Color Blocking Process


Once we decided to color block our bentwoods, we starting thinking about how we should go about executing our idea. I prepped the chairs similar to the table with one huge exception the wood filler. All 8 of our chairs were in good condition for antique chairs, but they did have some character to them (read: wear but in a good way).

You can see the wear on the legs here. I didn’t want to lose the antique feel of the chair (that sounds weird considering I was about to color block them but you know what I’m saying). We did repair a seat, but that’s about it. None of the chairs were wobbly, so no major work was needed.

I primed the chairs with gray spray paint primer.  The goal was to tape as little as possible. I painted the legs pink (Disney Color by Behr called Invitation to a Princess) without measuring and the stripe cream (Behr color matched to Sherwin Williams Pacer White) also without measuring. It took 3 coats to cover but only about 30 min per coat to complete.

I marked off 3 1/2″ from the bottom and taped the bottom of the pink legs off. Since the bentwoods have a curve top, we couldn’t measure from the top to an exact point. We marked the 1st curve of the chair. Nick held a large level while I taped the next curve of the chair. And on and on and on until all 8 chairs were done about 2 hours later. It sounds bad, but each chair needed to be taped at 8 different places x 8 chairs so 64 tedious tapings.

Keep the cream stripe as straight as possible around the curves. You can see the disconnect in the tape here with the crease. I just ripped a little piece of tape off and overlapped it to create a straighter line. Tedious but necessary. I wasn’t about to spend my time painting if I didn’t get my lines straight. The end product would look awful. Good thing is the cream stripe is 1 1/2″ so we just used 1 1/2″ frog tape. There wasn’t an additional measurement between the top and the the bottom of the stripe.

I sealed the tape with a coat of cream on the top.

And a coat of pink at the bottom. We did the same thing when we painted Ramona’s nursery. This kept the black (and pink at the top) from bleeding through the tape. It’s a 20 min (+ dry time) commitment that saves you hours in touch ups.

It took about 5 hours total to paint the black and pink stripe. Remember it’s 8 chairs, so it was going to be time consuming no matter what. I only needed 2 coats and some touchups for the main color Behr Premium Plus Ultra black suede (left over from here and here). The pink stripe took 4 coats before it looked even.

I couldn’t wait to peel the tape off. Sometimes it look perfect like this.

And sometimes it looked like this. I will say that was the worst of all. I have no idea what happened. It was the 2nd piece that I peeled off, and I was worried it was going to be a nightmare to do touchups. Luckily there were only 2 that peeled badly.

I sanded the stripes with a 220 grit block to smooth out the line.

I got craft paint brushes and touched up the stripes. It only took me 2 coats and about 1.5 hours. 2 coats of wipe on poly later and done. They were ready to move in after 24 hours of letting the ploy cure.

Whatever you say sexy color blocked bentwood. But seriously I do want to have a formal dinner. Who’s in?

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26 Responses to Color Blocking Process
  1. Tiffany says:

    Amber, your Amazing! Those are beautiful:-)))

  2. katzies says:

    Whoa!! Impressive!
    I am bookmarking this for my thonet replica painting project! Thank you for sharing!

    • Amber says:

      Thonets are the best aren’t they? I’m admittedly obsessed with them. Got a whole pinterest board dedicated to them.

      Good luck on your project! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Wow! These are gorgeous! I love the colour your chose – they are striking together. And the blocking really plays up the shape of the chairs. Well done :)

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I’m off to tour yours!

    • Amber says:

      Thanks Tanya! The colors are definitely bold. I loved the metallic silver you used to dip your stool. Thanks for checking out the blog!

  4. Jesse says:

    Fantastic! These came out amazing, thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I’m about to color block a few things myself, I’ll share this with my readers when I do!

    • Amber says:

      Thanks Jesse! Can’t wait to see what you do. Your ombre chair turned out amazing. We ombred a dresser and love it. I am sure whatever you have planned will be stunning.

  5. Tiffanie says:

    Those came out beautifully! I love the colors. I hate to spam you with this, but I just happened to have posted something today that I think is going to make you laugh!

    • Amber says:

      Thanks Tiffanie! I seriously laughed out loud at your post. I’m not going to lie I was really digging the chair leg warmers. I may have to buy some for a really traditional wingback or something. No one would expect that!

  6. Serina Shook says:

    OH WOW! I love these! Very cool!!

  7. Ashli says:

    Wow, these are truly gorgeous! Great work!

  8. Awesome project. I love the blocked/dipped look!

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  11. Amazing chairs! I love them! And, of course, I love your Ryan Reynolds style quote. :)
    Here’s my bold post:

  12. Rachel says:

    Those are fantastic! I have 6 or 8 of these chairs stored in my basement that I can’t decide what to do with. I’m not sure why I own them. I think I might have some weird chair fetish.
    Also, your “hey girl…” made me giggle. :)

    • Amber says:

      I have a chair fetish too. It’s hard not to hoard them when you find good deals. I’ve seen so many of these chairs in their raw state lately. They are gorgeous no matter what you do with them!

  13. Love your bentwood chairs Amber especially the pop of pink. Perfect project to share over at the Be Bold Link Party where I found you.

    • Amber says:

      Thank you Marie! Pink is a pretty bold choice especially the brightness of the pink we chose. I’m just surprised my husband was on board with it! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

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