Michalina tells how she painted the deck chair

"I was quite surprised at how difficult it was to find a deck chair, let alone one that was all one colour.

At least I didn't have to pull the fabric off and restaple/thumbtack it back on when I finished. Two lengths of dowel which slip behind the top and bottom struts of the chair hold the fabric in place.

Another surprise was to find that the fabric wasn't canvas but some sort of synthetic imitation. However it wasn't too difficult to work with, provided I kept the paint fairly thick (otherwise it bled into the fabric).

I did a couple of full scale drafts first using pen and ink. When I was satisfied with the layout I traced over the letters using large sheets of tracing paper. I reinforced the back of the fabric using clear Contact and then laid down a couple of light coloured sheets of dressmakers' carbon paper on the front. I laid my traced letters on top of the carbon paper and went over them again using a biro to trace the letters onto the fabric. The letters came out very feintly so I went over them again (on the fabric) using tailors' chalk.

I then made templates of the seashell etc., and positioned them sort of at random and traced around them with tailors' chalk directly onto the fabric.

I finished the design using white Neopaque fabric paint and flat/round brushes in various sizes. Getting the paint at the right consistency was a bit of a problem at this point, especially as I didn't have a spare deck chair to practice on but at least there was a reasonable turnover of hem to make little trials on at the back.

The fabric stood up to ironing so I heat sealed the paint and it seemed to work well.

I guess I won't actually find out how well this worked until the chair has been in use for some time."

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