Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Char's makeover - a diy project

DIY project number one is complete!  I think.

Perhaps you recall me saying that I wanted to de-brownify my room (I think I just made up a new word). I thought that the first step to that would be making a quilt for our bed.  I thought wrong.
Because, Duh!, a queen size quilt will take me a year to make. That's too long to live with all the brown. Besides, who wants to be inside sewing when it's spring?!

I don't know why I didn't think of this six months ago, but a great way to de-brownify a room is to hang something on the wall that isn't brown. Duh! once again!
I have this beautiful framed needlepoint that my mother made (I'm still giddy that I got first dibs on it over my sisters).  I think it looks perfect over Elaina's changing station (and wouldn't a soft gray color on the walls look great?).

I absolutely love it! Knowing that my mother made it with her own two hands makes me love it even more.

Okay, that was an easy step towards de-brownifying.
When I got an itch to do-over something the next week, my eyes fell on my sewing desk chair.
Let's call her Char (pronounced shar), shall we?
Char is very sturdy and well-built; that's why I bought her from a thrift store years ago (at which point I just recovered her seat).  She has some pretty, solid legs as well as a nice curvy back, but it's kind of hard to get past all the scars and well-worn look.

So I took her apart and did some sanding.  I didn't worry about getting all of the old coat off because I was going to be using primer. Here she is looking kind of naked and bare.

I had used wood filler on one of the bigger gouges and then I gave her a good coat of steely gray primer. She didn't care for that look either; too harsh and cold.
After a few coats of Rust-o-leum Satin Heirloom spray paint (she took two cans), she was looking much better.

I recovered the seat with some new upholstery fabric, and I have to admit that I don't love it.  It's a bit too...Frenchy.  I'm kicking myself for not buying the pretty blue fabric I saw red tagged a month ago at Joann's, but at the time, Char wasn't on my makeover list. I'm keeping my eye out for a good deal on some different fabric.  In the meantime, here she be.

Amazing transformation, huh?!
What I can't decide on, is whether or not to 'distress' her and sand down some edges to the wood.  The scars show through the fresh coat of paint, so I feel like she's already half way there, but I am a bit hesitant to take the sandpaper to all my hard work.

What do you think?  Distress her or not?

Here is Char sitting at my desk, looking pretty, fresh, and bright.

Whoohoo, that's one less brown item in my room!

On a different note, I have done absolutely no laundry today.  How's that for balancing?  Since I had so much fun today working on project #2, finishing up this project, and sharing it with you, I do not regret it. Unless of course I hear "Mom, I have no clean clothes to wear!" in the morning.

As far as project #2, I'll come back and share that one next week.  My house could use some attention and we could probably use some clean underwear around these parts.


  1. Keilah come and do my projects PLEASE... :). Anyways how do you distress. I have several paint projects on my list and might try it. HELP would be appreciated LOL Tarja

  2. I like your chair just the way it is! Gorgeous! Riitta

  3. Tarja,
    Distressing is making the piece of furniture look aged or worn - by sanding, glazing, intentionally marring, etc. What I had in mind was some light distressing by simply sanding down some edges to show the gray primer and the wood underneath, in spots that naturally would be worn, like the top and front corners. I've never done it before! :)
    But if you need help with the painting part, check out and/or under the projects tab. I'd say always prime your surface. If you spray paint, keep your can 6-8 inches away from the furniture and never stop moving the can! Multiple light coats are best. If you brush on your paint, good luck avoiding brush strokes. I've heard floetrol helps. And don't forget to seal your furniture to protect it. Its really simple and quick to apply polyurethane with a small foam brush.
    I always start by reading the can. ;)
    Hopefully that helps!?

    1. I usually prime and paint with a brush. When you talked about distressing I thought maybe there was a technique to make the project look like "shabby chic". I am going to try the sanding bit. I have a cute entry way bench and a cupboard I am going to paint. I also have a bathroom cabinet and a sideboard to do. Hmmm maybe I need to take a week off from work LOL Tarja

  4. I love it! Look at it for a while and then decide. I'm obviously a fan of some distressing but a terrific fan of crisp white. My sanding/painting hands are itching looking at your desk. Time to attack another wood project over here. :)

  5. I like bright white! maybe Char would get a little stressed if she was distressed... ;-)