A friend found this rocking chair/glider/nursing chair on the street, far away in Bat Yam and gave it to me. It lacked seats and a back rest and probably once it had a gliding stool to accompany it, but not any more.
It was huge and I had no idea what to do with it so I asked my guy. He said make something crazy, something that would fit in Alice in Wonderland. Well, that didn't make it easier. So it just stood there in the corner of the room for 6 months - but the cats loved it.
Then I went for a visit to Sweden and in an unassuming department store on Christmas Eve I saw this amazing colourful fabric with wild animal heads. It just made me laugh out loud and I knew I had found the solution.
I wish I could find the designer of the fabric to give him/her some credit but all research has turned up no clues to where it is from originally.
I painted the chair with 5 layers of home made Milk Paint: dark blue, cream, bright red, turquoise and grassy green. Then I distressed it in places to reveal the different layers.
This quirky glider has become a favourite of many friends who visit and the cats still fight over who gets to sleep on it.
My husband had a very nice surprise for me when I came back from Sweden: an old, broken bar on wheels!! He really knows what´s gets me going;-)
I started by fixing the wheels and stabilizing the roof and the posts that are holding it. Reattached the door and put some extra nails here and there.
I really wanted to try to make my own milk paint after seeing how good it came out for Caroline in her last rocking chair project. I think I mixed 3 different recipes and came up with one that fits the ingredients that I had at home! And after the first brushstrokes I felt so satisfied, it came out so beautiful!!
For the roof, I used a white chalk paint with some ounces of green pigment powder. Then we went to buy some good smelling herbs and flowers to put inside the boxes and I hung a light strand in the ceiling for the nights.
A friend found this rocking chair in pieces in a dumpster and told me "Do what ever you want" so of course I wanted to try something different.
On many blogs and pages from the US about up-cycling furniture they write about milk paint. Milk paint is probably the oldest painting technique in the world. It has been used in cave paintings and apparently the ancient Egyptians used it in their tombs. Now it is used mostly on furniture to create an antique look or as some call it - "shabby chic".
Now I do not really like "shabby chic" painting, I mean I do like an old piece of furniture with old paint peeling off it, but I want it real, a real old piece of furniture with a story and five layers of paint that have been put on by different owners over the years. The stuff one can buy today, that has been painted and then sand papered to look old, does not feel real to me. But that is just me, I know a lot of people love the style - or else you wouldn't be able to buy it in any furniture store. Besides, I am still experimenting with different techniques and styles and I want to learn more about all kinds of paints so this rocking chair became my "shabby chic" victim.
Milk paint is a very very cool paint. I like that it is nearly completely environmental friendly (depending on what pigment you use) and that one can make unusual effects with it like spidery cracks and flaky paint. My problem was that one cannot buy ready mixed milk paint powder in this country, of course. So I would have to make it from scratch.
It is the protein in milk, casein, which binds pigments to wood and creates the texture of paint and to get casein from milk one can curdle it by using lemon or vinegar which will concentrate the protein. However I was lucky enough to find casein in powdered form in my favorite paint store (www.pigmentim.co.il) so I avoided one messy step. I mixed the casein powder with water, borax and pigments in a 2 day process that I won't describe here. Then I painted two layers of different blues and "erased" paint in certain areas with a damp cloth to create a weathered worn-out look. I wasn't very scientific about it so the end result is perhaps not so "real" - just a nice rocking chair with fake old fading paint.
Whilst painting the chair I found a very faded stamp underneath, I traced it onto paper and looked up the word "Malinche, Monterrey" on the wonderful all knowing internet. I found that the chair was from one of the pioneering furniture manufacturers in Mexico which specialized in rocking chairs and chairs of all kinds of woods (pine, mahogany, elm, ceder and beech). They closed down in the early 1970’s but the furniture is still very popular among collectors. After that I found the same rocking chair on a Mexican auction site price: $2,500.
Hmm... I had already painted the chair by then and probably lowered the value by doing so, but if the new owner wants, I can restore it back to its former brown glory another day.
Click on one picture to make it larger and see the before and after pictures.
Linnea & Caroline
2 foreigners in Israel trying to find their space. Up-cycling furniture and clothes for a better environment and future.
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