Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New fabric seat covers for the dining chairs

This past weekend I made another trip to the fabric store and drug Brian along to get his opinion on fabric to cover the dining room chair seats. As you may have noticed I like to get Brian's opinion on things. Not because I can't make up my mind (although that sometimes is the case!) but I like his input because I want him to feel as happy in our home as I do.

I showed him the fabric I liked and asked what he thought, he didn't really have much of an answer until I gave him my interpretation of the different fabrics. "This fabric here would say we're young and fun, but this one would be if we wanted a more sophisticated vibe", etc.  Brian picked the young and fun. :o)

I bought a yard to try it out and see how it looked on the chairs.  Here is a picture of our newly painted and seat-covered dining chair:

Here you can see the fabric a bit closer-up.  It has shades of blue, yellow, green to match the walls, and a bit of light-brown that ties in our painted rug.  

Although the fabric has a lot to the pattern, the muted colors make it not too harsh .......... and nothing can match the green of our walls for intensity :o)
Here's the initial canvas fabric I tried next to the new fabric.  The old fabric is nice, but the new pattern is more fun and cheerful.

I also think the new fabric goes a bit better with the shelf-paper stripes of the corner cabinet in the upper right of the picture, they play off each other well.

I know the new fabric might not be everyone's cup of tea but it makes us happy.  Now I'm hoping to find a nice dining table.  I was thinking something like this, either left in it's natural state or painted white and distressed:

Ah, those chairs would have been the "sophisticated choice" if we kept the the initial canvas fabric.  Oh well, I think the fabric we chose ties in with the style of our house :o)

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The Shabby Nest Somewhat Simple

Friday, May 13, 2011

My New Blue Dining Chair (soon to be chairs I hope!)

This week I tackled my dining room chair project. You might remember the chairs I bought at a consignment shop that I wrote about here.  I decided to try the light blue "Enamelware" Martha Stewart paint I had used on my magazine rack on the chairs.  The color is a very, very light blue that I thought would work well with our bright green dining room, and also bring more blue into the room to go along with the shelf paper stripes in our corner cabinet.

Here's a reminder of what the chairs looked like before.  I really love the lattice backs!

I decided to work on one chair at first to make sure I liked my color choices.  I removed the seat from the chair by removing the three screws that held it on from the underside of the chair.  Then as usual I primed the surface of the chair and then got to work on the painting.  I ended up putting on a couple of coats because although the paint had pretty good coverage there was still a bit of streaking.  So after letting the two coats of paint dry I did a bit of paint distressing around the edges and other areas that would most likely have been worn naturally.  I figured it would be better to distress it myself rather than worry about paint chips and such later down the road.  Now any mishaps would be welcome additions to the character of the chair :o)

And a bit closer to see some of the distressing details (haha, sounds funny, but you know what I mean!)  Here's a lovely leg:

And then the cross bar, I love how the center detailing looks!

I next set to work re-covering the seat.  I first removed the fabric by prying up the staples on the underside of the seat with a screwdriver.

When I finished with that, guess what I found, another layer of fabric.

So back I went removing more staples.  And when all those were removed I found the original fabric .......... okay, I was done removing staples, that layer would stay!

I decided to recover the seat in some drop cloth canvas fabric I bought a while back at Home Depot.  I really liked the texture, it was cheap, and I have a lot left over, so if I have to recover them again later because of a spill or something I would have more fabric at the ready.  I cut the fabric to size, pulled it tight around the seat, and stapled it into place on the underside of the chair seat.  For the corners I just worked with it, folding the edges kind of like a present until the fabric was pretty smooth and stapled it into place.

I reattached the seat to the chair frame and voila, I had a blue chair.

BUT!  ....... the story doesn't end there.  The light blue with the canvas combination was too light for me and especially with our bright green dining room, things just weren't working together.  I was bummed.  All that work and I didn't have a finished project I loved.  I thought about trying a brighter and patterned fabric on the seat but my trip to JoAnn's did not yield any results.  

........ So, I thought this would be a perfect time to try one of Annie Sloan's paints that everyone in blogville has been raving about.  My failure was working out perfectly, now I had an excuse!  This past Saturday I ordered some paint in Duck Egg Blue from the House of Anne and it arrived on Wednesday.

I was so excited to see that package, I tore into it like it was Christmas!

And here's my color, Duck Egg Blue:

It's another light blue but a bit darker than the previous I tried, with hints of green and grey.  And guess what?!  With this paint there is no need for sanding or priming, so I just jumped right in to the painting.  This paint is fantastic!  It goes on so smooth and the coverage is really nice.  I did do two coats but that was mainly because I went really thin to prevent any drips in the paint.

Then I got to the distressing.  Unlike latex paint that rubs/peels off with sanding, the chalk paint actually comes off as a dust similar to sanding wood.  This paint was made for distressing!   For the sanding stage I decided to move outside as it can get pretty dusty.

I then wiped the chair down to remove the paint dust and applied a layer of wax.  The wax darkened up the color slightly as you can see from this photo (wax on the the left side):

The wax absorbed unevenly, I'm not sure if this was because of my sanding or my wax application/buffing skills, but it did make the finish a bit streaky.  I guess it adds a bit more to the worn appearance.  I also used Minwax that I bought at Home Depot, so maybe if you bought the Annie Sloan wax it would work differently.  It still looks nice, just trying to be as descriptive as I can for this post :o)

Here are a few views of the chair after the waxing.  A pretty leg:

And don't forget that back!

Then I got to work re-covering the chair seat in my drop cloth fabric, and here is chair numero dos:

I know, not an incredible difference to the first blue, but it is darker which I think works better with the canvas seat, more of a contrast.  And here just to prove that it is a different blue (the Duck Egg Blue is the center chair):

You can kind of see the green of the dining room with the chairs and I think the new blue looks a lot better ..... it could just be me.
And another view:

See, it is quite different, right?  So now I know how I will spend my weekend.  But at least with the Annie Sloan chalk paint I can get right down to business and get painting!  

Linking up with:
Furniture Feature Fridays Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH Transformation Thursday

Creations by Kara

A DIY display stand

After seeing this domed display stand on the Thrifty Décor Chick blog I just had to make one for myself!

It was made by gluing a cheese dome onto a candlestick, what a clever idea! I always see these cheese domes at the thrift stores I frequent, but don’t you know, once I wanted to buy one I couldn’t find one! After a couple weeks of searching I finally found one but couldn’t find a wooden candlestick. So after a week or so of searching for the perfect candlestick I finally found one and could begin my project!

Here we have my cheese dome and candlestick (I could only find a metal candlestick the size and style I wanted). The total cost for both was about $4, so not too bad.

The first thing I had to do was to attach the candlestick to the wooden cheese dome base.  I used a ruler to find the approximate center and traced an outline of the candlestick top onto the bottom of the wooden base.

In the “Thrifty Décor Chick” post she used gorilla glue to attach the pieces but I didn’t have any on hand so Brian suggested using JB Weld. Supposedly this is some pretty tough stuff, it has a strength of 3,000 psi or something like that and can be used on a variety of surfaces ……… I just know my dad has used it for car stuff before. The key to the JB Weld is it has two components that when mixed has super bonding strength.
Here I squeezed out two somewhat even lines of the components (I should have put them closer together for easier mixing).

And then I mixed like crazy with a toothpick:

I then used the toothpick to apply the “weld” to the outline on the bottom of the wooden base.

Then I attached the candlestick, weighted it down, and let it set for a few hours.

After it was set I got to the fun part, the painting! I decided to use my brand new Annie Sloan paint in Duck Egg Blue that I bought to paint my dining chairs with!!! (I am loving this paint but will talk about that in a later post.)  After giving the clandlestick/wooden base (now display stand) a couple of coats of paint I used some fine grit sand paper to add a bit of distressing.

Didn’t it turn out fantastic! Now to fill it with something worthy of display :o)

On my way home from work today I made a slight detour to Michael’s to get a couple of things to fill it with. I found some really pretty moss and a nest in a flower part arrangement that I deconstructed to make a little nature scene in my new domed display stand.

Here it is open and a bit closer:

I’m loving it! Bringing a little bit of “nature” indoors :o)

Linking up with:

Creations by Kara

Somewhat Simple HookingupwithHoH topsy turvy tuesdays

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Key to Our Heart

I've been working on getting some pictures together for a gallery wall and thought it would be fun to add in some other items besides photos. A while back I found an old rusty key in the dirt in our side yard that I thought would be neat to frame. It seemed to fit the old door locks  around the house so I'm not sure if it was the original key or one of the two antique replacement keys we had bought and accidentally dropped in the yard.  I'm going to go with it was the original house key that had been lost in the yard for decades until I happened upon it while cleaning :o)

All the interior door knobs are original to the house. Here you can see the door to the bathroom with the replacement antique key we bought.  No modern locking mechanisms on these doors.  Aren't the old glass knobs beautiful?

And here's a picture of the rusty old key I found in the yard, it looks like it's seen better days .......... but I would remedy that!

I got out my steel wool and got to work removing the rust layer.  A steel brush would have probably worked better and been a little quicker but alas all I had was steel wool.  But it did the trick and I got most of the rust off.

It's not perfectly clean but that's part of the character, right.  It shows it's age.

I had recently bought a book of scrapbooking paper from Micheal's on sale.  I cut the paper to the size of my frame and then tried to use double-sided tape to tape the key to the paper.  The tape held up for a few hours but wouldn't be a permanent solution so I got out my trusty glue gun and glued the key to the paper.  That should hold it.  I tried to put the key in the frame with the glass covering but it would not fit so I just removed the glass and here you go:

A little memento to hang on our wall to commemorate our first home together :o)

Once I get all the pictures together and things arranged I'll be sure to post some of those photos of our gallery wall.