Wisdom Comes Suddenly

The Rainbow Chairs: Confessions of an Addict

July 13th, 2015 · 3 Comments


Hi. My name is Lori. I am a crafting addict, with a specific unhealthy love of furniture. Well, chairs, to be more exact. I have a serious problem with chairs.

I inherited it, but I know it’s not an excuse. My much-adored (albeit unbelievably quirky) Aunt Mildred was an Antiquer. I don’t want to throw her under the bus, because I’m taking responsibility for my illness tonight, but she did have an entire house just to hold her collections. She didn’t live there. There wasn’t enough room. In her defense, it was only a 3 bedroom, 2-story. Antiques are space hogs. Everyone knows this.


Taking a quick picture before Greg realizes there are more than TWO chairs in my hatch.

The formal sitting room was dedicated entirely to her chair collection. Even though no one could live in the house, we were regularly invited for visits (the house she lived in also had beautiful antiques, but the nicest ones were strangely kept in the no-person house). The chairs were stored in large rows, formed into a circle, and we would squeeze our little bodies into the collection, and make room to sit in any antique chair which suited our fancy. Mildred took notes (although silently), and left each and every chair to her beloved nieces and nephews, via stories in her will.

“To Martin, I leave the oddly-shaped teak corner table that took your interest the year you were 9.” (She died when Martin was 21, so it took us a little investigative work to find it.)

“To William, I leave the chandelier into which you were always knocking your head. I got so tickled every time to did it.”

“To Jenny I leave the red velvet Victorian couch. Precious Jennifer Ann, you really understood that couch.”


In case you are struggling with a crafting addiction, you need to see the ugly that comes with this problem. It’s NOT GLAMOROUS guys. It’s dark. Very, very dark. Like these hideous chairs.

Aunt Mildred left me beautiful chairs, velvet rockers, bureaus, a large assortment of dolls, knick-knacks…anything I had touched in the 19 years of visiting her museum-house. I guess you could call chairs my gateway antique.


ALL the way stripped? 2 attempts is close enough for desk chairs.

While I know repainting old furniture with bright colors is all the rage, I haven’t taken to it. I equally haven’t fallen for milk paint. I like my antiques to look like…antiques. So you can imagine my surprise when the girls and I rounded the corner into the annual Woodruff Place Flea Market, and these chairs were screaming to me that they’d like to be bright colors. (Yes, furniture speaks to me when I’m high on the smell of dust, mold, and history. Don’t judge me. Or do…I’m still going to love chairs.)


Home Depot can kiss my crafting ass with their Marquee Paint. Guaranteed 1-coat. Not with green!

I had promised my family, “NO MORE!!!” I would NOT take on another home-crafting-project until my list was complete. I actually wrote the list on a piece of paper, and asked my family to hold me to my promise (fearless moral crafting inventory, if you will). I have a problem, and I’m ready for help.

But the girls saw my eyes, and they didn’t even try to stop me. In fact, they offered to carry them to the car. God help me. The lessons I’m teaching them.


1-coat with orange? Try 4. 4 thick, drippy, unmanageable coats.

The second I whispered, “Rainbow Chairs for the Rainbow Attic”, they all but threw those chairs at me. It’s like they WANTED me to fall off the crafting wagon. Sorry. That wasn’t fair. This is MY problem. I’m here to own it.


How about yellow on white? Surely that will be 1-coat. Or three. Stupid paint people promises. They’ll say ANYTHING to sell you paint. It’s the crafter’s racquet and worst nightmare, all wrapped into one.

These chairs weren’t part of the regular flea market. They were being sold by a sweet, but quite toothless junker, who had set up his wares on the small lawn of a tenement building. It was…not good. He knew those claw foot chairs were well-built, and worth more than pennies, so we settled on $20 per chair. I’ve bought worse, in case you recall the day I bought my sewing chair straight out of the bathroom at the Antique Mall.


Greg would say this was me, hitting bottom. Again. Painting perfectly good chairs grasshopper green is somehow lower than pulling a chair out of a public pooper and asking its price? It’s hard to say.

Still, even though it was a good buy, and I had good reason to capitalize on this great deal for office chairs while the iron was hot, I knew I’d have to make amends (i.e. finish this project as quickly as possible).


The girls enabled supported me throughout this process, because they loved the idea of bright chairs at their white desks. I let them choose the color of the rainbow, and the fabric. Sara’s choice was bold, and clearly that of a future interior design major. She doesn’t need to bow to convention at every turn. Sara knows her mind.


Kelly needed surprisingly little guidance, although this was the 5th fabric she chose. I used remnants from my friend Lou’s stash, who oh-so-graciously willed her fabric to me during her family’s large relocation to the West. Kelly has a knack for choosing fabric of which I do not have enough for the project at hand. Remember the small blanket that turned into a small country?

Or how about this quilt à la Kelly? Oh no! It’s Kelly! She’s the next Mildred! I think when she asked for her stuffed animals to be displayed in a museum-quality case, we should have seen that coming.


My orange desk chair and the yellow sewing chair were the last to see the finish line. All in, I was drunk on paint happily crafting for only 2 weeks. A new record, compared to my usual time off the crafting wagon. These chairs were tough to strip, and even harder to paint, but they inspired me to finish some large projects I’d been procrastinating (see last 2 posts). I know. That’s justifying. Apologies and seeking amends.


I’d like to thank my family for accepting my crafting shortcomings (like being covered in paint and cursing on the back porch while holding toxic chemicals in my hands). I’d like to thank all of you for witnessing my endlessly ridiculous plans, messes, and occasionally finished projects. I’d like to thank Home Depot for NOTHING! This paint was PRICEY and SUCKY McSUCKERSON! I’m done complaining and placing blame elsewhere. But seriously H.D., you should reflect on your shortcomings.

OK, back to my crafting inventory. A really, really boring shower curtain is next, followed by really, really uninteresting neutral curtains. Godspeed fellow crafters!

Tags: The Girls

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michelle // Jul 13, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Oh snap! Your posts are worse than Pinterest. I’ve bought (and sold ) so many pieces of furniture with intentions of up cycling. Actually yesterday I bought a mirror on clearance at Tarjay & told myself “if Lori can do it, I can at least try”. The type A in me is so scared to mess up a project, I give up before I start. These chairs are gorgeous!

  • 2 The Momma // Jul 13, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Don’t give up when you can procrastinate! You have to let something sit and collect dust for at least 2 years before you lose all hope.

  • 3 Teresa // Jul 14, 2015 at 9:31 am

    The chairs are gorgeous!

    ~Have a lovely day!