Thursday, May 24, 2012

Retro Chair for Spring with Painted Accents

I finally FINALLY finished this chair from September 2011. Before she was dull, lifeless, and contained way too much plastic (the fabric was icky vinyl).

NOW she makes a statement!

I bought the chair as a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law Jenny, but the holiday quickly passed and the chair was only halfway done. It then became her birthday gift which we just celebrated this past weekend. The fabric was purchased up in Maine from one of my favorite stores, Marden's. I think the retro poppy upholstery fabric was $2.99 a yard. CHEEEEAP! Because Jenny likes bright colors in her home, I chose to paint the wood with Krylon Spray Paint in Emerald Green. The green didn't match any of the colors in the fabric, but it provided a nice contrast to the yellow and poppy red and helped me achieve the "LOOK AT ME I'M INTERESTING AND UNIQUE" look.

We've been in CT for 6 months now but I didn't actually get the chair down from Maine until last Friday. I had finished painting and re-upholstering the seat and front before I left, but I couldn't finish the back until the ply-grip/curve ease I bought online arrived. About a week later, it came and after a couple hours here and there nailing on the ply-grip, putting in some hammered upholstery nails, and stapling muslin to the bottom, it was done! By the way, I can't figure out how you guys staple ply-grip. The staples never seem to go through the metal for me. It could be because I'm using a electric instead of a pneumatic stapler. And if you're wondering, I didn't have any of the black cambric cloth for the bottom of the chair, so instead I used some old muslin my mom gave me. It looks great although when I say old, I MEAN old. I think we've had it since the 80's.

Here's the chair in its "DONE, BUT SOMETHING'S MISSING" phase.

This is when I decided to take a page from a few other blogger's books and highlight portions of the fabric with paint. I bought some green acrylic paint and highlighted random poppy flower stems. 

Now the fabric and paint color can live in harmony.
In her past life she was a bore.

Now she's quirky and fun!

You may think the colors aren't "typical" for me, but they're still my style all the same. I promise you this won't be the only piece of furniture that I ever work on that has bright and outlandish colors. 

Happy Birthday to Jenny! I'm so glad you like the chair and you're not afraid to display it in your home :).

Love the Beasts,

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Latest Free Finds for the New House

I've had pretty good luck with curbside finds these last few months. We needed a kitchen table and I bought a really awesome handcrafted table for $20 at an estate sale, but then I found this pine table with two matching chairs for free sitting outside the same house a week later. This one is a better fit for our oddly-shaped dinette area. The other table, which I will post about another day, is going to be either my husband's or my "office" desk.

Being about 33 wks pregnant at the time, I didn't think I could do anything with the table until well after the baby arrived. But the feeling of uselessness with home renovations struck and I stuck on my ventilator and went to work sanding and staining the table top. I sanded more than half the table before remembering to take a picture. My new palm sander was a birthday present from my husband this year. Oh how well he knows me!

Here's a closer shot of the stain that was previously on the table. It was already wearing off in a few areas and there were a few dark marks from whatever they had previously set on top.

The sander works wonders! Here it is all sanded down.

Brendan and I despise light stains and we wanted the table to look like a workshop table, a bit weathered with different variations in wood color. We knew this would work with the pine surface because you can never depend on the stain to come out even, especially when the table is not made of great quality wood in the first place. After 3 coats of Minwax Dark Walnut Stain and 3 coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly (with sanding in between), the table was perfect!

Unfortunately, the table is still sitting outside because there's no room for it in the house. But it should be moved in by this Wednesday. In the background you can see a few of my other free finds. A pallet and 3 wood chairs.

I was so happy to find the free chairs especially because the weekend before I found out I missed out on buying 3 similar chairs for $1 each. They reeked of cigarette smoke though and there was nicotine crusted on to the backs of the chairs. I've sanded them down as much as I can and scrubbed them down with vinegar 3 times now. They sat in the sun yesterday and they're MUCH MUCH better. They smell a bit more like wood now. 

Here's a disgusting picture of what it looks like after I sanded a small part of one of the chairs. See that? Not just dust from wood or stain, it's cigarette ash. BLECH!

The 3 chairs will go with the farmhouse dining table I bought a few months ago along with 3 other wooden chairs of a different style that I found at a garage sale for $10 each. All the chairs are getting painted different colors. Priming these stinky chairs with 2 layers should keep them from stinking of cigarettes.

So yes, I've successfully found free finds that I ACTUALLY needed! Not just junk! Eventually I'll post about the furniture I did spend money on for the new house, but that won't happen until renovations are done. One day...

Love the Beasts,