Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished thrift store chair using driftwood weathering wood finish

Refinished Thrift Store Chair Using
Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Stain

Refinished Chair with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

Refinished Thrift Store Bergere Style Chair Turned Coastal Cottage Chic

I’m using an outdated and rather dark thrift store Bergere style chair and updating it with a beachy driftwood finish fit for any vintage seaside cottage and I’m using  Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.

This is my second refinished thrift store chair project and turning it into a beautiful piece of furniture to fit my beach cottage.  Like the first chair, this one was purchased for under $30 and it needs to be completely stripped of both its dark finish and outdated fabric. 

Once you find that special chair, here are the materials you will need:

To start, you will need to remove all the fabric.  This may entail removing screws and I had to take the chair apart in order to remove the seat.  Here is what you will need for each step:

Removing the Fabric

  • needle nose pliers for helping to remove staples – and there will be MANY, MANY staples. 
  • flat head screw driver – helps with removing staples
  • patience, patience, patience – removing the many staples is the most tedious part

Stripping the Finish

Refinishing and Re-upholstering

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Above is the original thrift store chair

It’s in good condition, but not suitable for a vintage seaside cottage.  I wanted that weathered look that I keep seeing in Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware.  I am always inspired by the pages of Ballard Designs and they have a Bergere style chair with a weathered finish that sells for $800 or more.  Same with Restoration Hardware.  I know I can recreate the weathered finish with Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish stain AND I can find a fabric that will suit my decor perfectly.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

A key to re-upholstering the chair is to keep all the original fabric pieces, including any padding or backing.  This way you can use them as pattern pieces.  Make sure to mark each piece and even take pictures during the removal process that you can refer back to. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Take pictures and mark the pieces.  Once all the fabric has been removed, you can start stripping the finish.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used an environmentally safe spray-on furniture stripper so as not to have hazardous chemicals seep into the ground water.  This particular stripper took longer and more elbow grease but I’m good with that. There are plenty of environmentally safe paint removers available.  To help remove the finish, I used #0000 steel wool especially in the hard to get areas.

Fully Stripped of Finish and Fabric

The chair completely stripped, sanded and cleaned with mineral spirits.  Any chemical residue from the stripper or original finish will hinder the results of the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  So I need to test the results using the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish stain. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

My first chair project turned out darker than I expected because I did not test the results first.  This time, I knew I wanted a lighter and more brown toned finish that would pick up the taupey brown tones in my chosen fabric. I also wasn’t at all sure what type of wood the chair was made from.  Since the more tannins a wood has – the darker the color will be when using the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish.  It’s really important to test the results in an inconspicuous area first.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

As it turned out, diluting the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish solution gave me the color I was looking for.  Instead of mixing 1 packet with 1 cup of water – I mixed it with 2 cups of water. 

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Here I am testing the finish against my chosen fabric which is Magnolia Home Indoor/Outdoor Sea Island Spa.  It has a beachy, cottage feel and even looks a bit vintage to me.  The colors are perfect! 

I seriously considered using the Driftwood Liming Wax to give it a lighter finish as I did with my first chair project but then realized I wanted a more driftwood, weathered finish.  A finish that was completely matte like a found piece of driftwood. 

Re-upholstering the Chair

I’ve been sewing since I was 10, but if you are not confident in your sewing skills, this might be where you want to take the chair and original fabric pieces to an upholstery shop to complete the project. 

Cut out all your fabric pieces using the original pieces as templates, which hopefully you saved and marked.  Same with any backing pieces. Sometimes you may need to replace the cushioning or backing pieces.

One thing I learned along the way was to use a spray glue good for closed cell foam such as Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive Multi-Purpose to lightly glue ONLY the fabric backing to the foam.  DO NOT glue the actual fabric to the foam – just the backing materials.  This really helps keep everything in place while you are re-covering the chair.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Another great tip is to fold and press your fabric under about 1/4″ before applying to the chair using a staple gun.  This way, you end up with a nice clean edge instead of frayed fabric edges.  Much less messy.  I also used piping to cover up any exposed staples and Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive to apply the piping.

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Final Project

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

 

Total Cost for Refinishing and Re-Upholstering Thrift Store Bergere-Style Chair Using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish

The total cost for this project was about is about $115.00 and that included:

  •  $25.00 for thrift store chair
  • $24 for a 3 yards of fabric
  • $12.99 for the Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish
  • $10.00 piping
  • $13.00 Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive Multi-Purpose
  • $6.00 Beacon Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive
  • $12.99 environmentally safe paint and varnish stripper
  • $8.00 for incidentals such as staples and sandpaper

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

Refinished Bergere chair using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish Before and After

driftwood pendant light shade

Driftwood Pendant Light Shade

Creating a Driftwood Pendant Light Shade

Driftwood Lamp Shade

An easy way to make a driftwood pendant light shade that will stretch to go over a glass shade of various sizes.   The secret is simply using “stretch” bead and jewelry cord purchased from Michaels or from Amazon BEADNOVA 1mm Clear Elastic Stretch Jewelry Roll.

If the top of the glass shade is narrower than the bottom – you can tighten the driftwood row at the top and leave the bottom looser.  However, you don’t want to use a shade with more than a 2-3 inch circumference difference between the top and the bottom.  Having said that, a creative mind could easily create two separate rings of driftwood one to fit around the top and the other to fit the bottom.

driftwood pendant light

Materials You Will Need:

  • 1mm Clear Stretch Beading or Jewelry Cording
  • Drill
  • 1/8″ drill bit
  • Pendant Light Shade to be covered
  • Driftwood Pieces preferably 1/2″ or more round, and straight
  • Pencil to mark drill holes
  • Ruler to measure and mark for drill holes

driftwood lamp shade

 

Marking and Drilling your Driftwood Pendant Light Shade

Creative driftwood candleholders
Place a driftwood piece against your glass shade, figure and mark 2″ from the bottom of your driftwood piece.  Then measure another 2-3″ from the first mark and make a 2nd drill mark.  You want the holes to line up as much as possible on each piece of driftwood. Drill at hole at each mark.

Creative driftwood candleholders

Creative driftwood candleholders

Once your pieces are all drilled, start threading the stretch cord through the holes.  Tie knots about every 4th piece to keep spacing a little more equal when the shade expands. Pull the stretch cord to tighten the rows.

 

Creative driftwood candleholders

Make Your Circle

Occasionally place the driftwood row around the circumference of the glass shade to check the fit.  When you have the row the length you want – tie a final knot or two.  DO NOT CUT THE CORD.  Form a circle with the driftwood row and continue threading the cord through 3 or 4 driftwood pieces from the other end.   Knot the ends.  You can add a little bit of hot glue to the end knots or lightly melt the stretch thread with a match.

driftwood lamp shade

Finally, slide the driftwood over the top of your glass shade and attach the assembly to the hanging rod.

You need not be confined to just using the driftwood on pendant shades – try using the same technique to go over an existing table or reading lampshade.

And don’t forget this stretchy driftwood surround makes a great candleholder or planter. Use them for special events, weddings or just liven up the garden.

driftwood lamp shade
driftwood

If you want to make your own driftwood for this project, check out our tutorial on How to Create your Own Driftwood – it really works.

Driftwood_plant and candleholders

Creating Expandable Driftwood Candleholders and Plant Holders

Creating Expandable Driftwood Candleholders and Plant Holders

driftwood planter

This is an easy way to make driftwood candleholders and plant holders that will stretch to accommodate different size jars.  Those pretty glass candle jars that you normally throw out after the candle burns down can now become a very pretty driftwood plant holder.  The secret is simply using “stretch” bead and jewelry cord purchased from Michaels or from Amazon BEADNOVA 1mm Clear Elastic Stretch Jewelry Roll.

 

Materials You Will Need:

  • 1mm Clear Stretch Beading or Jewelry Cording
  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks
  • Drill
  • 1/8″ drill bit
  • Glass container
  • Driftwood Pieces preferably 1/2″ or more round, and straight
  • Pencil to mark drill holes
  • Ruler to measure and mark for drill holes

Creative driftwood candleholders

 

Creative driftwood candleholders

Creative driftwood candleholders

 

Creative driftwood candleholders
Place a driftwood piece against your glass container.  Measure 2″ up from the bottom and mark a hole for drilling.  Then measure up another 2-3″ from the first mark and drill a second hole.  You want the holes to line up as much as possible on each piece of driftwood.

Creative driftwood candleholders

Creative driftwood candleholders

Once your pieces are all drilled, just start threading the stretch cord through the holes.  I tied knots about every 4th piece to keep spacing a little more equal when the candleholder expanded but it’s not really necessary. Pull and tighten the driftwood row.

 

Creative driftwood candleholders

Make Your Circle

Occasionally place the driftwood row around the circumference of the glass shade to check the fit.  When you have the row the length you want – tie a final knot or two.  DO NOT CUT THE CORD.  Form a circle with the driftwood row and continue threading the cord through 3 or 4 driftwood pieces from the other end.   Knot the ends.  You can add a little bit of hot glue to the end knots or lightly melt the stretch thread with a match.

If you want to make your own driftwood for this project, check out our tutorial on How to Create your Own Driftwood – it really works.

The simple holders are also great for Using driftwood in a Party or Wedding Theme.

Driftwood Planter and candleholder
Driftwood Planter and candleholder

 

Driftwood Candleholder and plant holder

 

Make A Driftwood Sailboat

Make a Driftwood Sailboat

This simple tutorial will show you how to make a Driftwood Sailboat.  It’s actually pretty simple and they make really cute and beachy accents to any room where you want to add a beach or natural weathered wood theme.  They also look great as a juxtaposition to a sleek and modern room where you want to create some unexpected visual interest.

driftwood-sailboat-6b

What you Need to Make Your Driftwood Sailboat:

  • Driftwood piece that is linear shaped (checkout our LittleDriftwoodShop for driftwood pieces)
  • White Embroidery Thread
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Old Handkerchief
  • Singer’s “Fray No More”
  • Dowel or Stick of Driftwood
  • 2 Small Eye Screws
  • Drill
  • Scissors
  • Wood Glue

1.  Select your driftwood piece.

I glued together these two pieces as I thought the smaller looked great on the nose of the sailboat.  You can use a dowel purchased from the hardware store like I did or you can use a driftwood stick.  Since my dowel was too pale, I used Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish to get a weathered wood look on the dowel and I also used it to touch up any areas that may have broken off or where I drilled to keep the weathered wood look.

Driftwood Sailboat

2.  Create Your Driftwood Sailboat Mast.

Cut your dowel or driftwood stick to approximately 12″ although this will depend upon the length of your boat base.  Use your own discretion as to what looks best.  Then drill a hole deep enough in the center of your boat base to hold your mast.

Driftwood Sailboat

3.  Eye Screws.

Insert your eye screws in the boat base at the front and back.  These will be used to hold the sail in place.  On my first sailboat, I actually used glue instead and curled the sails before tacking them in place with glue but on the second sailboat I held the sails in place with the embroidery thread and eye screws.

Driftwood Sailboat

4.  Prepare Your Driftwood Sails.

Layout your sail and cut it to form two sails.  I had discovered an old box filled with and assortment of antique lacy and printed handkerchiefs in the attic which inspired me to do this project.  I just thought they would make such pretty sails and a great decorative focal point especially if I made three.  Here you can see my dowel piece is still a little bit too long for this handkerchief so I either need to cut it shorter or choose a different handkerchief for the sale.

Driftwood Sailboat

 5.  Create Your Sails.

Cut your handkerchief to form two sails.

Driftwood Sailboat

6.  Stop the Fray.

Once you cut your sail, you will want to use “Fray No More” by Singer to stop the edges from fraying.  Just run a bit along each cut edge.

Driftwood Sailboat

7.  Attaching the Mast and Sails

Glue your mast in place.

Use your embroidery thread to attach the sail sections to the mast – first the top and then the bottom.  Then attach the sail to the eye screws in the front and back if you want the sail to stay displayed.  I also starched the handkerchief so they would be nice and stiff.

Driftwood Sailboat

 

See how simple that was?  Now enjoy your sailboat – heck, make a fleet of them!

 

 

 

 

 

Using Driftwood in a Wedding or Party Theme

Using Driftwood in a Wedding or Party Theme

By Kim Foster

Whether you’re planning a romantic barefoot wedding at the beach or you’ve simply chosen a nautical theme party, using driftwood in a wedding or for your party is one of the most dramatic elements available for your party décor.

Not only is driftwood naturally-occurring and often obtainable for free, but it also adds a perfectly casual yet classy touch to your special occasion. Plus, as an added bonus, driftwood stands up to wind and weather, unlike expensive fresh flowers that will wilt in the heat. Check out these clever ideas for using beautiful, eco-friendly driftwood for your wedding or party.  If you don’t have driftwood available to you locally, check out this tutorial on how to make your own driftwood, or these online sources for obtaining some good driftwood pieces online to get your projects started. Recommended from Amazon for creating Driftwood Furniture including driftwood arches – great for a wedding. Driftwood Furniture: Practical Projects for Your Home and Garden

•    Driftwood Menus

Adding driftwood to your special event menu is a lovely way to add the driftwood theme to your tablescape.  Buy inexpensive frames that have a back stand, make copies of your menu and insert into the frames, then attach driftwood pieces using a hot glue gun and your done.  When the party is over, remove the menus and add your favorite photos from your special event.

Using Driftwood in a Wedding
    •    Driftwood Sailboats

Use simple Driftwood Sailboats as table décor.  Follow these simple instructions for making these easy driftwood sailboats which look amazing when added to any beach themed wedding or party décor and are super easy to make.  Surround your sailboats with other driftwood pieces, shells, candles, sand flowers and you have your simple yet elegant and inexpensive table decorations.

Using Driftwood in a Wedding

•    Driftwood Arch

To begin with the most obvious and yet one of the most striking uses of driftwood, consider exchanging vows with your beloved under a driftwood arch.  Driftwood arches range from stark and simple to breathtakingly intricate, and are easy to enhance in many ways, should you choose. You can cover the entire piece with greenery, or add fabric or ribbons to flutter in the ocean breezes. LED lights wound around the arch look lovely for a nighttime wedding, bringing that radiant glow to your face and that of your intended.

driftwood arch

•    Driftwood Vases

You can just easily make a driftwood vase for holding flowers as you can a driftwood candleholder – the same technique is used.  Find a large cylinder glass vase – clear or even a pretty seaglass color that will show through will work just fine and attach it all the way around using a hot glue gun then just add your choice of flowers.

Driftwood vase

•    Driftwood Signs

Signs are often used to point the way to the ceremony or reception, to urge guests to “Choose a seat, not a side,” or simply to display the names of the bride and groom with a loving message or a romantic quotation underneath. Driftwood signs look right at home in any natural or “shabby chic” venue, and are easy to personalize by painting freehand or using stencils. Driftwood can also be used to frame chalkboards, and messages in chalk can of course be erased after the big day, so you can continue to use the signs in the future.

Driftwood signs

•    Place cards

Search online for “driftwood place cards” and you’ll find so many artful ideas you won’t know which to pick. For starters, you could decide to paint or carve each guest’s name directly onto a small piece of driftwood, creating for each person a unique wedding favor as well as a placeholder. If painting or carving seems too labor-intensive, you can cut small slits into pieces of driftwood to hold handwritten name cards, or drill tiny holes into any small, irregular pieces of wood and insert wire card holders.  This idea from June Bug Weddings.  Photo by Harrison Studio

driftwood placecards

•    Driftwood Candleholders

If you’d like to add a cozy ambiance to your tables, driftwood can be used to make candle holders in countless imaginative styles. If you have a long driftwood log at your disposal, small divots can be cut into it to hold tiny tea lights. You might also arrange sticks of driftwood vertically around a glass candle holder, or directly around a wide candle itself. They can be decorated with ribbon, though twine or thin rope would also be in keeping with a nautical or beachy feel.  For a tutorial on how to make driftwood candleholders click here.

 driftwood candleholder

•    Driftwood Garland

When frilly bows and ribbons just won’t fit in with your theme, you can add a truly unique finishing touch to your wedding décor by creating driftwood garlands. Whether natural colored or whitewashed, a collection of driftwood twigs can be strung together and draped from furniture, laid casually on a tabletop, or used as a tie-back for fabric. Add a few sand dollars, shells, or starfish to turn it into an idyllic seaside accent.

driftwood garland

•    Driftwood Chandelier

For the more ambitious decorator, nothing says “drama” like a handmade driftwood chandelier. The idea is more do-able than you think, and like so many driftwood items, you’ll find that chandeliers can range from intricately entangled sculptures, wired for electricity, to  plain driftwood sticks used to suspend candles in beautiful holders. Metal candle holders are often used and mason jars are popular, too, but any colored glass container can add interest to the piece and tie in with your wedding motif as well.

driftwood chandelier •    Driftwood Cake Display

If you can find the right piece of driftwood, it can be a clever display to highlight a beautiful wedding cake, champagne fountain or food tray.  Make sure your unique piece is capable of holding the weight of whatever you want it to hold and then properly balance and support it for a spectacular driftwood  display your guests will be talking about for years.

Cake on driftwood

•    Driftwood, River Rocks and Flowers

There’s something simple yet serenely beautiful about smooth stacked river rocks and purposefully placed flowers against a backdrop of driftwood that will set the tone for a beach themed wedding.  Hot glue them together so they stay attached then artfully place them on your guest tables or scatter them about your reception area to set a sea inspired zen like ambiance complete with driftwood, flowers and river rocks. 

driftwood and river rocks

 •    Driftwood Centerpiece

Use driftwood as your centerpiece.  Driftwood is naturally beautiful and can easily stand alone as a piece of sculpture or use it as an integral part and incorporate it along with other natural elements.  Include flowers, stones, shells, intertwined or sculptural driftwood and candles.  Simplicity is key.  It doesn’t need to be elaborate to be beautiful.  And don’t forget to add a hint of your colors for your special day, event or the season your celebrating.

Driftwood centerpiece

The allure of driftwood lies in the history each fragment holds. Once young and green, every piece has traveled far and changed much from its original form. Tossed by the waves for many years, it has finally landed on the sunny shore—time-worn, but still strong and beautiful. There is no better symbol for an enduring marriage than driftwood!

Beach Style Decorating Ideas

Beach style decorating isn’t just for coastal beach houses and cottages by the seashore. It can be incorporated absolutely anywhere to soothe the nerves, provide positive energy and lighten the mood. Some simple beach style decorating tips can bring the therapeutic benefits of a vacation at the beach right into your home.Driftwood chair

Start by installing an interior louvre door and painting it a vibrant Caribbean blue or a deep aquamarine. Louvered doors automatically stir thoughts of old casual beach cottages. Next, install some horizontal planking across one wall of the living room or a whole ceiling and whitewash it for an overall beach house ambiance. Continue the aqua colors in accent pillows, comfy throws and an area rug. Toss in the bright orange of a warm beach sunset.

Go boldly into beach style decorating with unusual and unexpected color in the kitchen. Paint the kitchen island an eye-catching sea green and repeat the color in the window treatments. White or shell cabinets and a sea glass backsplash provide just the right amount of contrast while giving you that sand swept beachy feel.

If you’re not that daring, go to the opposite end of the spectrum and make nearly everything stark white. Then paint the wooden floor and the

cabinet doors a subtle sandy color. Easily add some sophistication with the texture of stainless steel appliances and accents. Purchase or create your own accessories with a nautical or coastal theme with using driftwood, shells and sea glass to create the feeling of being near the sea. Hang some artwork depicting the seaside and fill some shelves with picture frames and treasure boxes bordered in delicate shells. Translucent blue glass accents bring the sea inside.

Wall decor made of woven sea grass and random room accents made of wicker strengthen the aura of a retreat by the beach. Driftwood, when adapted as a home decorating accessory, is extremely versatile and lends itself to endless creative ideas. Weathered driftwood can be hung on a wall as is or insert a simple airplant and use as a planter. Equip it with some small hooks and dangle some souvenirs from the beach. Pick up an inexpensive wood-framed mirror and attach small pieces of driftwood around the border.

Gathering several pieces of driftwood that are all near the same length, tie them together with sea grass or nautical rope and stand them on their ends. Use this as the base for holding dried wild flowers. If you have a large section of driftwood, secure it to a wall, attach some hooks and use it as an unusual hat rack. Try making one of our suggested driftwood candleholders or driftwood lamps. Refinish a great flea market find with a driftwood finish by using Driftwood Weathering Wood Finish or one of our alternative homemade techniques.

If you have a pool, construct a backyard open-air cabana. Basically, this consists of nothing but a simplistic frame and a roof-like covering. Add floor to ceiling canvas curtains tied back to each post and create a look that’s as soft as a sea breeze. Add some more lush plants. Fill it with accent pieces that have seaside motifs like palm fronds, shells or marine life.

Outdoors, landscape with solar lighting as a reminder of the sun’s subtle energy. Indoors, adorn a few side tables with a grouping of sand candles.

Lighten up your mood and your atmosphere with beach style decorating. It’s the next best thing to being there.