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.