Friday, October 26, 2012

Painting Furniture fabric... yep, painting fabric...

**So I'm sure you've seen this already on Pinterest (as found from the website here) but this is MY experience with painting furniture fabric... and the AWESOME results I got!**
 When I first joined the wonderful website known as "Pinterest", my life became complete and I spent a solid 8-10 hours on it (ok more like 3-4, but still) and pinned absolutely ANYTHING that caught my eye.

Most of this stuff has just sat on my boards, but nothing really reached out, grabbed me, and said "YOU MUST DO THIS IMMEDIATELY"... that was until I pinned a "fabric painting technique" found here.

I thought the idea of taking a old craigslist/garage sale find and painting it would be something fun and different, although slightly scary/terrifying at the same time (seriously, who PAINTS fabric?!).  I had kept my eyes open on craiglist and well as my local "g-and-e sales" ("garage" and "estate"... its how we reference it in the hood... thug M-street style. Word.)

Either things were too pricey (paying $40 for a chair?! Psh, they are out of their mind!) or not really my style... As always, it was my last sale of the day a few weeks ago when I passed these two beauts in a drive-by (I like to case the joint before actually stopping... ... ... this post is turning gangsta quick).
As you can probably tell from the picture, they were dirty, gross, and stained (I was hoping the red stuff was either ketchup or wine... not blood), but over all in tact.

When I went to ask how much they were, the very nice gay guy told me, "$10 each or $15 for both"... Bonus point for buying from two gay guys - It made me believe the red stain was 100% wine...

I "hmm"ed and "haaa"ed over it for a while (like $7.50 a chair was WAY out of my price range), when the other guy comes up and said "Oh for heaven sakes, look at her hair! You know I have a thing for blondes! $10 for both if you take them away"... Compliment and offer accepted.

I got them home and Chris was a little less than thrilled.  I had been promising him FOREVER (aka. many months) that I would find him two manly chair for his new "Man room" in the sunroom/my former office.  Something dark, leather, and reclining... two velvet, stained, high wingback chairs from a gay couple wasn't really what he was thinking.  Alas, I told him to trust me and if he didn't like them, it would only be a $10 experiment.

The next day, I broke out the fabric/furniture cleaning machine that we hijacked from Chris's parents and went to town cleaning these bad boys.  **I will spare you the details of the color of the water while cleaning, but just know that after 3 rounds, it still wasn't perfect**

After everything was said and dry, it was time to bring them in and begin my experiment.  (Chris loves it when I do projects in the house... LOVES. IT... just ask him...)

I kept my computer open to the original site and followed the directions as listed.

1. Assembled my supplies
- 1 quart latex satin paint
- 1 spray bottle full of water
- 1 paint brush (one that I didnt mind beating up a bit)
- fabric medium (found back with the acrylic paint at Joann's/Michaels, etc)... get the big 8oz size... I started WAY too small and had to go back to the store a LOT!
- high grit sandpaper (I used 160 grit)
The original website (again, found here) used a mix of acrylic paint as well but for my little project, I just wanted to used regular latex satin paint
I started on one of the cushions, just in case things didn't work out. (Who am I kidding?! It was a $5 chair... was I going to save it if it was a flop? Probably not)
Chris's My color selection was Bronzed Ivy by Glidden
Chris DID end up approving the color
 Step #1 was to mix 1 part paint with 1 part fabric medium... I used a plastic spoon to make sure my 1:1 measurement was accurate.  After everything was mixed, you then add equal 1 part water.
  I was a little scary at first because it was so thin, but the original post assured me that's how it should look (watery soup?)

Per the instructions, I gave my cushion a heavy spray down with my bottle, crossed my fingers, toes, eyes, braided my hair, and began to paint.

Not too bad!
 The spray bottle really helps the paint distribute evenly on the fabric and use less paint/fabric medium mix than I thought I would need.

Next step... the big chair.
It looks a little better after being cleaned 45x, right?! Blood Wine stained be damned!
 Not gunna lie... this process takes a while... and there is a LOT of getting up to mix more paint, fabric medium, and water... I suggestion making big cups each at a time using a measuring cup (if you have an extra one laying around you don't mind throwing away after).

Here is a good side by side view of the original fabric and the painted side with its 1st coat... be sure to paint with the grain of the fabric... Up and down worked best for me.
 After finishing the entire chair, I got excited (YAY!) but then exhausted (Aww) when I remembered I was doing TWO chairs instead of one... for the sake of this post, I'm just going to show you the updates on one since you don't need to see everything twice.

I let the chairs dry overnight (as per the instructions) and was happy with the results in the morning. It wasn't hard or harsh at all... and some parts that were a little rough, I smoothed over with the fine grit sandpaper. 
 It didn't flake off or anything... just allowed it to be a little smoother.

After wiping it down... I used the same mixture as coat #1 and applied coat #2.

Here is the side by side with coat #2 on the right.
It looks lighter just because its wet.
 After two coats, I was liking what I saw!
 Letting it dry again overnight, I did the same thing the next day with the sand paper.
 This time there were a few more rough areas...but nothing too bad.

The next step was coat #3... slightly different mixture... 1 part paint, 1 part fabric medium, tiny, little amount of water.  It will look like sludge compared to the first two coats, but don't worry.  The 1st two coats hardened up the fabric and made the surface a LOT easier to paint...

DONT FORGET TO KEEP USING THE SPRAY BOTTLE BEFORE PAINTING! I forgot this a couple times and not only did it suck up a ton of my paint, but it didn't go on as smoothly.. EACH COAT (#1, #2 AND #3) needs to have the fabric sprayed down before painting. Do it area by area.

Low and behold... 4 days after starting, our living room looked like this...
(insert minor paint spills, cleaning, and small little husband wife arguments here... "but honey, I'm making this for YOU!!"
 I gave everything another buff with the sandpaper and was thrilled with my results.
 Its not a velvet material anymore by a long shot, but it feels more like canvas... not uncomfortable at all!

Oh, one of the things I WILL mention is to buy a LOT of fabric medium...
 Yes, I was doing two chairs, but I still seemed to use up a lot of this stuff (I completely bought out one Joann's and had to make two additional trips to one across town).  Better to get it and have extra then have to drive to the store in the middle of a project.

To add a little bling-bling to my chair, I enlisted the help of some $1.30 Home Depot upholstery nails
Since I was going for an antique-y look, I chose an antique brass finish.
The original site used nail head detail around the front of the arms, so I thought that would be a good place to try mine as well.  I measured out the length with a string so I would know exactly how far apart to place my nails.
Measured out to be just over 20" inches
I think this is pretty standard for wing-back chairs, if you want to use my measurements.
I decided to do 1 nail for every 2-inches for a total of 10 nails per arm.

I cut a little piece of paper and reenforced it with tape to use as my measurement guideline.
Once all nails we in place, this is how she he looked...
Not enough of a statement for me. Too spread out.

But the good thing about measuring everything before hand was that it made it super easy just to put another nail in between each one and still come out even.
Much better!

Here's how it looked with both arms done.

Dont get me wrong, it looks great... but still could use a little more dressing up...

Soooo I decided to do the sides as well.
Since I already had my 2" measuring paper/tape thingie made, I decided to do the same 2" first, then go back and add another in between each one.

After all was said and done...
Knowing Chris wanted them out of the living room ASAP, I cleaned up our sunroom and put the bad boys into place.
The pillows were a HomeGoods find (only took me 4 trips to find ones I liked) and the little table/cubbie is another g-sale find that I made over...I will tell you all about next week (spoiler alert: it was only $5)
It was a bright day out when I was taking these pictures, which is why everything looks a little washed out, but they really do look awesome and I love how the color matches the rug.
One more side view for the nail head detail...
And, the ever so popular before and after picture...
Here is a pricing breakdown too:
- $10 chairs
- $8.77 latex paint
- $2.99 paint brushes
- $1.99 spray bottle
- $16.00 fabric medium (3 - 8oz bottles $7.99 each + Joann's 50% off coupon... 4 - 2oz bottles $1.99 each with 50% off Joann's coupon)
- $13.10 Decorative Upholstery Nails (10 packages of 20pc... 5 packs per each chair)
- $25.98 Pillows ($12.99 each)
$78.83... that's less than $40 a chair!!!

We have sat in them a couple times now (we will a LOT more once the TV is installed in the sun room and we start using this room more) and where the chairs aren't perfect, they are a great fit.  The fabric is seeming to loosen a little and not be quiet as stiff as when it was first painted and we have had NO problems whats so ever about the paint coming off on clothes or anything else (that's what the fabric medium was for).

If you have any comments or questions about them or the process, I would be more than happy to answer!

I hope you like em as much as I do! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Downton Abbey Season 3 - online links

So apparently I struck a cord with y'all... not housing updates... not painting furniture... but Downton Abbey, Season 3.
original image from here
Its awesomely refreshing to know that I am not the only one out there screaming at the TV, "BUT WHAT ABOUT MR. BATES?!"... "Poor Edith, everyone hates her"... and "Ok will Matthew and Mary just hook up already?!"... because, seriously, I love these people.
image here
If you havent started watching Downton Abbey, I highly recommend trotting over to RedBox and starting with Season 1.  Give it 2 episodes and you will be hooked.

But, for those of you who are already on the Downton Abbey wagon, I thought I would share to you my secrets of getting Season 3 (now airing in the UK) online.

Technically, its not airing in the US until January, but I am extremely impatient (one of Chris's favorite qualities) so with the help of the Downton Abbey facebook page and from doing a little trial and error, I have found the best way to watch Season 3 online with the rest of the world just like God intended.

step 1:

step 2:
click on the blue button "View all search results"

step 3:
select the first one... source marked ""

step 4:
"Click play to view video in new window"... it will open up another window

step 5:
look past the ad and click "continue to video"... this will also cause another ad window to pop up... just close out of that window

step 6:
you should be able to see the screen... there will be a big red button on the screen but thats just an ad box... you should see an "x" just to the top right of it... click that to exit the ad then see the greyish "play" button underneath it...

I recommend starting it, then immediately stopping it to let it catch up with itself a little.

You can continue to use this same formula for the rest of the episodes (I believe last week was episode 5) and so far, it has always worked for me.

You don't HAVE to use "" but I also like to use "vidvixen" or "sockshare"... they always seem to work for me.  Try and stay away from ones from "cbsnews" or "pbs" because they will just take you to news and the official website.

I also know there are a lot of ads you have to "x" out of, but its a small price to pay to keep with the latest and greatest at Downton Abbey.

So there you have it! I would love to know if everything works for you guys! You can either comment or write me directly through my "Contact Us" if you have a specific question.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Small Lil' update: Chris LOVES when I do projects in the house...

Again, I promise I've not given up on this blog....

Hi, Hello, yes I'm still here...Lurking in the shadows trying to keep up with my full time job (that I seriously LOVE!!), keeping the house some-what in order, being a good wife and dog mom, and all the while balancing Parks and Rec, New Girl, Once Upon a Time, 666 Park Avenue and illegally downloading season 3 of Downton Abbey from the UK.

Chris and I also have some exciting news to share (No, we aren't pregnant), but some BIG changes are coming to the house and we are stupid with excitement to share with y'all.

As soon as I find time in between taking the boys on a walk and the commercials of The Mindy Project, I will fill everyone in.

In the mean time, please enjoy the current view of our living room...
Yes, I am attempting a personal Pinterest challenge and painting (yes, PAINTING) two wingback chairs.  (And might I say; any wife looking to impress their husband with their DIY skillz should definitely set up shop in their living/tv room.  Chris loves it and has been totally encouraging.  He even thinks the impromptu trash bag drop clothes really class up the place and suggests I should start doing all my projects inside.  He especially loves finding little drops of paint on the hardwood and smiling ear to ear for my unique creativity... ... .... ... ... ... ... ...)

As soon as I finish them up (today? tomorrow? by the intro of Modern Family?) and get them in their final home, Chris's blood pressure will drop 50 points I will have a fun post all about it, including the awesome before and afters.

Have you guys ever attempted anything like this before? Painting furniture? Bringing a project inside because its closer to the remote and Grey's Anatomy? Make WAY too man references to current TV shows and decide that you need to get out more?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Good, the bad, and the vintage...

Hey all!!! Ok I have some good news, some not so good news, and some more good news.

Good News #1:  My trade show last week was WONDERFUL and will hopefully generate a lot of new business for me.  All my meetings went off without a hitch and definitely revived my inner-sales-rep that I love what I do, who I work for, and the companies I represent.  I am one LUCKY girl!

Not-So-Good news: I am still catching up a bit from my trade show (and being gone in Europe for two weeks right before the show started) so work has stacked up a bit.  I haven't forgotten about posting pictures or giving fun new updates, but with work being my bread, butter, and mortgage maker, I really have to focus on that first.  Even though I promise the fun stuff is coming!

Here's a little teaser of an upcoming change for our living room
Its never really good when your ceiling fan is almost low enough to decapitate your bun.

Good News #2:  I have a FANTASTIC article for you all today from a guy by the name of Toby Leonard.  Im not being paid or anything to post this article, I just thought it was a fun interesting read for you all to enjoy!  Its about incorporating vintage pieces into your home, which as you may have guessed, I am all about! (maps, globes, etc)

Have a read and let me know what you guys think.  What vintage pieces do you have in your house? Or are you one of those people who buys something new but its made to look vintage-ie? (Pottery Barn/Crate and Barrel/Restoration Hardware anyone?)

Fall 2012 Home Design Trend: How to Incorporate Vintage American Elements Into Your Home

Every 20 years or so, certain things get recycled into the mainstream. The revolving door of what's cool has reached as far back as the early 60s with wayfarer sunglasses and thin ties. When it comes to the home, decor of days gone by is back, reminding us of simpler times. This fall, vintage style is tapped to be in full force for home decor.

Even modern styled homes can use vintage elements to give your home a sense of history. Be careful to use vintage elements selectively in your home. The goal is to add interest and style, not create a living museum display of a particular pattern. Take a walk down memory lane and check out these vintage ideas for your home.

Fabric Accents

Vintage look throw pillows are great conversation starters. Vintage product labels reborn as fabrics are a fantastic way to liven up neutral slipcovered sofas and love seats. Needlework pillows or prints with needlework styling also give a vintage feel. In the kitchen, crocheted wash cloths and hand towels give a throw-back feel, as can classic style potholders.

Embroidery hoops can be used to create a display wall featuring several vintage fabric patterns and liven up a dull wall. This is a tremendously easy project that can be done with scrap fabric you have at home, selected from garments at a thrift store, or replica fabrics from your favorite fabric store.

Wall Decor

Maps are a great way to add visual interest to your wall and give a bit of vintage flair. Whether you find an authentic antique or a replica, they make great wall art. Choose a map that represents a special place or time, like your hometown during a prominent historical event. Other great tie-ins are maps of the place you got engaged or married or your parents' home town. Replica maps can also make for great photo mats to create a common theme with a cluster of pictures. A world map can serve to highlight the places you've been and the places you still want to go.

Classic metal signs are a favorite item of Americana collectors. A series with your favorite brand, like Coca-Cola can be scattered throughout a room to add a burst of color and whimsy.


The right piece of furniture can give a room full of modern furniture a vintage feel. A well worn steamer trunk can be used as a unique sofa table or headboard for a twin bed, while, at the same time, providing storage for infrequently used items. A large armoire can disguise a television or computer when they are not in use. Hard-cover suitcases can be used individually or stacked in a living room to store video game accessories, music equipment, or DVDs.

Small Accents

A set of vintage tins makes for excellent decorative storage in a kitchen or bathroom. Mason jars are evocative of better times gone by, when Grandma made her own jam and preserves, and they can be used for anything from vases to candle holders to windowsill herb planters.
Modern electronics can be disguised or replaced with well designed vintage or vintage-look counterparts. Metal table fans evocative of the 1940s or 1950s are far more visually interesting and often work as well as current styles. Tired of looking at blinking lights on your router? The shell of a hardcover book can disguise it in plain sight to maintain signal quality and design harmony.
The key is to be simple and subtle.

With present design focused on sleekness, don't be afraid to dust off the classics and get vintage.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yes, we are alive...

Ok, I'm SOOOO sorry I never got that post up about the new little change that we made in our living room, but last minute packing and a 9 hour flight sent us straight to Europe for our honeymoon two weeks ago today.

Me, being a bad lil blogger, didnt have any posts waiting in the wings for you guys to chow down on while we were gone and for that I UBER appologize.

For those of you that are still out there, wondering if we ever came back from honeymoon, yes, we JUST got back over the weekend and have spent the past 36 hours letting our bodies and brains catch up.

I will have a TON of pictures to share (seriously, it was the most amazing experience of my ENTIRE life), but for now I have to run out the door since it is the Fall Toy Preview show here in Dallas (friendly reminder: I am a toy sales rep and this show really sets the stage for all business in the next year.... It's a sales rep's version of "Hell Week"... .... ... ... even as I type out "sale's rep Hell Week", I know it sounds stupid, but its true...) So, if I am also absent a little this week, please know that I am working my best to making sure that every store has the proper toys and that no one will be throwing punches at ToysRUs this Christmas over this year's "it" toy.

However, here is a little teaser of Chris and I in the beer tents at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Yes, Chris and I dressed up.... and it was awesome...

More Europe pictures and house redos coming oh-so soon! Thanks so much for your patience!!