Sunday, June 28, 2015

Trying Something New: Painting Upholstery

     We have a really soft sofa and a really soft bed. I think when I picked them out I must have had "Mama Bear" syndrome. They are too soft. So soft, that I can't get comfortable. All I have wanted to do all week is curl up with this good book:
   But my back hurts every time I sit still for too long! So, I decided I would get myself a new chair.  Now, I had two perfectly great chairs a couple of years ago. I custom designed these chairs at the furniture store. I picked the legs, the fabric, the arms.... They were beautiful! When we got rid of our sofa, we decided to get a sectional and I did not have room for my chairs. Instead of storing them somewhere, I sold them in my booth! They sold right away and I have never looked back - until now.  So, I decided to get a new chair. This time though I didn't have an extra $500 to buy a new chair so I decided I would buy one at the thrift shop. 

     My only problem is that I don't like bringing home upholstered things from the thrift shop. I don't know why, it just grosses me out. So, I started "googling" and decided I would try my hand at painting upholstery.  Somehow, I think painting it will seal off all the flesh eating bacteria that I JUST KNOW is somehow all over it.   

    So, I needed:
     1. A Light Colored/Not Very Patterened Chair
     2. Some Latex Paint
     3. Fabric Medium
     4. A Paint Brush
     5. A Squirt Bottle
     6. A Mixing Bucket
     I ordered the fabric medium on Thursday night and by Saturday it was at my door! I thought it might take a few weeks to find the perfect chair and I wanted to be prepared when I found it. I drove up to the Salvation Army and there was not just one but two perfect sized and shaped chairs!  I quickly tried one out before the flesh eating bacteria could start snacking on my skin and loved how it was not too soft and not too hard but juuuuust right. 

     So, I broke the first rule- the one about it being light colored and not very patterned - and I got this:
     This morning, I woke up all ready to start this project. I decided to go to Lowe's to get some paint.  Now, you may not know this but Lowe's is a dog-friendly store. So, I put Todd's bow tie on him and loaded him up for his second ever trip to Lowe's. 
     This is Todd. He loved going to Lowe's. He patiently waited while they mixed the paint. He met some new people. Then, he pooped in the checkout line. Oops.

   So, back to the point. The chair. I picked this color:
     I was almost ready to start but I couldn't find a spray bottle. So, I took a quick trip to Dollar Tree.  I went in to get 1 spray bottle. 

I came out with fake hydrangeas:
Three fake pears:
     .....and an assortment of sweet treats. Fourteen dollars later, I was back in my car and ready to paint.  

   The first step is to clean the furniture with a damp rag. Now, I didn't clean mine because:

     A: It wasn't dirty
     B. Obviously, I'm not doing a great job at following the directions

      Next, mix the paint and fabric medium. This is 2 parts paint to 1 part fabric medium.
     It will look like this at first, just give it a good stir. 

     Next, you are supposed to spritz the furniture with warm water and start painting. When I spritzed my furniture and painted it, it sort of beaded up on me and the paint would not stick in places. So, I set aside my fourteen dollar Dollar Tree water bottle and just started painting. Here's what it is looking like now:
As you can see, you can still very much see the fabric through the paint. As I have been blogging, it has dried and I am about to put on the second layer.

Okay- now I have put the second coat of paint on and it is looking much, much better! Whew. I was worried there for a while but I think it's all going to be okay!  I ran out of fabric medium and I still need to work on the cushion and a few parts I skipped the first go around... Like the area under the cushion and the bottoms and sides of the cushion.   So, the fabric medium has been ordered and it will arrive on Tuesday. This will give the chair a good long time to dry before I put a final coat on. I have read a few other blogs that suggest a light sanding to soften things up so that will keep me busy until the package arrives.   

     This is what it looks like now:
It has taken on a totally different look than I expected. I didn't think it would turn out shiny like this. I kind of like it though.... It looks like orange leather!

I will be back later this week to show you the finished piece. I must say, this has been a really fun and interesting project so far!

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