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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Inspirado: Perfect Blue Bedding

First off let me just say, I LOVE an all white bed. When I picture my dream bedroom, it has a bed overflowing with fluffy, pillowy, white bedding. As much as it makes my heart go pitter-patter, I also have two small children who love to hang out in our bed and leave all kinds of mystery stains…

Other than painting the walls, buying a bed, and making over the nightstands, this room has kind of been neglected while I focused on other projects.  We have been living with just a plain white duvet insert on our bed for the past three years and I had every intention on finding the perfect white duvet to go over it, but just never really found one that fit the bill. After living with the white comforter every day for a few years and constantly washing and bleaching, I’m starting to realize maybe my white bedding dreams are just not meant to be right now.

I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve shared any current pics of our bedroom, so here is a peek at what’s happening in there right now. I still have a lot to do in this room and I’m hoping the right bedding will be a good jumping off point for everything else. I want this room to have a modern farmhouse feel, as opposed to the blah feeling it currently has.  I’m for sure keeping the bed, paint, and the artwork over the bed, everything else can stay or go.

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I found a pair of plug-in wall sconces that I would love to replace our bedside lamps with. This is the only spot in the room that fits our bed and nightstands, so I wouldn’t mind some more permanent lighting here. It would also free up some much needed space and add some interest to the wall.

 

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My dresser was in the spot where the hamper is, but I recently moved it into the closet. The closet is an awkward, under the stairs closet and my dresser just barely fits but it has helped declutter our room a little bit. Before, it felt like you were walking right into it when you entered the room. The room is small and feels cluttered really easily, so I’m hoping to make it feel a little more open and airy. (I have plans for the this mirror above, and the chair below needs a makeover, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.)

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So…I am now on the hunt for the perfect bedding that compliments our modern bed, but also feels a little bit rustic.  Our bed is a dark gray tweed fabric, and it is the only gray thing in the room, so I would like to incorporate some gray into the bedding or with throw pillows or something.

Here is some of my inspiration so far…I’m leaning more towards the ones with a little beige and ivory in them, but man I like that bold water color one too.

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A Tale of Two Night Stands

I remember finding our night stands on Craigslist when I was pregnant with Hollis. In fact, we picked them up in Springfield, MO on the way home from our babymoon. And the previous owners who we bought them from, were a lovely young couple that we ended up chatting with in their living room for like half an hour. It was love at first sight, they were the perfect height and they had a huge drawer to hold all of our crap. They also had a very mid-century modern vibe that we liked. The only thing we didn’t love was that they had a thin, pale wood veneer that we weren’t crazy about. We easily fixed that with a few coats of charcoal gray spray paint. Of course this was all before I started blogging, so I have no before photos!

Since purchasing these beloved night stands, we have moved to the farm and purchased a new bed. Luckily our nightstands are still the perfect size and height, but the dark gray paint is starting to chip and look worn. And since painting our master bedroom a dark navy (which I still LOVE), the dark gray night stands just sort of disappear into the darkness of the walls.

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I knew I wanted to lighten them up and I wanted to add a little modern farmhouse feel to them while I was at it. The furniture in our bedroom is pretty modern, but since the rest of our house is a little more rustic, I wanted to blend the two together so it makes a little more sense. I had some leftover peel and stick tile from Hollis’ ceiling and thought it would add the perfect amount of ‘rustic’ to the night stands. It also adds a little more durability to the top, I mean it’s made to walk on so it should hold up well, right?! We’ll see.

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I bought some drawer pulls too, but haven’t attached them yet. My only worry about adding the peel and stick tiles to the drawer front, is that it may start to peel away on the sides where we pull the drawers back to open them. I’m going to give them a little time to see if we really need the drawer pulls or not, I really like the look without them, but time will tell if they are practical or not.

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I was a little worried Brian wouldn’t like them, because I made these over while he was away on a business trip…I always seem to make over furniture while he is gone! I think it’s a subconscious thing to keep him from telling me my ideas are totally nuts…Luckily he really liked this makeover (wipes beads of sweat off forehead).

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I just love how they turned out! They pop off that dark wall so much better now and they just feel clean and fresh….almost like brand new night stands.