Secretary of the Interior

A Blog from the Editor of St. Louis At Home

Friday, June 22, 2012 / 10:24 AM

DIY Instructions for Turning a Flea Market Find into a Graffiti Chair

“What Happened To Your Chair?”  

So I feel like I’m a little behind the curve on the whole “Dipped” furniture thing. I really like it, but I just haven’t been able to pull the trigger on either buying a piece or clumsily trying to DIY it. I mean it seems easy enough right? You just mask and paint (The word “easy” usually elicits the long eye roll from my wife).  

I had the perfect candidate for a project like this too—a relatively inexpensive Louis armchair that I picked up at a flea market for $30 a few years back. It’s a pretty chair, nice and neutral, but I always felt like it needed a little pizzazz. So I took the plunge and decided to DIY it.

After sketching out where I wanted the “dip” line, I carefully masked it off making sure that I had completely straight lines. (Frog Tape brand masking tape gets the sharpest lines possible, especially on the fabric). I also decided to get a little tricky and leave the bottoms of the legs as well as just the top of the chair back unpainted to slightly tweak the dipped look a bit. I lightly roughed the area of the wood to be painted with 200-grit sandpaper and then brushed on a coat of gray primer to prep for paint. Next, I painted the wood with a glossy red acrylic paint. It took about three coats, allowing them to dry for a few hours inbetween each. For the seat and back, I used the same glossy red acrylic paint, but added fabric medium to it so that it would adhere better and not be so stiff.

And, Voila! My masterpiece was finished. Except that it wasn’t. I liked it, I really did… But well, it was still a little boring. In another setting perhaps, it would have lived a long and happy life like that, but in my place it was a bit of a slacker. I decided to take another chance on it and satisfy my craving for yet another new micro trend that definitely isn’t for the faint of heart or the deeply conservative:  Graffiti.

I’ve always loved graffiti as a serious artistic medium (with the exception of the crayons that magically seem to end up on my walls at home) and it’s really popping up a lot in home décor lately. 


So I hopped on Pinterest, found some authentic marker/paint tags from a London subway, grabbed my Sharpies, and 30 minutes later, I had something that has been an incessant conversation starter for every visitor I have. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I love it.


Now I just have to explain to my toddler why it’s ok for Daddy to draw all over the furniture but not him.

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