Herringbone Chair

Herringbone Chair

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2009


A midcentury-modern icon has a brush with tradition in this homage to herringbone, applied by dragging a combing tool across the chair diagonally -- first in one direction, then the other.

 A triangular rubber combing tool features the narrow teeth necessary to produce a herringbone pattern.



  • Base Coat: Benjamin Moore 2170-50 Teacup Rose (back and seat) and Benjamin Moore 013 Fan Coral (legs and frame)

  • Glaze Tint: Benjamin Moore 1297 Minstrel Heart

  • A triangular rubber combing tool


  1. Using a 9-inch paint roller with a 1/4-inch nap, paint the surface in desired color using latex paint. Let dry thoroughly.

  2. Mix 1 part latex paint (pearl finish or satin finish) with 1 part latex or acrylic glazing liquid and 2 parts water. (If using oil paint, mix 1 part oil paint with 1 part oil glazing liquid and 1 part mineral spirits.) Proceed with any of the patterns, applying the tinted glaze over the dried base coat.

    Tip: Smooth irregularities as you work (they can catch the glaze and obscure its effect).

  3. Using tape to mark 1-inch-wide sections eliminates the need for measuring.

  4. Affix a length of 1-inch-wide painters' tape down the center of item (base coat should already be applied and dried).

  5. Affix 2 more lengths of the tape to one side of the first. Remove middle strip.

  6. Continue taping off, using middle strip as a spacer, until every other length is exposed.

  7. Apply a tinted glaze with a China bristle brush. Drag a triangular comb across surface at a 45-degree angle. Repeat until surface is covered. Let dry completely.

  8. Remove tape strips. Apply fresh tape over combed strips to cover them completely.

  9. Apply a second coat of tinted glaze. Drag comb through it at opposite 45-degree angle. Lift the tape, and the herringbone pattern will be revealed.



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