Wednesday, February 20, 2013

To Restor-A-Finish or not?

I love to refresh, paint and breathe new life into old furniture.  
But I also have an appreciation for pretty wood.  I enjoy having a mix of both painted and finished furniture in my home. I think it adds interest to design. To have an entire house of painted furniture just wouldn't be me.  I was raised to believe you NEVER paint over nice wood, especially when it can be refinished.  But let's be realistic...I hate stripping and refinishing wood. It takes a lot of time and patience.  Two things I don't have. 

I have several pieces of furniture in my home, that has been on the "someday" list.  
You know...Someday, I will strip and refinish it.  
We have been in our home now for almost 9 years...."someday" hasn't come.  

Roger, the owner of Main Street Shoppes where we have our shoppe space and studio, carries a product called Restor-A-Finsh.
 He swears by this stuff.  So last week, I broke down and bought a bottle.
I say broke down like this broke the bank.  Far from the truth.  
It cost me a whole $6.00.  Best $6.00 I have spent in a REALLY long time!  It's simple to use, just wipe on with a rag and wipe off the excess.  It does have a bit of an odor (not my favorite), but so does stripping and refinishing.  It's available in mulitiple colors so I am sure they have one that's perfect for your project.

Now, I will let the pictures speak. I am very impressed!

These are some photos of a large Goodwill desk that Todd and I purchase almost 12 years ago for $20.00.  It was a steal of a deal.  This desk is large and solid wood, including dovetailed drawers and wood drawer dividers. I've thought about painting it, but we built bookshelves around it and painted those white (you will see these in a future post). 
 I like the contrast of the wood against the white.
What a difference you can see here!  
 Half way done!


This table is one of those pieces that most people would want to paint.  And I agree, it would be beautiful painted.  However, I love the wood grain on the top.

It's like a brand new table.
 Same table, just pictures of the legs. Speaking of legs...aren't they sexy?

This is a antique bar we purchased from a garage sale for $10.00, 9 years ago.  
This is still on the list to paint, but for now....Wow!  What a difference!  It's hiding the fact that the veneer at the bottom is all chipped up.'s not perfect, but it's MUCH better! 
Don't you agree?
And in case you don''s a close up!
Now, before you think this stuff is a miracle in a bottle like I was beginning to think. 
 It does have it's limitations.

This is the top of my great grandmothers singer sewing machine.  When this was given to me almost 20 years ago, the top was covered in contact paper.  You know...the wood grain kind.  At some point, I don't remember when, I pulled it off and this is what was underneath.
It's been like this ever since.  It's used as a night stand in our spare bedroom.  It's usually covered in decorative stuff so you don't really see much of the top.  
I decided to take Restor-A Finish to the test!

This is where it met it's match!  
Although, I will admit, It looks TONS better than what it did...
I still need to strip and refinish this one.  
 Dang it!

So to review...
I L-O-V-E this product.  And for $ can't beat it!  

For those of you that want a perfect finish with no blemishes...this probably won't be the answer for you.  To me, that's what gives the piece character. It tells the story of the piece. 

I think it took at least 10 years off most of these pieces; some a bit more.

Think of it like botox for furniture.  It's not a "real face lift", but it a good quick alternative and very inexpensive to boot!  For me, this was about an hour and a half of work, where as stripping a refinishing all of these pieces would have been several WEEKS of work.    
Which I don't have at this point in my life. 

Until "someday" comes, I am ecstatic with the results.
What do you think...worth the $6.00 and a hour and a half?

If you agree and you are local, you can find Restor-A-Finish at Main Street Shoppes in Westfield, IN!  

Ciao for now!
Sunday, February 3, 2013

Re-Upholster With Paint - Tutuorial

Time to dig out that old chair that's collecting dust because you "intend" to one day reupholster it.  Today, we won't be cutting or measuring fabric.  
In fact, you aren't even going to remove the fabric on your chair. 

We are going to reupholster it in paint!  
Not just any paint, but CeCe Caldwell's Chalk & Clay Paint.

Here's how this Goodwill Chair started out!
The fabric was clean with no rips or tears.  Just a bit too "office" looking.  However, the lines of this chair had LOTS of potential.  It just need a little refreshing.

I wanted to paint my wood white, so I started by taping off the wood.  
You can skip this step and paint the entire piece all one color if you choose.
Here comes the fun part!  
Choose your color and start painting.
Remember to really get the paint into the cracks.  
You don't want someone sitting down and seeing the old fabric peeking through the cracks.
Depending on your fabric color, pattern and the paint color you choose, it will take 2 to 3 coats of paint to completely cover.  
The first time I did this, it took 3 coats.  This one only took 2 (approx 1/2 quart of paint).  
I painted right over the brads on this one.  I'll show you how to fix this in a minute.
 Now you can remove the tape.
You could stop here and have a solid colored chair. could stencil on a pattern. can have some real fun, and use this chair as a canvas!  
Start painting your own custom fabric.  That's what I decided to do.
Call it dreaming of spring!  I painted an abstract cherry blossom pattern.  
I mixed up a custom coral color to pair with the Santa Fe Turquoise base. 
(1 cup Kissimmee Orange, 1/2 cup Vintage White, 1/8 cup Traverse City Cherry)
Once you are happy with your pattern (if you choose to do one), if you had brads on your chair, grab a damp rag and start rubbing the paint off the brads.  It's not going to be perfect.  There will still be some paint in the cracks. I'm OK with this. 
 If you're not, well, you might be there a while cleaning.
Here you can see where I have cleaned and where I haven't.

 Now, paint the wood in the color or your choice.  I chose, Simply White. 
I wanted a clean crisp look.  No distressing!
Let your chair dry overnight (to make sure the fabric is completely dry) and apply two coats of Satin Finish (undiluted) to the ENTIRE chair; Yes...fabric and wood.  Let the first coat dry completely before applying your second coat.
 You are done!  You now have a one of a kind chair (kid and pet friendly) and you didn't have to pull a single brad to make it happen.  
AND...who wants to pull ALL those out?  
Not me!

Let's recap...
Before and After.
Ready to paint?

Ciao for now!