July 31, 2012

French Chair Upholstery

Like I said, I'm kind of in project mode now. I saw this French Louis (or bergere) chair for sale nearby for only $20, so how could I resist?

Except it looked like this first, with a broken leg and all. It took a bit of work to fix the previous hack repair job, but it seems good and sturdy now.

In progress . . .

I was inspired by Jenny's posts from Little Green Notebook to do a chair like this. Having done several other upholstery jobs, I wondered how one like this was done (the piping, specifically). The trick: strong glue. I used Magna-tac, the same one she recommended, and it worked great.

I used a simple natural linen to make it versatile since I didn't know where it would go yet. I love bright colors and patterns, but I figured my house has a lot of that right now.

This was pretty quick, too. I got the chair Monday night and finished by Saturday. That may not sound fast, but when all you've got is nap time to work, it's not so bad.

The only problem is that I don't really know where to put it. I intended to use it at a desk, but it's a little bigger than I expected so it's not ideal. I was debating selling it. I only put $40 into it, so I could make a good profit, but I'd like to keep it. What would you do?

July 29, 2012

Hollywood Regency Buffet Transformation

It seems I'm back in home project mode again. I go in and out of being interested in it, but when I am, I'm itching for furniture makeovers and changes around me.

Here's a buffet/hutch/dresser/credenza/whatever-you-call-it that I painted recently:

I found it on KSL Classifieds and was able to buy it and have it delivered for only $125. It's an old, very heavy, solid hardwood piece from Japan. I don't know how old it actually is, but it has that definite old Hollywood Regency vibe about it, which I loved.

The greek key pulls pretty much sold me on it, though. When I told the girl I was buying it from that I loved them, she seemed a little surprised. I could tell she wasn't crazy about it. Nor was Jared, by the way. When he saw it, he looked at me pitiably and said, "I'm sorry, but I hate it. What did you see in this?"

Well, let me tell you. For practical reasons, we really needed a place to put away the toys that inevitably end up in our living room. For looks, I loved the shape of it: the turned in legs, the shape on the doors, the hardware. But I wasn't in love with the color. It could have been pretty for someone else's house, but the wood didn't fit into mine.

First, I painted it black. (At this point, Jared said he actually liked it a lot and that I should leave it, but I wanted to go through with my vision.)

I took off the hardware and scrubbed it (hard) with Barkeeper's Friend to get off all the grime and shiny brass finish. It ended up being more of a brushed light brass, which I liked much better.

I taped it off, but let me tell you, painter's tape does NOT stick to oil-based paint very well. Does everyone know that? Well, I didn't. I used Rustoleum's oil-based high gloss paint, which is supposed to be more durable than latex. Anyway, that led to a lot of touch-ups with a very small paint brush, which was kind of a pain.

But after all the work (and after the oil paint smell finally faded), I'm happy with it!

P.S. I created a Pinterest board for ideas before I painted this. I was debating between mint green or black/white, but Jared vetoed the green, which is probably a good thing.
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