That Time I Painted Upholstery…

We’ve had these set of three chairs that we snagged for free from the very nice people at our bank, of all places, for months. Two of them are meant for Brian’s office, but the third…the third one is all mine (rubs hands together maniacally). The chairs are in great shape, they just have a very 60’s, masculine vibe to them. I’ve used the third chair in almost all the rooms in our house, most currently in our bedroom. We have a weird little nook in our bedroom with Brian’s dresser and one of these chairs fits there nicely too. It really comes in handy when you want to sit and tie your shoes or set the laundry basket in for a couple days…or weeks.

File_000(3)

As most of you know, I’ve been working on our master bedroom and trying to make it feel a little more ‘polished’ and little less ‘hot mess’. Currently this chair is just too brown and orange for my needs. I want to lighten it up a bit and make it feel more rustic/shabby chic and less 60’s office waiting room.

I started by spray painting the wood frame an ivory color. I planned on removing the cushions and covering them in a nice gray, velvet….that was the plan. The bottom cushion cooperated nicely and was super easy to remove with a few screws. The back cushion was not going to come off easily I realized after removing half of the studs. My fear was that I would tear it up too much to be able to re-attach it. I had this problem with the last chairs I re-upholstered. I never could get the backs back on them, so they stayed off. Luckily those chairs didn’t really need the back cushion, but this chair does. It just wouldn’t be comfortable without it.

File_003(2)

Cut to me watching 37-ish tutorials on YouTube about how to paint upholstery. I know…I was skeptical to say the least, but after watching video after video, I felt somewhat confident that I could do it. Worse case scenario, it doesn’t work and I rip out the back cushion and try to recover it.

I bought some acrylic paint (some video tutorials used latex), and some fabric medium. The directions were pretty simple: combine one part paint, one part fabric medium, and one part water. I did about 1/4 cup of each since the area I had to paint was actually pretty small. I chose a medium gray color for my paint because the cushions were pretty dark. I didn’t want to choose a color that was too light and have to paint 10 coats.

File_002(4)

The first coat was scary. I really started to second guess my choices at this point. The paint is pretty runny and it looks a lot like a stain more than a coat of paint. Also it is really important to let your fabric have a full 24 hours to dry in between coats. Another tip that I found weird, but necessary, was to sand the fabric in between coats with a fine sand paper. It sounds crazy, but it really helped the fabric to soften up and feel less stiff.

File_005(1)-002

Luckily after three coats things started to look a lot better. The pattern of the fabric still shows through, so if you don’t like the pattern on your upholstery, this is not a good option for you. Also, the upholstery is NOT as soft as it was originally. Even with sanding between coats, it ends up feeling more like a canvas drop cloth. Still comfortable to touch, just a little more stiff.

File_000(2)-001

After I reattached my cushion, I decided that the ivory paint was too basic and boring.  I just wasn’t feeling it. So I grabbed some gray stain and dry-brushed it all over the wood frame. Then I grabbed a sanding block and roughed up the paint around the edges and the spindles. I love that rustic, well-loved look on this chair.

File_003

I haven’t antiqued much furniture, but I feel like it really works on this chair. I kind of want to find more furniture try it on…(more maniacal hand rubbing).

File_002(1)-001

 

File_006-002

Also, I saw this pillow at the back of the store all the way from the entrance. It was practically screaming at me to take it home with that bold navy and white print. Then I got closer and noticed the blush pink tassels and it immediately went into my cart. And yes, that store was TJ Maxx.

File_002

I have to say, painting upholstery was not something I ever thought I would try, but I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Would I paint a comfy chair that I love to relax in or cozy up and watch a movie in?…Probably not. But it works for a chair we sit in occasionally for a short periods of time. I feel like it adds just enough farmhouse/shabby chic-ness to the bedroom and is a nice contrast to the dark walls and wood trim.

Master bedroom

 

 

 

Advertisements

Reaching The Unreachable

Guys! The wall along the stairs is FINALLY painted and I didn’t die or break any bones!!

So as you know, I’ve been living with an almost finished paint job for weeks (so many weeks that I’ve lost count). We had everything painted except for one spot directly above the bottom 3 stairs. I was desperate to get to that spot, no matter what. We came up with a slight sketchy plan, that kind of freaked us out. It involved cinderblocks and more than one person holding the ladder…and we were not super excited about trying it.

File_004(1)

Luckily, we got rain here…lots and lots of rain. Which gave Brian a day off and led us to heading to Menards. We went in for something completely unrelated to painting, but Brian suggested we peruse the paint isles just in case we were missing some magical answer to our paint problem. We ended up grabbing a few gadgets that I haven’t tried before, but I didn’t have a whole lot of hope that any of them would help me reach the spot.

We grabbed a couple of things, one of them was this little corner roller attachment that goes on an extension pole. I wasn’t too confident about it, but for less than $4, we got it to try. I figured I could use it for future projects at least.

File_001(1)

File_003

It is super lightweight and the shape was perfect for getting into the grooves of the paneling as well as along the quarter round piece of trim that connects our trim and ceiling.

File_004-001

You can see above that I got a couple of spots of paint on the ceiling. One of those spots is actually from our regular roller where I tried to reach and slipped. So only one is from this little corner roller. I will get out the ceiling paint and try to cover those up soon. I plan on taping my paint brush to the extension rod to do so. I used this trick in the pic below to finish up the wall paint in the few spots that the corner roller didn’t get to.

File_006-001

I was super scared to try this with the paint brush, especially around the window trim, but it actually worked great. I definitely didn’t trust myself to get too close to the ceiling with it, but it did a pretty good job of filling in the gaps.

File_005

Sorry for the super blurry Snapchat pic, but I was so dang excited for this moment!

File_001-001

Here is a little less blurry pic of the after. You can still see a few lighter spots where the paint is still wet from my touch up.

File_000-001

I can’t even put into words how happy I am to cross this project off my list! Especially without having to do any balancing acts on the ladder again. I am so happy to get the giant ladder off our stairs where it’s been living for the last couple of months. So far are really happy with the color…which is great, because I am NOT painting in here again for a long, long time.

The Stairwell Is Painted!…Well, Almost.

I know it’s kind of unconventional to share after photos of a project that isn’t really done, BUT  a.) I’m so dang close to being done b.) I don’t know exactly when I will get it done and c.) I may break my neck in the process of trying to finish it, so I figure I better just share it now.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should), then you already know that I started painting the stairwell a few weeks ago. It is the last area of unpainted paneling in the whole house, so I’m really excited to be done with it…you know, almost. I was super unmotivated to get started on it though, because I knew it was going to be a tricky project. I’ve painted a stairwell before in our previous house. It was a pain….and it was nowhere near as steep as this stairwell, so I was really dreading it. I consulted Brian about it and he borrowed a ladder for me and helped me devise a plan to at least get me started. I knew once I got started, I would be heavily motivated to finish.

IMG_2902

IMG_2905

In case you are wondering why we don’t just remove the paneling, our house is 100 years old and the plaster that is behind the paneling is cracked and marked and would be awful to look at and super expensive to fix. So we are keeping it up, and I have to say, I don’t hate it. I quite like the texture it adds, even if it is kind of a pain to paint.

IMG_2897

We used Brian’s dad’s extension ladder, which extends and also folds over into an A-frame ladder. I used it both ways to make my way up the stairs. It was terrifying in some places. I have no problem with heights, but I do have a problem with being at the top of a very tall ladder and it moving on me. So I got as high, and reached as far as I could, but there is still one spot that I can’t quite reach where the ceiling and wall meet above the first few stairs. I can’t get close enough to it without setting the ladder on the actual stairs and I need something that we can put under one half of the ladder to make up the difference in height from the stair that the other half of the ladder sits on…does that make any sense?? So we have a plan, but it sounds super scary and sketchy, so I don’t want to share it just yet until I live to tell the story!

 

So in the meantime, here are some almost after pics. I decided to go with a neutral color, since I have no plans to EVER paint this area again. I used Valspar’s Smoked Oyster which is the same color as in the kid’s playroom. It’s kind of a warm grey beige (greige?). I love how it works with the dark wood trim, but still adds some contrast. It goes with everything so I think we can live with it for a long time…We have to, because I’m not painting in here again…did I mention that already?!

File_000

File_006

File_001

File_002(2)

I love this next picture because I have been DYING to get some sort of window treatment hung on this window along the stairs, but could never reach it. See how much light comes through that window?! It would make the second floor a sauna in the summertime, and I can’t tell you how many birds die because they try to fly through that thing! I’m so excited to have blinds on there and I can actually reach the cord to adjust them, so it has been really awesome the last few weeks with them up.

File_000(1)

File_007(1)

If you are wondering if we are living with a giant ladder on our stairs still, the answer is yes. Yes we are. It’s there just taunting me at this point.

File_003(1)

File_004(1)

So there you have it! An almost after post. I’m loving how much brighter and less busy the walls feel. I feel like the beautiful wood trim is really highlighted now, where as before it sort of got lost with the pattern of the paneling. I still have to switch out the switch plates and need to add some artwork to the walls, maybe, I can’t make up my mind so I’m living with it pretty bare until I decide. Say a little prayer for me while I finish up this last spot, would ya?!

 

 

 

Musical Chairs

I inherited a pair of chairs from Brian’s aunt. I liked them immediately, they are very sturdy and well-made. They have been used in almost every room of our house, but never really had a permanent spot. They’ve been used in our bedroom, Hollis’s room, the office, the hallway, and most currently, our living room. I love that they are light and easy to move around if we have company and need an extra chair, or two, and they are actually really comfortable.

What I don’t love about them, is that they are purple. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE purple. I just don’t have a lot of purple décor happening in our home, so they stick out like a sore thumb. They are bent wood chairs with purple vinyl on the back and seat. I have never repurposed vinyl chairs before, so this is new (scary) territory for me.

IMG_3217

I didn’t have a solid plan when I first began this transformation. As you can see in these pics, I tried gray spray paint first, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I also saw some people that spray painted vinyl on Pinterest. I tried that too. Not a fan of the final look for this particular project so I nixed that too.

I had to bite the bullet and remove the vinyl seat and back, which I was really nervous about because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get them back on.  It took A LOT of work to get the backs off. Like I said, they are very well made chairs, but after a couple hours of staple removing, I got them off. Luckily, the seats came off easily with just a few screws.

IMG_3223

I finally decided on black for the frame. I like black. It’s simple. It’s classic. And lord knows I always have it on hand because I use it on everything.

File_004

Next, it was time to cover the vinyl seats. I chose a simple, tan and black Gingham fabric. I just cut them to fit the seat, then used a spray adhesive to glue the fabric to the vinyl and keep it from shifting. Then I finished it off by stapling the fabric to the underside of the seat.

File_003(1)

As you can see, I didn’t put the back on the seat….mostly because I tore it up too much while trying to remove it, but also because I really like the way it looks without. I did wrap a little twine around the back just to tie in the tan from the fabric and to add a little interest.

File_000(3)

I think they turned out pretty good for my first vinyl chair makeover. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for people who do upholstery. Right now this pair is sitting in our living room until we get a loveseat or something else for this spot. I already have the chairs next spots (I will have to split them up) picked out for when we do get something. They are much easier to place around the house now that they  fit in with our décor!

From Beach to Farmhouse

When I first gave our downstairs bathroom a makeover, I LOVED it. I picked a cheery color and ran some stripes along one wall. It was super cute and I was happy with it. But after sitting (literally) and staring at it for two years, I started to get the itch to change it up a bit.

I have mentioned in the previous post that I am really feeling neutrals lately and that is no lie. After painting our office a dark, dark gray and painting the entry way a nice creamy white, the bathroom really started to stick out like a sore thumb. The bathroom was also starting to take on a more beach-y feel, which is not really what I was going for. Part of the problem is my shower curtain that I fell in love with when I bought it for our first house. I still have all the feels for my octopus shower curtain and want it to stay, but I need to redirect the feel of the room. I’m going for modern farmhouse, not beach.

IMG_0799IMG_0797IMG_0845IMG_0793

Months ago, we hung some reclaimed wood shelves that I made out of wood Brian found on the farm. We love them so much, but the room started to feel a little too busy. There was just too much going on with the bright color and the stripes. I also added some “farmhouse” décor and tried to take some of the “beach-y” elements out, but it still wasn’t quite right. It also made my off white shower curtain look really yellow and kind of dingy.

IMG_3167IMG_3175IMG_3169

I almost didn’t do another accent wall, but I really wanted a background for those shelves that would allow them to ‘pop’ a little more. I used the same dark gray that I used in the office and the upstairs bath, Muted Ebony by Valspar. I just can’t get enough of it! I debated painting the whole room that color, but it’s such a long, narrow space and just one little window of natural light, I decided to go with the creamy, white that I used in the entry way which is right outside the bathroom. I like the way it all flows together.

file_007file_005file_0032file_001

I have to admit I was a little sad to see the stripes go…I worked really hard on those! They did not go without a fight, it took some sanding and elbow grease to get the wall back to a smooth surface. I can still see a few traces of my stripes in certain light (dang it!), but they are mostly just a memory.

I love how all the wood and white pop off that dark gray wall. I also think the octopus shower curtain feels like he goes in the room so much better. He felt a little out-of-place before, but now that gray wall really draws him out. I still plan on adding molding and painting both the closet door and the door to the bathroom black. I think they will add a really nice contrast to that cream wall. I actually CAN’T WAIT to get started on that project, but will probably have to wait until after the holidays…:(

 

Refreshing Neutrals

After living in this old farmhouse for the last few years, I’m finding myself really starting to embrace this whole ‘modern farmhouse’ trend that is happening right now. (Thank you Joanna Gaines, am I right?!) I fought it for a long time, but I just keep gravitating toward it and I figure what better time to embrace this look then when I’m actually LIVING in a FARMHOUSE. You have probably noticed from my last few projects that things are becoming a lot more neutral.

Our entry way has been in need of some TLC for a while now. It is really the only entrance that we use so it gets a lot of traffic. There are scuff marks on the walls and the trim and it was just starting to feel kind of meh in there. I painted it a mint green when we first moved in and had a little accent paint on the walls, but I was ready for something new. Something fresh. It is such a small space, I decided to just go ahead and paint it a nice neutral color to clean it up and brighten the space up a bit.

IMG_1038-001

IMG_0934

These pics were taken right after the I painted in here when we first moved in. Over the years, not much has changed except the door has been painted a dark navy. And that door across from the front door that leads into the office has been removed.

file_0023

I painted the entry with a creamy off-white color. Valspar’s Asiago which I also used in the kid’s bedroom. It looks so much better with that navy door than the mint green did. I also mentioned in my last post that I want to add molding to these doors off the entry and paint them black, so I think this creamy neutral will look great with that.

file_003

I switched out the old mirror to this trio of mirrors to add a little more interest. I couldn’t find the right spot for them in the house, but so far, I like them here. I ended up painting the coat rack hooks black to add a little more contrast. Black spray paint is my BFF lately. I’ve been using it on everything. I also have been trying to add a little greenery to each room in the house. These are faux, but I don’t care, I love them and they are zero maintenance. I ‘planted’ them in these old metal grain elevator buckets that we have scattered around the farm. file_0042

I got that bench a couple of years ago at a flea market for $10. I would still love to find something else for the space, but this serves its purpose for now. I cut off the back and side a bit, because it was just too 80’s country for me. Those hearts on the side still bug me, but not as much now. I also sanded it and roughed up the finish a little to give it more of a rustic look. I would like to find/make a cushion for it, but like I said I really want to find something else for the space, so I haven’t been in a hurry for the cushion.

file_0033

I squared off the chalkboard and made it a bit smaller. I plan on trimming it out with some reclaimed wood. I also plan on adding a wreath to the door, switching out the rug, and changing out the fluorescent light. And of course I still have to freshen up the paint on the trim and get on those black doors!

 

To Fill, or Not To Fill

I feel like I’ve been MIA for a while in blogland, but my baby Bo is getting in four teeth…at the same time. Poor little babe. He’s a tough little guy, but I’m not as tough. He’s been waking up every 2 hours at night for the last month and I’m feeling the lack of sleep. I’m in full on mombie (that’s mom + zombie for those that don’t know) mode and doing super productive things like pouring orange juice in my coffee instead of creamer…

But I digress…I’m actually here to talk about filling up those large empty, or awkward walls in the house.

Our old farmhouse is the opposite of open concept. I know Instagram is full of beautiful pictures of open concept homes where you can see from the front door all the way to the back door. But I have to say, I love that in our house when the playroom looks like a bomb went off in it, I can just pull close the big pocket doors and pretend that the little playroom fairies are behind the door cleaning away while I sit in the living room sipping my oversized glass of Cabernet. Don’t get wrong, there is a good flow, but the rooms in our house are all pretty much separate which makes for a lot of walls to fill up!

Here are a few ways I like to fill up the walls…

file_003

When hanging things on the wall, I like to mix things up. I like hanging simple objects like a rustic, old window. I like the dimension and texture it brings to the room while still being really simple. I also like a small shelf or two where I can easily change things out by just leaning pictures on it, and using small decor that can be rotated out with the seasons or whenever the urge strikes. file_007

Plants in fun containers on the wall are also a new fave of mine. I love a good pop of green and try to incorporate a plant or two…or ten in all the rooms in our house. I feel like they bring a lot of life and energy to a space.

file_0012

And of course there is paint. If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know I love to paint. Like really love it. I used a lovely shade of pink and some painters tape to fill a wall in the playroom with a “playhouse” for Hollis.

IMG_0846

Again, I used some rustic shelves for Bo’s side of the kid’s room. I just love the versatility of it. I can swap things out as he grows and his interests change. I also like to hang things around the shelves to add more interest and create a little “mini gallery wall”.

IMG_0876

I have to say there is just something that really speaks to me about a simple picture hung on a large, empty wall. I struggled with what to hang on Hollis’ side of the kid’s room. I really didn’t want to mimic the other side of the room and have it feel too matchy-matchy. I finally decided to make my own graphic onto two matching frames I had. I love how simple it is, yet it really stands out when it is the only thing on the wall.

I am currently trying to figure out what to do with the large wall space that runs along the staircase. It is such an awkward space to fill! I’ve been looking all over for inspiration. One of my go-to sources of inspiration is Wayfair.com. There is a whole post on decorating a large wall.   It’s a great place to get some ideas when you are stuck on a space or if you just like to look at pretty decor pictures. I especially love the idea of using statement piece, like one of these beautiful starburst mirrors!