Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Couch Makeover

Hey guys!

I was lucky enough to be given a couch (in fact quite a bit of furniture) for my big move! And since the table turned out so wonderfully I figured why stop there!

The picture below is not the best example of this couch before. It did have cushion covers when I received it but I had removed them (for reasons you will find out later) so unfortunately this is the only 'before' picture I have. 

I was eager to get started on the painting but first I had some mending to do!

I'm not sure the picture below does the sagginess of the seat justice but trust me it was a pretty sad looking frame. Luckily it was an easy fix!

First I removed each section from the base of the chair and cut all the old fabric away so that I was left with a basic wooden frame.

Then I cut a piece of cotton canvas a couple of inches larger than the frame. I placed the frame in the centre of the fabric and beginning at one edge I folded the fabric under and stapled it to the wood.
I continued folding and stapling in this way along one whole edge before moving on to the opposite edge and sides, pulling the fabric tightly to ensure the surface was taught.

I kind of made it up as I went along when I came to the corners. Basically I cut away any bulky extra fabric and folded one side under the other so that it was nice and neat.

Here's how the frame looked with the new canvas seat!

I knew this was gonna be nightmarish to paint by hand (what with the lack of flat surfaces and all the tiny, difficult to get to crevices) but I'd run out of my trusty automotive paint and unfortunately another mixture was just a teeny bit out of budget :(
I figured I would have needed about a million cans of spray paint and probably some expensive finger surgery if I'd decided to go down the spray can route. Instead I used a semi-gloss emulsion and a paint brush.
It took 3 coats of paint including primer and two days (along with some fairly serious sunburn) to finish but it turned out great!


As you can see I didn't bother to paint the inside. That section of the frame is hidden under the seat of the couch and can't be seen from the outside. 

Once the frame was looking snazzy it was time to tend to the cushion covers! Remember I said I would get to those!? Well here they are!

They're not the happiest looking cushions are they? Personally I'm a big fan of yellow so instead of replacing the fabric I decided to revive it!

I used Dylon Sunflower Yellow dye and 500g of salt (to fix the colour). Dylon is very easy to use and gives great results when the instructions are followed correctly. I've dyed a lot of things over the past few years and I've learned that when using a single colour in the washing machine it can't hurt to add a little more dye than you need! I wanted a really strong yellow so that's exactly what I did!


I used 3 boxes of dye for 6 cushions and the result was better than expected!! See for yourself!

I think you'll agree it's a HUGE improvement!!! :D

Juuuuuuust in case you need more convincing here's the before and after of the whole couch!

Note: If you're worried about dye being left in your washing machine try running an empty cycle when you're finished. This will get rid of any residual dye that may have been left behind in the drum! 

That concludes my couch makeover!! Thanks for reading!!! :D
I'll be posting more furniture refurbishments over the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Table Makeover


I've been super busy over the last few months but I have some exciting things to tell you all! I've become absolutely obsessed with furniture make-overs on Pinterest and I've finally had a chance to do some of my own!!! Eeeeeeee!!!

I've wanted to take a sander and some paint to the table in my workspace for some time now and a few weeks ago I finally got my chance! I'm moving to a new place and thought it would make the most perfect dining table!

I found this great post on Centsational Girl  and proceeded to follow the instructions...mostly...  

My table took somewhat longer to clean and sand since it was pretty beaten up. Here's the all important 'before'!

A couple of years worth of ink and masking tape will do that to a table. Here it is with all the grime cleaned off it!

Anyway, Once I'd extracted the masking tape from the table and removed most of the ink and dye (I found nail polish remover did the best job of this as well as removing the sticky residue left by the tape) I began sanding!

I didn't have an orbital sander but a palm sander seemed to work pretty well for most of the table. I actually ended up doing a lot by hand especially around the edges and in other areas that weren't flat. I don't know much about sandpaper grades but I used the roughest one I could find and it made easy work of some of the more stubborn blemishes.

There were a few holes in the wood which I wanted to get rid of before painting. I filled these with putty! I didn't do any research on which one was best, I just used whatever I had lying around. This one was really easy to apply, you just use it straight out of the tub and smush it into the holes with a palette knife (or something with a flat edge). Then you can paint over it!

I applied two coats of primer with a sponge roller, sanding in between each to ensure a nice smooth surface. I was able to complete both coats in one day as it was very quick drying!

Here is my table after two coats of primer! I think you'll agree it looks a lot better! Those lines you can see across it are where the putty filled the holes.

The following day I began painting! I used a semi-gloss emulsion which I applied with the same foam roller for three coats, leaving 24 hours between each. I wanted to avoid brush strokes on my table but ended up getting an equally annoying orange peel finish. Only later did I discover that you should never use a roller to apply gloss paint! Typical.

This is how the table looked when it was finished. I should mention that I painted the table while it was open like that because I didn't want the sections to stick together. I don't know if that's a thing but I think it's better to be safe than sorry!!

I observed the three day curing time before applying a paint protector (in fact I didn't touch the table for 6 weeks because I went on holiday)! Unfortunately everyone was not quite as respectful of my table and when I returned there were a few marks and dings in it. This is why we can't have nice things!!!

I wasn't convinced that the wax recommended on Centsational Girl would give my table the kind of protection it obviously needed against my boyfriend and his general (but somehow loveable) carelessness. I considered Polycrylic but was warned that it might yellow over time. Knowing I wanted to avoid this my aforementioned boyfriend suggested something that would give me a completely flat finish whilst being ultra durable - automotive paint!!! I'm in love with this stuff!! It's quite a bit more pricey and you do need a special spray gun to apply it but it's so much fun to apply and the finish is totally worth it!

Make sure to follow all the instructions on the tin carefully (it needs to be mixed in very specific measures) and always spray in a well ventilated area WITH a face mask!!! This isn't your regular spray in a can!! If you spray in thin even layers, building them up slowly you end up with a gorgeous glossy finish with no drips, no brush strokes and no bobbly orange peel sections. Just lovely glassy (sturdy) paint! :)

This is the finished table (with the middle section removed)!!!!

I can't wait to show you how it looks with the chairs!! In fact I'm gearing up for an entire room reveal so keep your eyes peeled!!