A Lace Stenciled Chair, a Little Village & an Old Man with His Dog

For several years, I’ve had a little ladder back chair, that my daughter “adopted” to use when she practiced playing her guitar.  I picked it up at an  auction, with plans to sell it, but since she was making use of it, I never listed it in my shop.  Now that she’s working and going to college, she’s had less time to practice guitar, and the chair was taking up space in her room, so she bumped it back out to the living room, where it’s gotten stacked high with junk ever since.  I was hoping to take photos for my living room reveal, but when I looked at the little chair, I realized it was going to need a makeover if it was to stay in the living room.  There was nothing wrong with the way it looked – the way the wood had aged was actually very nice – it just looked a little too dark for my room.

ladder back chair woven seat

I worked on it at night, and forgot to take any in-progress photos, but I added  chalky paint powder from Vintage Restoration Co. to some leftover gray paint, and gave it two coats.  The color was a good match for the antique window that is part of the wall between my kitchen and living room, as well as an antique screen door I have hanging on a wall.

gray painted chair


I looked cute when done, but  I thought the top “rung” on the chair needed a little something added to it.  I painted a white strip across the center of the rung, let it dry, then used a lace stencil, (using the same method that I used on my Lace Painted Bottles), and painted over it with more of the gray paint.  The paint seeped under the lace stencil in a few places, but  I planned to distress it anyway, so knew it would be fine.

lace stencil on furniture

Instead of being just a gray painted chair – I think it’s totally unique now, and looks like it belongs in a quaint little cottage.

lace stenciled painted gray chair on porch


I have finally listed it in my shop (here), but I’ll have mixed emotions if it sells, because I love it now.

Here’s the before and after, side by side.

ladder back chair before and after

I usually photograph furniture in my front yard, or on my gravel road, but it was such a pretty morning, I decided to put the little chair in my Jeep and find a pretty spot in my neighborhood to take the photos.  Just a few miles down the road from us, is a tiny little village, with a population of just over 100.  It doesn’t have any stores, or a post office, but it has several quaint old buildings, and I love driving through it.


village water tower columbus illinois

This old building was the destination I had in mind to use as a backdrop for the little chair.

old town hall building

I snapped a few photos of the little chair, but the sun was just a little too glaring, so I decided I would look for another location to take photos of it, but took a few more shots of the building, since I was there.

gray chalk paint chair

I’ve photographed the front door before, but it was with my point and shoot camera, so I wanted some new shots, now that I have a better camera.

old wooden door on town building

I absolutely love the weathered front door, that bears just a bit of its original paint, and the pretty antique doorknob and keyhole.

antique door knob and keyhole

The back of the building has another beautiful old door.

old wooden door

It has the kind of rusty old hinges that make a junker’s heart skip a beat.

rusty hinge on old door

It has what looks to be an old outhouse behind the building, which is leaning from the passage of time.

Old Out House

As I was taking my photos, an elderly man from a house next door, came out to walk his dog, and we struck up a conversation, since we have a beagle as well (read about her misadventures here and here).  He’s lived in his home for over 50 years, and said the building is more than 150 years old, and was the town hall before a new one was built.  I love learning the history behind vacant old buildings.  I’m sure this building isn’t stable, but I’d love to have a peek inside it.

walking the dog

I enjoyed chatting with him for a while, then got back in my Jeep and went to the next street over, where there was an old church building, that is still in use.  It has steps leading up to the beautiful old front doors, which were perfect as my chair’s little backdrop.

lace stencil chair

The morning was getting away from me, but I’ll come back another day, as there is another church and other old buildings I’d love to get photos of.

See that sign in the distance – the one on the right side?  That’s a sign for an estate auction coming up…so I’ll be back soon!

church sign

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  1. Pretty photos, Angie…the chair is charming!

  2. Love, love, love, your photos ! Growing up in central Illinois I enjoy the picture and falls is my favorite season.
    Have you been to the small town of Berry,il. It has a good resale shop. Oh and the Fall drive in

    • Evalene, Yes, I was in Berry just a few weeks ago for the Apple Festival, and brought home several goodies from that resale shop! Thanks so much for visiting me – I love hearing from fellow Illinois people! I actually grew up in Washington.

  3. Love the chair, love old buildings and love old men with dogs. Can’t wait to hear about the auction.

  4. I’m so blessed to now live in a little town very much like the one in your photos. I love old homes so much I bought the oldest one in town and have been lovingly restoring it for the past two and one half years. It was built before my state became a state! We don’t have an old man that walks his old dog but we do have one that rides a bicycle, does that count? lol Your chair is darling. I’ve got a chair to re-do too and I think I’ll follow suit and use a round doily on the seat. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I love the idea of the lace stencil! I’m keeping the idea for later.

  6. I especially like the shot of the door with the branch across the top. Fun post.

  7. This is so lovely and sweet.

  8. You captured the beauty of weathered buildings. love the lace on the gray chair. Great photography.

  9. I love the chair! I have one at home I need to do something with and this looks like a great inspiration! Now I just have to wait for painting weather….we’re at freezing right now. I have itchy fingers!

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