Painting Upholstered Furniture (easiest DIY ever)

Painting upholstered furniture DIYA few months ago a very nice coworker found out we had literally no furniture except a bed, table, and dresser. He gave us two chairs, a coffee table, and a TV stand that he and his wife weren’t using anymore. The white chairs had been used by their adorable dogs, so naturally they were looking a little worn. I was just grateful to have something to put in our living room so I threw blankets over them and made loose plans to reupholster them.

After reading about how to reupholster a chair, I knew I could do it but I also knew it could be expensive, especially if I made any mistakes. The blankets stayed and I kept the idea in the back of my mind for a day when we had more cash to spare.

And then a wonderful thing happened. I was on Pinterest for work (promise, look at my services page, it’s a thing) and I found a DIY for painted upholstery. Later, on my own time, I found lots of confusing and scary and unclear and mildly helpful blog posts. I decided to take a few things from each one and just do it.

Good news: it worked! More good news: I love these chairs!

Supplies:
1 squeegee
2 8oz bottles of Martha Stewart Crafts Vintage Decor Paint in Matte Chalk Finish (per chair)
1 spray bottle
2-3 sizes of sponge brushes
Sandpaper

Time:
2-3 hours plus 24 hours before they are sit-able again
(Don’t worry! You will not be painting the whole 2-3 hours. This includes drying time between coats.)

Warning: this is very easy. You might want to paint all of your furniture after this.

  1. Mix water in with the paint. It should be about a 1/1 ratio but it’s not a huge deal as long as you’re consistent each time you mix the two.
  2. Squirt the chair with water. Thoroughly. Don’t soak it but make sure it’s damp before you paint it.
  3. Paint. Paint your heart out. My husband read that you should paint in circles, and I admit his work looked better than mine. So paint in circles.
  4. Let the first coat dry for 30 minutes.
  5. Paint again. Make sure you’re still squirting the chair as you paint.
  6. Let it dry for 30 minutes.
  7. Paint again if it needs another coat. If not, wait an hour.
  8. Sand it down. This is what makes the fabric feel like indoor fabric again.
  9. Wait 24 hours.
  10. Admire your hard work. Tell all of your friends. Bask in the glory as they tell you how cool you are. Invite them over and notice you missed a spot.

Life Lately

Wow, it’s been quite a trip! Ups and downs, good and bad. It feels like it’s almost ALL happening right now.

We moved 1,200 miles, got married, and didn’t have a home for a month, just to give you a nice surface level idea of the craziness that’s been our life 🙂

I want to be able to do this more, just sit down and devote time to creativity. Speaking of which, I made the header when I was just certain I would pass out from overexertion (that’s real, isn’t it?). I was at work, stressed out and bummed that I felt like I had no control over my life. I scribbled the words down with no thought. I ended up kinda liking it. I like that attitude better than the one I had, that creativity was a choice or something people bragged about. I’ve realized lately that it could be those things, but for me it’s a necessity. It’s like it’s something flowing in my veins, programmed into my DNA. It is my outpouring. Stuff goes in, and that comes out. I don’t know why, but I’m glad it does. I tend to keep things to myself because I’m not one for being criticized, and I talk myself out of almost everything I come up with on my own. What a shame, huh? Well, even though my brain says “what if someone sees this?” or “wait until you complete and perfect that idea” my soul seems like it can’t take being held back anymore.

So hi. Here’s a wedding picture. Hope to see more of you because this is happening now.

lace wedding dress
By Mollie Costley Photography

Inspired

Image
“Escape from the Mundane” Photo of a friend, taken by me.

My heart aches to do something beautiful.

I long to do something important.

I am desperate.

I get so caught up in the “have to” and forget about the “get to”. It leaves me tired, pissed off, and unsure of what I’m supposed to be doing. A long list of tasks or the freedom for discovery in hours without need for productivity?

I hope soon there will be a balance of both.

Also, I just have to share the wealth of inspiration that is Michelle Gardella’s blog. I read through the earliest archives just out of curiosity and it was JUST what I needed. At that time, she was in a similar spot, trying to figure out her way and her business. That’s me right now.

Exploration: Interior Color and Lighting

Photo from: http://design-4-lessblog.com/2010/04/21/recycled-leather-tiles/
Photo from: http://design-4-lessblog.com/2010/04/21/recycled-leather-tiles/

Commercial spaces have the widest variety of people coming through them. All of these people have physical, mental, and emotional needs. Although most of them may not realize it, color can play a huge part in whether or not they feel that these needs are being met. To further explore and observe the use of color in commercial spaces and the way it makes people feel, I visited some commercial locations. Starbucks surprised me the most!

This is a place I, like most Americans, am familiar with. I went through the drive through every day in January to get my free coffee and I spent many hours there during the months that I didn’t have any other way to access the internet. It’s safe to say I know this brand. If you had asked me what colors are used in the space before I visited for this purpose, I would’ve answered correctly, but I was surprised at how little color they actually use. The color palette is full of dark neutrals. There is a lot of brown, a lot of wood, and some grey. The only true color is a rich burgundy that spans across the back wall in the baristas’ work space.

When I walk into Starbucks, I feel calm, warm, and ready to drink coffee. It feels luxurious. I noticed that I am more likely to order a fancier drink if I walk inside, while if I go through the drive through my mind is on the cheapest, most effective option: drip. My theory is that this is the purpose of the use of colors. They designed it to make you want to drink coffee… expensive, delicious coffee. How convenient! These people know exactly what they are doing. They are trying to appeal to the younger crowd that has grown up with the acceptance of four dollar cups of coffee, like me, but also to my father’s generation, people that have been working hard for years and have found an escape in the warm community that Starbucks seems to foster. My father loves Starbucks like no one else I know. He goes there every single day. The baristas know him, his friends, and they know all about me. So what is it that Starbucks does to make the place feel like a sort of home to both a young person and someone who is nearing sixty years of age? A big factor is the lighting. To me it feels dark, safe, and comfortable. I was surprised to see that it is actually a fully lit space. In addition to floor to ceiling windows on two of the four walls, there are lights everywhere. They are stylish, non-fluorescent lights, but bright lights nonetheless. I never would have noticed this if I hadn’t visited for this purpose. The use of so many rich colors tones the lights down so well that I didn’t even notice they were there. Well done, Starbucks.

For me and my dad, and for many other Americans, Starbucks makes us feel happy and comfortable. This makes sense, as the colors used are widely accepted as being associated with warmth and happiness. Not only does this contemporary space meet our physical needs, but our emotional ones as well.