Monday, April 9, 2012

Going where few paints have gone before

There are lots of reasons being an adult is great. One of my favorite things is that you can do things that kids want to do, but aren't allowed to. Like eat cookies for dinner, or paint on furniture. I have done both in the last month or two. Want to guess which one I did last week? Here's a hint. The first picture is what our living room looked like 9 days ago. This is what our living room looked like two hours ago.

Notice anything different? If you guessed "the fireplace is turned off," you're only partially right. (If you thought "they should really be better about folding their throw blankets," well, yes. That too.) BUT... the point is, there was a pink chair and now it's blue and NO I have not begun my long-talked-about foray into furniture upholstery.

After some testing, then getting fed up about the process taking too long, I decided to paint the chair. With paint. House paint. Behr house paint, because I had some midnight blue lying around. I toyed with an assortment of options, viewed here:

These options included acrylic paint, permanent marker (I briefly entertained the idea of buying out Office Max's whole supply of blue Sharpies), and a combination of polyester and cotton dyes. I landed on a watery mixture of Behr Midnight Dream and fabric or textile medium.

I soaked the chair and did two coats of paint, really working the paint into the fabric with a brush. The first two coats took three hours each. Here's with one coat, looking plummy:
And with the second coat... still a little blotchy.
The third coat was the charm. This I decided to sponge on, and it took about half as long as the other two coats. I just used a regular household sponge and got my hands very painty. Here's the before:
And after, back in its home:Now, to be clear, this chair was never going to win any awards for world's most comfy chair. And it's sure not going to win them now, with its new stiffer finish. But it's not that uncomfortable, and whatever loss of comfort suffered is well worth the coinciding loss of pinkness. Maybe someday I'll change the upholstery to something less stuffy than the sort-of flame print/texture. In the meantime, I'm feeling quite pleased with this little experiment.

Soon to come, a reupholstered YELLOW ottoman to infuse some much-needed color into the room. This and my largest shot at modern art to date (a 3' by 4' faux Rothko for over the fireplace) make up my weekend plans, and I am pretty jazzed about it!

P.S. Don't you love the rug? Hit a sale and used a coupon at World Market and got a great deal on that. Hopefully the ivory won't make me too neurotic.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Of things to come

We've been out of our apartment and completely in our house for almost two weeks now. Naturally, we moved during Central Oregon's ONLY snowstorm so far this season. Bone-dry weather bookended the four days we spent moving. Those four days featured tons of snow that plugged the storm drains, rain that flooded the streets and "fell" horizontally because of the crazy wind, iced-over roads and very chilly temps.
Have to get rid of that storm door soon...I am worried the HOA is going to yell at us for leaving it open all the time.

But we're all moved in now and it feels like we've been there all along. I have been developing plans and plotting with the fervor of a mad scientist. It has been absolutely beyond fantastic. Especially after I discovered this free furniture plans website and nearly lost my mind with giddiness. I am going to build SO MANY THINGS it's ridiculous.

I've also starting purchasing my anniversary present: an assortment of tools. (Happy 5 years, Todd! Our anniversary was in December.) Last weekend, I picked out a sliding chop saw and a small air compressor with a nail/staple gun. Pictures to come soon. Especially action shots.

This weekend, we're in Medford to pick up some of the rest of our stuff and furniture. In preparation for this, I bought a hitch cargo tray (which I have been thinking of and referring to as my "mini trailer") and intend to bring A LOT of stuff back to Bend using it. It's pretty big: it extends two feet behind my car and is five feet wide. Plenty of space for my wing chairs. I hope. We shall see.

I can't wait to post pictures of what the place looks like partially furnished and what I'm going to be up to. This house is going to be a wonderful thing.