French Grain Sack Dining Chairs
Our French grain sack dining chairs always get lots of attention, with lots of comments
and questions about them each time they show up in a photograph.
So I thought I would share again how I created their look.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I love grain sacks and french chairs, so
combining the two was a perfect combination.
I found this great set of four French dining chairs at an estate sale, and I knew they would be perfect to
upholster in some of the old grain sacks that I had been collecting.
The chairs, when I found them, were in great shape, they just needed a little updating!
When buying used chairs, always make sure that they are sturdy, and they are safe to sit on.
Turn them over to make sure that the springs are all intact.
I’ve learned this the hard way!
I’ve bought vintage chairs in the past that were beautiful, but I couldn’t sit on them!
I didn’t do my due diligence, just grabbed them because they were so pretty and a good price, but
once home, realized what a mistake I had made.
Here is what the four French dining chairs looked like when I 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 two coats of white chalk style paint, then
distressed, finishing with clear and dark wax to bring out the details.
If using dark wax makes you nervous, like it does me, then you might want to use my homemade glaze to add that age old patina.
I keep a stash of vintage grain sacks, picking them up whenever I find them at a reasonable price.
Two of the grain sacks had the look I wanted, so I chose them for the back upholstery.
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 the extra fabric off, but you can’t add more if it’s too small.
Unfortunately, I know this from experience!
The graphics on antique German grain sacks have always attracted me, especially those that have the
farmer’s names and dates stamped on them.
Unfortunately, they are extremely expensive and rarely have I ever taken the leap to pay their high
I knew that I could get the same look by using a stencil and stamping the graphic onto the vintage
Using a black fabric paint and a stencil brush, I placed the stencil in the correct position and stamped
it with the fabric paint.
Carefully lifting the stencil, I waited a few minutes for the paint to dry, and 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 fabric.
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 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 I
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, and our garage seems to have quite a few stacked up!
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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