In my efforts to set up my home office, I realized I was in dire need of a good chair. I previously used an inexpensive folding chair I purchased at Ikea, which totally did the trick, but then a certain family member of mine managed to crack the back support. The chair still technically works, but every time I lean back in it I can just hear the back support screaming to its other, slightly attached half, "Hold on for your life!" (probably in a pirate accent, just for effect).
When I was reunited with My Main Man in Kansas City, there was a sturdy, nicely detailed wooden chair sitting in our entry-way that had been left in our garage by the last tenant. I promptly adopted the chair, evicted the three spiders who called its underside home, and began my scheming. We're on a pretty tight just-spent-thousands-of-dollar-to-move-across-the-country budget, so I knew I really couldn't spend much, if anything. Luckily, I had a small can of interior primer + paint already on hand, and I'm pretty obsessed with white, so I went to town on the chair. I really didn't do anything special during that stage, so I'll spare you the boring details. The awesome part happens to be how I finished the chair. I learned this finishing technique from my awesome daddy, who happens to be a general contractor, and I used it on a conceptual model during my architecture undergrad. Here's the secret: candles! And really, I only used half of one candle, which I purchased in a set of four from the dollar store. After the paint on my chair was all dry, I simply rubbed the candle over all the contours of the chair, then buffed it out with a white washcloth. If I missed a spot, I simply repeated the process just in that area.
Let me tell you how much I love this finishing technique: SO MUCH! It seems so simple, but it works amazingly and the benefits are really too great to miss:
(A) It's so cheap. My total candle usage amounted to 12.5 cents!
(B) It's fool-proof. As long as the base paint color is a light color (or you can apply this directly to unpainted wood), you can't mess the process up.
(C) You don't inhale toxic fumes or have to worry about your kids/animals making a mess later with remnants of your finishing solution.
(D) It gives a nice, matte finish to any project, which I think is really nice and natural without being overbearing.
(E) The finished product is totally finished immediately! You don't have to wait for the finish to cure or dry before use. This sucker is ready to go ASAP!
(F) Depending on the candle you use, your finished piece might smell really good for a long time. Score!
Really, the only downside to this method is that it wears off slowly with use, so I may have to re-finish my chair in a year or two. But to be honest, it's so little effort that I'm still not deterred at all! What kind of projects would you like to use this process on?
P.S. Next week I'm going to show you the amazingly simple cushion I made for my rear to better enjoy this chair!
P.P.S. I'm in love with our new yard. Seriously want to build a tree fort between all of these guys, but they're technically not part of our property... or our state!