once home, realized what a mistake I had made.
I now place books on them to deter someone from sitting there!
Here is what the four French dining chairs looked like when we found them.
And here is what they look like now, after their transformation!
It’s amazing what paint and new upholstery can do to bring a chair back to life! You can now see all the details in the wood.
I love how they turned out!
I started by stripping the upholstery, and then giving them a couple coats of white chalk style paint.
I also did some distressing and then waxed with clear and dark wax to bring out the details.
I keep a stash of vintage grain sacks and pick them up whenever I find them at a reasonable price.
I went through what I had and picked out two sacks that had the look I wanted.
Using the old upholstery as a pattern, I cut out the new pieces for both sides of the back of the chair.
To be on the safe side, I always cut about 1/2″ larger than the pattern and then trim off the excess once it’s stapled onto the chair.
You can always cut too much fabric off, but you can’t add more if it’s too small. I know this from experience!
I’ve always loved the graphics on antique German grain sacks that have the farmers names and dates stamped on them.
But they are extremely expensive and rarely have I ever taken the leap to pay what they are going for.
I knew that I could get the same look by using a stencil and stamping the graphic onto the vintage grain sacks.
Using a black fabric paint and a stencil brush, I placed the stencil in the correct position and stamped it with the fabric paint.
I then carefully lifted the stencil, waited a few minutes for the paint to dry, then stapled the grain sack into the back of the dining chair.
Once it was stapled into the back of the chair using a staple gun (I use a pneumatic staple gun), I trimmed off the excess fabric.
Using a drop cloth for the seat, I cut out the pattern, again using the old upholstery as a guide, and stapled it onto the seat of the chair.
Once everything was stapled, I trimmed the excess.
Then I covered the raw edges and staples with gimp trim, using a hot glue gun to adhere the gimp.
I love how they turned out, with all of them being just slightly different.
The backs also received a stamped number, and one of the grain sacks was monogrammed with “VI” which also shows on the back.
I love all those little details.
The vintage grain sacks aren’t terribly difficult to find, but they can run the gamut on prices.
You can find lots of them on Ebay and Etsy, and at most of the larger antique shows such as Scotts in Atlanta and Roundtop in Texas.
The same look can be created by using reproduction grain sacks from Online Fabric Store or upholstery grade burlap from Save on Crafts.
You can also create your own grain sack by using drop cloths and stenciling the stripes on, which we show you how to do here.
I have a weakness for French chairs and find it difficult to walk away from any that I find at a good price, so the garage seems to have quite a few stacked up out there!
Those will be getting some updates over the next few months.
Getting this set finished has inspired me to get started on the rest of them!
I hope you have enjoyed this little transformation!
I would love to hear from you so let me know if you have any questions!
Be sure and pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!
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