Archives For painting furniture

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

This is my second bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Simple guest bedroom Little House Design: Simple guest bedroom Little House Design: Simple guest bedroom Little House Design: Simple guest bedroom

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is the exterior and entryway of my house as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Dark grey and white historical bungalow Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror Little House Design: Entry way with paint stripe and starburst mirror

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 4 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

My painted fabric ottoman is finished!

For a refresher, I bought the ottoman here for $25 and then in Part 1 of this makeover I re-attached the lining and re-stained the legs here. For part 2, I opted to paint the fabric.

It’s hard to capture the difference, but in person this ottoman went from a dingy and faded blue to a super-saturated bold blue (it isn’t as purple as it looks above).
When I first saw this ottoman hiding in a dingy corner of a thrift shop I knew it had major potential but I sat on it for a few weeks because I was unsure of how to make it over. I considered re-upholstering it but then a friend suggested I paint it. Which reminded me that a year ago I pinned a fabric painting tutorial (here), but I hadn’t thought much about it since. Then I saw that it was time for the Spring Pinterest Challenge and I knew it was the perfect time to just go for it!
via YHL

Here are the materials and the steps I took to paint my fabric ottoman:

Materials:
1 Quart Latex Satin Paint
1 Spray Bottle for Water
2″-3″ Paint Brush
Fabric Medium (I used 4 – 2 oz bottles)

1) Prepare the paint mixture. I found different ‘recipes’ online but the one I chose to use was:

1 part fabric medium + 1 part latex paint + 1 part water

I found that two 2 oz bottles of fabric medium are exactly a 1/2 cup so I went with that as my starting point and then added 1/2 cup latex paint and a 1/2 cup of water. It doesn’t look like a lot of paint (it’s only 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid) so I wasn’t sure it would be enough but I went with it and figured I could mix up more if I needed to.

To show you how ‘soupy’ it is here is a visual aid:
The top is the mixture of water+fabric medium+latex paint and the bottom is just latex paint. I’m showing you this to explain that painting fabric like this doesn’t cover up major flaws or stains in the fabric. So if you are trying to decide if you want to paint that chair with the huge stain on the seat, this won’t cover it up. If anything, I found that this process was more like tinting the fabric not painting it. Thankfully I was just going from dingy light blue to a more saturated dark blue so it worked for me. The point is this: You need to start with a fabric that is lighter and that doesn’t have major blemishes.
2) Wet the fabric.
I used this large industrial sprayer that I have and it worked great. The wetter the fabric the better the paint goes on so don’t be shy with the amount of water you spray on. See how I have newspaper down? That was a very bad idea, don’t use newspaper! I didn’t realize how much water I would be using and the newspaper just got soggy, for the second coat I used a garbage bag and it worked much better.
I wet the ottoman in sections (about a foot in diameter). And then brushed on a small amount of the paint mixture.
It was pretty simple and it went super fast. I wasn’t sure I would have enough paint to cover the whole thing but the 1 & 1/2 cups of liquid did a whole coat on this ottoman (it’s about 2’x4’x1′ for reference).

I was nervous about how hard it would be to paint all those tufts, but it was really pretty easy. I just jammed my brush into all the crevices (there’s a dirty joke in there) and I tried not to let too much paint and water/paint gather in the holes and folds.

Though it’s slightly blurry, you can see from left to right it’s dry, wet, and painted.

After the first coat:

It only took me 45 minutes to do the first coat! I thought it would be a much longer project. I let it dry overnight and then repeated the whole process. The second coat didn’t use nearly as much paint so I actually ended up doing a third coat right after the second just because I had the paint already mixed.
After two coats:
Cost Breakdown:
Ottoman: $25
Latex Paint: $14 (I only used 1 cup of this so there are lots more projects left in this quart)
Fabric Medium: $10 ( 4 – 2oz bottles at $1.99 each)
Sanding blocks, foam paint brush, regular paint brush, spray bottle, stain: $0 (I had all these times already)
Total: $49
Considering that similar ottomans sell for well over $250, I am completely satisfied with this price. And amazingly, I sold my old glass coffee table on craigslist for $50 so I basically broke even!
I highly recommend painting fabric, it was easy, quick, and it looks great! My only caution is that you pick the right piece to paint. You want a piece that is fairly light in color (or at least a simliar color to what you want to paint it) with no major stains or blemishes on the fabric.
I’m crazy in love with this ottoman!

For the past few months I’ve been doing research for my ‘Thrift Shops of Indianapolis’ series for twentysomethingindy.com (you can read my past articles here). And since my research involves a lot of shopping I’ve been trying my hardest not to buy a ton of stuff, but you know self-control only goes so far. Last weekend I spotted this utility cart for only $15 and I had to bring it home.

This corner of my living room has been a spot of contention for me previously. Here is the before:

It was just an IKEA Lack table I got for $7.99 with a basket from Target underneath. It served it’s purpose for the last 12 or so months, but I never liked it there. This room was getting a little IKEAish what with the couches, rug, and this table it was like an IKEA showroom. So when I saw the utility cart I thought it might fit the space better (it’s longer and taller) plus it is unique and it was cheap – perfect!

I love it! When I purchased it I thought of spray painting the green shelves because as you can see in the last few pictures the top is really rusty. But I decided to at least live with it for a few days or weeks and see if I like it as is.

What do you think, leave it or spray paint it? If I did spray paint it, what color? I was thinking yellow for some reason even though there isn’t a whole lot of yellow in this room. I’ll keep you updated!

Progress on the ottoman makeover has begun!

For a recap, here is the original post where I purchased the ottoman: here.

It was $25 and it looks like this:

Not the most beautiful thing in the world, but dang it if it wasn’t a great price for such a big nice piece. My original plan, as outlined in the post, when I bought it was to reupholster it. But then I grew a few brain cells and realized that is waaaay beyond my skill set. Actually, I could probably do it but by the time I spend money on fabric and spend all the time reupholstering it I don’t think it would be worth it…. so I changed my game plan. It was actually from a recommendation in the comments of the original post. My friend suggested that I paint it. Yep, paint the fabric.
I haven’t started that part yet, but I did start another part of the project so I’ll start with that.
Not the best picture I’ve ever taken but it at least shows you what I was working with. In the time that I bought it and brought it home the lining on the bottom fell off part-way (the strings are from the tufts).

Since the lining was still intact (it had just pulled away from the staples) I decided to reattach it instead of completely replacing it.

All I did was pull the lining tight.

And since I don’t have a stapler, I just used small nails and a hammer.
It only took a few minutes and a handful of nails to complete this part. If at some point in the future it falls off again I’ll just get a new lining and borrow a stapler, but I don’t see why this wouldn’t hold.

The next thing I did was tackle the legs. My original plan was take the legs off and stain or paint them, but it turns out that however they are attached is beyond my strength to remove (I tried with all my might). Oh well, on to Plan B. I used a sanding block to rough it up a bit. The sanding block worked great because it went into the crevices really well.

After a good sanding, I Frog Taped around the leg so that I wouldn’t ruin the fabric.
Here is a decent (if slightly blurry) shot of the leg (albeit upside down). Kind of a country style but not so bad that I couldn’t work with them. At the tip of the leg you can see how it’s a lighter color and there is a hole in it, that is where a wheel used to be attached. By the time I got the ottoman only two of the wheels had survived. I decided to just remove them and leave the ottoman immobile. I kept the wheel if I decide in the future to put the wheels on again (I could take the wheel into a hardware store and match it). The main reason I decided against wheels is because I like being able to sit on it and wheels make me nervous to sit on. But having it movable would be really nice so maybe I’ll change my mind.
Anyway, …

After sanding and taping, I filled in the little holes from the wheels with putty.

I debated about painting or staining, but I decided to leave them wood and just stain them. I had stain left over from my semi-disastrous IKEA Rast dresser makeover (here and here). I found out that the reason the stain didn’t work on that project was because I used a paint brush, apparently you are supposed to use a foam brush. Since I already had the stain, I figured it was worth trying again. Of course, this time I used a foam brush instead and it worked much better!
Here is a side-by-side. It isn’t a major difference but it blends in the tip of the leg so it looks better.

This is after a one coat.

Here it is after a second coat:

Part 1 complete! Next phase is painting the fabric. Let the fingernail biting begin!

My Very First Furniture Redo

November 10, 2012 — 1 Comment

When I was 17 I redid my first piece of furniture. I still remember how it all went down.

I was 17 and I was given permission to redo my bedroom. My furniture was childish and I wanted an adult room that was less teenage-y. I got new bookshelves and a full sized bed, but it was the dresser I had trouble finding. I wanted a black dresser with silver handles. This doesn’t sound all that special or hard to find now but 10 years ago there wasn’t that much black furniture, it was ‘edgier’ than it would be considered now. One day my mom and I drove by a new furniture store that had just opened call Houseworks. Little did I know that I would find my dream dresser in there and that it was probably the most expensive store I would ever go in. Of course, they no longer have the dresser I wanted then, but it looked something like this:

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The dresser that I fell in love with was EIGHT. HUNDRED. DOLLARS.

I’m not even making that up.

So I walked out of the store empty handed. Then somehow the idea came to me. I could recreate this look. Remember this was pre-pinterest, heck it was pre-internet bookmarks (the only thing I could do on the computer was Word… I didn’t learn copy and paste until I was in college). So I went to Goodwill and I found a tall dresser about the size of my dream dresser and I took it home for $35. Then I sanded it and primed it and painted it black and bought silver handles for it. Even I’m sort of amazed that I did all this at 17. What a weird kid.

These pictures are the dresser a few years ago in my room in DC. I used that dresser for nine years until I got my campaign dresser (the black dresser is now awaiting it’s fate in the second bedroom).

I’m pretty proud of this DIY, mostly because it was my first but also because it was the first time I took ownership of something. It didn’t feel like it was my parent’s furniture it was mine because I paid for it and made it look like I wanted.

Where you also a weird teenager that redid furniture? If so, let’s start a support group!

IKEA Rast Makeover: Updated

September 19, 2012 — 4 Comments

About two weeks ago I shared my IKEA Rast makeover which turned out to be more of a make’eh’.

I had problems with the staining and I couldn’t afford cool knobs so I sort of just left it in the ‘progress’ stage. This past weekend while I was shopping for my front door makeover job I wandered into the hardware aisle. Low and behold I found knobs that I liked! Okay, so I don’t love them but I like them and for a cheap nightstand that is good enough for me. Especially since they were only $1.58 each after tax.

(Source)

Unfortunantly, it wasn’t as easy as just switching out the knobs. When I took the wooden knobs off they left this ring:

LAME. Whatevs, I am over this dresser. I put on Jurassic Park and did a quick sand and repainting of the drawer fronts. It didn’t take that long and dinosaurs calm me down 🙂

I like the way the knobs look and it definitely looks more finished now. I’ve decided not to worry about re-staining it because I just don’t care enough and it doesn’t show that much. But I did do one other little thing to add personality to this piece…

Yay, happy polka dot lining! I’ve had this roll of red and white polka dot wrapping paper for about a year. I got in the dollar section at Target and I have seriously wrapped thirteen presents in it and it has still not run out… it is like the never ending roll of wrapping paper… (ironically I’ve wrapped a lot of Hanukkah presents with it so it’s apropos). All I did was measure and cut out the paper and then I used scotch tape rolls all over the back. I don’t know how long it will hold up but it looks really happy and I can easily replace it at any time.

The saga of the IKEA hack is o.v.e.r. Here is the cost break down:

IKEA Rast dresser: $34.99
Stain/Varnish combo: $12.99
Knobs: $9.48
White paint: $0 (already had it)
= $57.46

That is definitely more than I wanted to spend but it is a solid little dresser and I really like having all my stuff hidden in drawers, plus I could potentially use that stain on other projects (if I ever attempt staining again).