Posts tagged ‘furniture refinishing’

A Chair for Elton

Dumpster chair getting a coat of spray paintThis is the before and after of the chair I saved from the dumpster.  It wasn’t a true ‘dumpster dive’ since, technically, the abandoned chair was sitting next to the dumpster.  But, it was a classic salvage and refinish project.  I could not make up my mind on which direction to take this.  I toyed with keeping the original seat color (mauve) which was in good condition.  I pulled out all my seat fabrics and kept putting together likely pairs like similar color schemes (pink to mauve and avocado to olive) which were just ho-hum.  I have a ton of red velvet so I contemplated going with a red seat and a white chair, like the Queen’s throne in Alice in Wonderland.  But, then I stumbled across this crazy tiger print canvas fabric in orange and hot pink.  I’ve never put it to use, but I have yards of it.  Since I only have the single chair, I thought it could really be loud and be a stand-alone accent piece for someone REALLY daring or maybe for a funky hair salon type atmosphere.  Anyway, the refinishing was short and sweet.  Here’s the quick breakdown:

  1. BEFORE

    Removed broken pieces

  2. Tightened and reglued connections
  3. Reinforced weak leg and arm joints
  4. Applied sandable wood filler on ding-ed areas
  5. Lightly sanded
  6. 1 can gray acrylic spray primer
  7. 1 can Krylon Bauhaus Orange acrylic spray
  8. Power staple gunned new fabric on seat
chair refinishing project

AFTER!

So glad I took the time to put on a new seat fabric.  I HIGHLY recommend investing in a power staple gun if you plan to refinish.  It is so much more pleasurable to work with than the manual gun.  I regret using a grey primer as a base.  The white primer was more expensive, but would have given me a crisper orange color.  The Krylon Bauhaus Orange is lovely, but pretty sheer.  OK, hope you like it as much as I!  It will go into my new booth space 37A at Antiques & Things 4710 Central Ave.  Oh, my Chinese Vanity sold for full price from the consignment shop–whohoo!

February 23, 2011 at 4:54 am 6 comments

Painting the Dragon on the Vanity

Here is the first how-to on the vanity.

1.  I have painted the vanity with a Krylon acrylic paint in Banner Red.  The surface is clean.

preparing work area2.  I gathered inspiring images from Google.  Search for keywords that interest you and print out your favorites.  Print out for reference.  If you’re not comfortable free-handing, you can print out images  full scale so that they print on several pieces of paper and seam them together with tape.  Rub chalk on the back and trace from the front onto your surface to transpose chalk guidelines to your tabletop.  I took my favorite elements from several images to get a Dragon and Phoenix I liked.  Have your image respond to the edges of the table top.  My beasts curl around the curves of the desk.

image showing colored pencil outline

3.  I’m using a basic black acrylic paint found at any craft/art supply store.  You can use the 99¢ bottles of crafting acrylic or the thicker tubes.  The crafting acrylic should get a less-dimensional image.  The tube paint will leave raised ridges and brush strokes.  I liked this effect since it really told you the desk was hand-painted.  Pour a little paint into a small bowl.  Keep adding water and mix paint into water until you get an inky look.  Leave some paint unmixed in the bowl so you can vary the viscosity of your paint.

image applying paint4.  Use a long narrow brush.  I like the stiffer bristles of an acrylic brush so that I can vary the width of the stroke by adjusting the pressure on the brush.  I wanted to imitate the brush-stroke kanji of the collage paper.

image of progressive painting5.  Continue filling out the details.  Begin to layer in the thicker paint on the meatier areas if you want to give the paint some dimension.  Be aware that you will be working over a large area, so you may want to start on the area furthest from your hand (I obviously didn’t do this).  I don’t rest my hand on the surface, so it’s not as big an issue for me.  But, you don’t want to accidently run your hand through the wet paint.

image showing longer brush strokes6.  Wait until you’ve developed your comfort with the brush strokes before you tackle the longer major outlines.  I definitely developed a technique and style as I went along.  Don’t be too afraid to make mistakes.  Leave a moist rag around to quickly wipe up any strokes you don’t like.  Dry the area thoroughly before repainting to avoid bleeding or feathering.  The acrylic tends to sit on the surface until it’s sealed, so you can even wash off dried paint for the most part.

more progress painting7.  Invest in textures and details.  I really liked the feathered texture on the scales.  It took a while, but really took it from a craft project to a work of art.  That being said, I also left some areas very loose and interpretive.

image of finished painted tabletop

8.  Shot of the completed top.  The acrylic dries extremely fast.  Once the thickest parts have dried, take it outside and put  several clear coats of acrylic spray paint.  Do not use lacquer as it can cause wrinkling.  If you plan to collage, you’ll apply more coats of sealer on top of the collage work and will probably have to recoat the top as well to prevent the dusty look of overspray.

This process can be applied to any theme you choose!

 

 

November 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm 1 comment

Red Chinese Phoenix Vanity

Vanity after closeupOK, I’m just too sleepy to come up with a pun-y title this morning.  If anyone wants to comment with a suggested title, I’m all ears.

This article is a continuation of the article “who says vanity is a bad thing?!

Well, here it is, the big reveal!  This is the $3 yard sale vanity I adopted months ago.  I actually finished the rehab a few weeks ago, but I have such an extensive set of after photos, I’ve been putting off posting.  I plan to include a series of articles on the how-to on this one.  But for now, just the fun stuff.

I prepped the vanity by cleaning, sanding and removing all the hardware.  I didn’t bother taping off the mirror.  I just thought I would scrape off the spray paint with a razor blade when I was done, but that was harder than I thought.  The spray paint really set and adhered much better to the glass of the mirror than I would have imagined.  If I did it over again. I would insert several pieces of plastic paper between the mirror and the frame and tape them down for a clean and easy finish. I sprayed on a white acrylic primer.  It was so pretty in that stage, I wish I took a picture.  Red paint is particularly sheer, so it was important to start with a white primer to insure a bright cherry red finish.  I used Krylon Banner Red.  It was very affordable at Walmart.  I think it took 4 bottles, but there were several places where I had to refinish due to bubbling of the finish coat.   I finished with 2 coats of a high gloss lacquer spray paint.  It did bubble in a couple of places, but I think it was due to the fact that I had left it in the sun and was spraying on a hot surface.

vanity detail dragon

vanity detail topOnce the base coat of red was complete, I hand painted the Phoenix and Dragon on the top surface using watered down acrylic paints.  I sketched it out using a light color colored pencil first and printed lots of online images to inspire and create my  own compilation of the icons.  I’ll do a step by step post on that painting in a later post.  This part was so fun.  After the top was complete, I went to the paper store (see article “Papers!“) you recommended to find a red a black paper.  I found a very inexpensive toothy tissue paper with a screened kanji pattern on it that was perfect.  I decoupaged the paper onto the vertical surfaces of the unit.  This step was really fun, too.  It was so fun, I decided to line the drawer for a special surprise inside.

vanity detail decoupage

I took process photos of the decoupage, so I will post those later, too.  I painted the hardware black and hit those with a durable clear coat of glossy spray paint.  I reattached the hardware and she was ready to go!

vanity drawerI converted a country looking stool to use as a seat.  It had a great asian profile.  I’ll post about that separately.

Sadly, I left the vanity outside under my pop-up tent for one day (intending to deliver to the furniture store the following day) and a gust of wind came and knocked the tent over crushing my newly finished vanity.  The mirror is broken and two of the legs are busted.  I kind of feel like the universe does not want anyone to ever use this vanity.  It currently sits in my shed, legless once more.  I plan to replace the two broken legs with legs from the local Habitat for Humanity Restore, a great resource for hardware and some furniture parts.  But, it was a really fun project and at least I got pictures of it before it was mangled.

Vanity Before

$3 is cheap for the cost of beauty.

vanity after

Vanity After

vanity after front

vanity after front view

vanity after detail 1

vanity after detail 1


September 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm 3 comments

Papers!

image of origami chandelierI finally got around to visiting the paper store you recommended. It was heavenly. Delicate hand screened printed sheets hung neatly from the wall. Prices ranged from a couple of dollars to $25+. Lots of inspiring crafted paper products and accessories drew me through the store. I lingered on the sealing waxes and seals plated in gold and silver glistening like pirate’s treasure. I basked in the soft pastels of the ceiling covered in various delicate tissue paper items. I was mesmerized by the giant cascading origami chandelier.  But I was on a mission.

image of paper umbrellas and lanterns hanging from the ceilingI was looking for some red and black paper to finish a hush hush project. I was hoping to be overwhelmed by options, but there were really only two. I walked away with a beautiful red textured tissue paper with black Kanji scrawled across it creating a wonderful graphic pattern. I’ll be using it as a decoupage accent on a furniture piece. I’ll take step by step photos, so I hope I don’t mess this one up! More photos of paper store to follow when I’m not on the road!

Sean Wells via iPhone

August 6, 2010 at 2:02 am 3 comments

cheap fabrics with modern prints

Spotted at Walmart today @ $1.50/yd, cotton and poly fabrics in cute modern prints. Great for pillows or curtains. Generally too light for upholstery. Also selling $5/5yd bolts in some interesting fabrics.

~ Sean via iPhone

July 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm 1 comment

an oldie revisited

Image of repainted bureau

While visiting my crafty companion in DC (featured in ‘feed me seymore!’ article), I got to spend a moment with one of my early refinishing projects.  This bureau was actually being thrown away on what we Alexandrian’s refer to as “Big Trash Day,”  a mecca for cheapskates and do-it-yourselfers.  We would find everything from bicycles to swings, benches, couches, and anything else you might want to sit on.  I even once found a knock-off Eames office lounge chair!  Well-to-do doctors, lawyers and politicians would use the city’s yearly front yard oversized trash pickup offer to unload their half-finished projects by simply dragging them to the curb.  It was a great tradition for the people with more time than money to gather in cars, trucks and vans in the dark with flashlights in hand and patrol the streets of Del Ray for goodies.  We used to do the stroll in my old mustang with the top down, heat blasting and hot chocolates in hand.  We’d nod knowingly at fellow scourers and sometimes share some hot spots.  We would fill my ride until it was bursting with furniture and we looked like some urban Santa Claus in our modern sleigh.  We’d spend the next few weeks restoring what we could.  Great memories.

This bureau was a fun project.  It was painted with three different color cans of leftover spray paint which meant I didn’t have enough of any one color to paint the whole thing.  I love the sea-loving shades.  I was worried how the painted metal pulls would hold up, but they looked great.

It was actually this object that brought Audrey Anne and I together.  I put it out at a yard sale and she bought it, after lavishing me in compliments (no bigger compliment than buying the thing).  It kicked off a wonderful relationship started from love of crafting and growing into a truly meaningful friendship.  She uses it as a catch all, but has a secret compartment that holds an old record player and records that she will, upon request, play for guests who are in the know.

Anyway, I love this idea, to use the natural breaks of the furniture and use it to play with color.   It’s hard to go wrong with the colors.  Just stay away from anything that could be mistaken for a football fan color set.  ~Sean

July 17, 2010 at 4:26 am 2 comments

i see a white light…

candle sconces before

BEFORE

I love these quick little projects to get my craft fix while boys are jumping on the trampoline.  They are finally at an age where they are enjoying seeing transformations of projects, too!  So, I picked up these wrought iron candle sconces at a yard sale for the bargain price of $1 for the pair!  At the same yard sale, I walked away with a box of 25¢ spray paint cans.  I could hardly wait to get home and paint those candle holders.  I toyed with several colors, but eventually decided their feminine shape insisted on being white.  It took a full can of  both primer and paint to cover them because they had so much surface area.  I put a good coat of acrylic sealer to top them off.  I found a six pack of ’emergency candles’ at the Dollar Store.  I wrapped them in colored paper to give them some contrast for the photo.  I hung them using ribbon on my son’s headboard for contrast and he was VERY disappointed they weren’t staying there.

candle sconces painted white

AFTER

So excited to report I just successfully dropped off several pieces at the furniture consignment store!  They priced the cream-orange-chrome chair at $100 and the Broadway bench at a whopping $150!  The candle holders were impressively marked at $30.  My cut will be 50% of final sale price.  Finger’s crossed!    ~Sean

July 16, 2010 at 6:10 am 2 comments

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