Monday, July 15, 2013

Color My World

Our front porch is one of the things that sold us on our house over 30 years ago.  There is something very homey about a front porch, something welcoming, and I always strive to have my home be welcoming to friends and family.

Twenty-six or Twenty-seven years ago I set out on a quest to buy wicker furniture for the porch.  My friend, Fran was looking for wicker furniture, too.  We didn't want to spend a lot of money (we didn't have a lot to spend!) and we ended up bargaining at a flea market. We wanted rocking chairs with the set and we needed the cushions.  We got the man selling the furniture to throw in the cushions and give us the rockers instead of regular chairs for the price -- which I really can't remember now what it was, but it pretty inexpensive. I'll never forget driving home with the two sets in Gregg's pick-up truck.  We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies with one of the rocking chairs perched up on top of the cab of the truck!

All these years later, the set was not in such bad shape.  I had stained and varnished it at one point, but it was fading and looking a little shabby.  Gregg wanted to throw it away, but I said we had to get a new set first ---- then I thought we should try painting it!  This is what started our painting spree.  Gregg painted the furniture and I got the new cushions and look how pretty it is!  We bought the spray paint at Lowe's -- they have a lot of colors to choose from and their own brand of spray paint is inexpensive.  This prompted Gregg to move on to painting some of our other outdoor things such as a food cart and a waste can.  These are both made of plastic, but the paint adheres quite well.  You know how dirty outside furniture can get and the old pale colors look dated.  With a fresh coat of a bright or deep color, everything looks like new!

Are you familiar with Laura Numeroff's books, such as If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?  (In her books, one thing leads to another....) Well, I'm feeling like a character in one of her books....moving on, we wanted to do something about our patio table umbrella.  It is terribly stained from the trees and pollen.  We tried to scrub it without much luck so I thought I would look to see if there was paint I could use on it.  Well, I didn't find paint for the umbrella but I came across paint that can be used on upholstered furniture!

So here is the can of the Simply Spray Upholstery paint.  I saw some Youtube  videos of people applying the paint to upholstered chairs and there was a video when the product was being demonstrated on the Today Show.  I looked up customer reviews of the product and they all seemed to be favorable.......So I started thinking about the two ugly chairs in my living room.  I have two Queen Anne chairs that I bought probably more than 20 years ago when pink was an "in" color -- so sometime in the '80s.  A few years ago I decide to buy (sage green) slipcovers for the chairs.  The slipcovers were really too big and Gregg always said the chairs reminded him of those wrinkly shar pei dogs.  But there is always something else that needs to be done in the house and never enough I continued to live with them.  I looked into reupholstering, but that was costly, too. So along comes this paint and I figured I'd give it a try.  It was available on Amazon and I ordered 6 cans of burnt orange.

These two chairs flank my fireplace in the living room and I have a painting over the fireplace with red and orange poppies.  I thought this color would look nice on the chairs. (My sofa is a gold color.)
The paint arrived the day after I ordered it!  I've been so excited to try it, but it's been raining so I had to wait for a sunny day.  I tried it out on the fabric on an arm cover.

The fabric of the chairs was actually in good shape.  Faded, but no wearing or tears anywhere.

So today was the day.  I lugged the chair outside and went at it.

First I had to wrap the wooden legs.  I used the Glad Press 'n Seal wrap.

I started with the back of the chair.  The instructions said to do several light coats so the first coat, as you can see, does not cover the fabric completely.

As more coats are added, you can see the color getting deeper.  The photos actually look a little brighter than the color is in person.  It is a deeper burnt orange.

One mistake I made -- I should have gone over the furniture with one of those lint rollers.  I had vacuumed it and brushed it, but there was still some lint from the slip covers that was not evident until I started painting.  I let the first coat dry and then I was able to pick up some of the fuzz with a lint roller, but it would have been easier if I had done it first.

Here is the chair (left) after the first coat.  Each can barely did a full coat on the chair and seat cushion.  I ended up using 5 cans to cover the chair, but I expected that I would need 4 to 5 cans for each chair.

Below you see the chair after 3 cans of paint.  You can still see the light fabric showing through (those yellow flame-like spots are the sun shining through the trees!).

I continued to do light coats over several hours.  The instructions said to wait 20 minutes between coats.  I waited longer, mostly because it was unbearably hot today, but also because of the humidity, I wanted to really give the fabric a chance to dry between coats.  The paint is thin so it quickly penetrates the fabric, but I figure it has got to be soaking into the padding.
Instructions also say to wait 72 hours before using the furniture and I am assuming it is because the paint can still be wet inside the padding.

The final result -- I love it!

The chair in my living room.  Same as before, the color looks very light in the photo.  The light reflecting on it makes it look yellow on the side, but the color came out very even and a very nice deep orange color.  I will try again to get a photo that shows the color better but I am very pleased.

I am not done with my projects yet...... I am updating my dressing room/closet.  This is a big project as we have to repair a wall that was damaged by a roof leak. Once again one project is leading to another.  Also, we are redoing the spare bedrooms and I am painting the mish mosh of furniture we have for the rooms -- nothing goes together, so I am going to refinish it, add some new hardware........ I don't know if the summer is long enough!  But I will keep you updated! 

1 comment:

  1. The chair looks great! I never knew there was upholstery paint. We also have a painting with burnt orange, and I use those accents on my dining room table. I have repainted furniture many times over the years. It really is such a cheap fix.
    i always had wicker outside in Florida. We'll see how my chairs fair ubder the porch in the wet Pacific Northwest. i'd guess they are on their 3rd or 4th different coats of color.