“The Chair” Reveal

Remember this chair? This is my Goodwill find. I paid $7.00 for it. Here is what is printed under the seat –

I mentioned in an earlier post about how I was put off by the “gazillion” staples in the blue velvet chair I had come across. I finally caved and decided to tackle it. I loved the process. I love the chair. Of course, there are things I wish I knew before I started. One thing I recommend …….do not try to rush it.

My original plan was to recover it and paint the wood. But seeing as it was going to involve more work anyway, I decided to strip the wood and do a finish on it that I have been wanting to try.The finish is done in layers. This is something I have always found with paint – the wonderful effects you get when you layer paint and glaze and top coats. The first detail photo is one of the wood details. I added a little Warm Silver metallic paint to accent the design.

The arms of the chair have detail too. The design works well with the type of finish I applied.

And……finally…….”the chair” completed –

What do you think? The fabric choice surprised me. I don’t ordinarily lean in this direction, design and color wise. But when I saw this one it just seemed to belong to the chair.

Would I do it again? Right now I say no. But with time passing and if I came across the right piece, who knows? It definitely gave me a new respect for upholsterers.

On another note, I went to the Kane County Flea Market yesterday. Best around in my book. This year I am looking for 2 old screen doors to turn into displays. I will be checking at the Morris Markets as well which run from May to October.

Have a good day everyone!
Doris

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#1 Choice of 3 Wood Strippers

Refinishing furniture is messy and odorous, no two ways about it. But the rewards can be many. The look of wood coming into a new life, maybe taking on a totally different look even.

The chair I had mentioned previously is one that in some ways has gone very smoothly and in others has been challenging. The biggest challenge has been dealing with all the staples in it. It is an Ethan Allen chair I came across at Goodwill for $7.00, therefor the quality is high.

The products used are shown here along with other items you will be using. I also picked up some cheap toothbrushes which really come in handy for crevices. The container you use to pour the product into should be nonporous, a tin can works well.

Two of the products I tried, whereas they worked okay, they were slower at the actual removing of the finish (which I believe to be 2-3 coats of varnish). Only one of them, the Jasco Premium Paint & Epoxy Remover, actually made the finish bubble up, which in the past was the sign of a great wood stripper. The other one, the 2 Minute Remover, worked about the same without the bubbling. They both had strong odors.

Here is a peak at how the wood looked once stripped. I hope to have the chair completed this week and Reveal it in next week’s post.

Maybe here would be a good place to insert the setup of such a project. Number one is have plenty of ventilation. Make sure the flooring of wherever you are working is covered well with some very protective tarps or papers.
Ideally you will have your own space set up for this task. Unfortunately with my physical condition being what it is I wasn’t able to carry the chair to my workroom.

My #1 product choice is ……….Klean Strip Klean Kutter Refinisher!
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It surprised me really. It is more runny whereas the others were more gel like. The others you brush on, let sit a few minutes, then remove. My choice to remove the finish is steel wool and then old tshirts.

The Klean Strip, however, you apply with the steel wool and start rubbing. It didn’t need a lot of pressure either. I dipped the end of a steel wool pad in the solution being careful of the dripping, I wiped the wood once with the grain, and when I went to wipe again the finish came right off. I was thrilled! So the one I thought I would like the least, actually turned out to be my favorite.

With this project I got a reminder of how much I always enjoyed stripping furniture. Not because of the process by any means, but because of the results. Makes me think of 2 pieces that have been sitting around maybe needing to be refreshed.

It looks to be another good week here in Illinois. Maybe some rain but more badly needed sunshine as well.

Enjoy the day!
Doris

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Slipcovers From Dropcloths

For the most part the chair and ottoman slipcovers are finished. I noticed this morning that I want to do a little adjustment on the ottoman corners and I want to add a ribbon to the back of the chair due to the fabric not being as form fitting as I had liked.
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For starters of course you need to find the dropcloths. I ended up ordering mine from Amazon. Great price and free shipping! There was a difference in the type of fabric from the dropcloths I had used for the draperies. At first I was dismayed, but after working with the fabric and a little more thought I am glad the fabric is different. Why? This fabric has a little bit of a nubby texture to it which I love. Also, I’m really glad it is not all matchy matchy. Here is a photo of the different types of dropcloth fabric. The one on the right is the drapery fabric. It really is a personal preference.
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I cut the dropcloths along the finished seams. Some people use these seams, I prefer not to, they seem a little clunky to me.
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Cutting them makes them more manageable and an easy fit into a home washer and dryer versus taking them to a laundromat. I bleached the pieces with 2 cups of bleach per washload. Two reasons. First, I didn’t care for the amout of the unbleached look that they had, and secondly, at some point they will need to be cleaned. By starting them off washed and bleached I know how the fabric will look with a good cleaning. Also, I washed them in hot water and dried them in a dryer to shrink them to a true size.
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I wanted the chaircover to have a more relaxed fir, therefore, the only measuring I did was for the skirt. I have made slipcovers twice before and this technique has served me well. I layed a large section of fabric over the chair and cut it to fit, starting with the back. Then I moved on to the arms of the chair.
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I played with the fabric a bit. I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to handle the arms of the chair. I wanted a soft look. I ended up simply gathering the excess fabric together and tucking it behind a front panel. I love the finished look.
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Next came the skirt of the chair. I measured all around and added an extra 5 inches for every box pleat that I wanted. I ended up with one at each front corner and two hugging the back corners, pinning and fitting as I went along.
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Here’s a tip……if you pin the pieces together while they are on the chair, remove the cover, sew the seams, press and turn the piece, you can then easily place it back on the chair.
Here is the completed chair. (or almost. Like I said earlier I decided this morning that it needs a ribbon tie back for the back of the chair.)
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Oops! Here is a before photo:
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Brrrrrr…….

Brrrrr…..seems that fall has arrived with a bang!

Thought I would show you all a few of the pieces I brought home with me from the market and the 4 I acquired on Thursday for upcoming shows. (getting inspired as we speak!)

This table is one of my favorite pieces, although I have to admit I say that alot.

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The little black chair will truly be difficult to part with. Hope it finds a good home.
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The rolling table can be considered shabby chic, but I tend to just think of it as pretty!
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The cornice boards are really special. Hand cut by a carpenter friend. I have a few painted in different colors but they can be made to your specifications easily. Not everyone has these exact measurements, I know, but wanted to show you somehting unique could be done.
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And here are 4 new pieces I picked up on Thursday.
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And then yesterday I acquired 3 pieces that I haven’t even unloaded yet. Going to be a busy week!

Oh, I almost forgot, yesterday I went to the Three French Hens Market held in Morris the second Saturday of the month from April to Octocber. If you enjoy these kinds of things it is well worth the trip. Very similar to Washington Market. Next month’s looks to be quite festive and hopefully you will see me there! (Haven’t gotten final approval yet, keep your fingers crossed for me!)

Have a great day everyone!
Doris

Great Finds!

Good morning to all of you!

I am so behind here, please bear with me. I was just now able to restore my laptop. If this doesn’t work it is time to hire a techy.

As you will know by the dates listed here the market that I was in was this past weekend in Naperville. What a great experience! It is the first of its kind that I have taken part in many years. And a successful one! Some of the pieces here sold but the chair is still available as are other pieces that I worked on. I will bring the blog current within the next day or two. I have photos of the market itself as well as some of my creative neighbors participating.

So again I thank you for your patience and I hope you gain something from each post that I create.

Originally written on August 28th………Many of you already know I am going to be in a vintage market the weekend of September 6th and 7th. It is called Washington Market in downtown Naperville in the US Bank parking lot on the corner of Washington and Jefferson Streets. It is put on by the store Room 363 in Naperville. (And if you haven’t visited that store you are missing quite the treat!) I will be showcasing small pieces of vintage furniture all hand painted by moi. There will also be cornice boards to purchase and to special order. These are recently made by a carpenter friend.

So lately I have been spending a good amount of time at Goodwill. Oh, I have hit a flea market and an estate sale but I have gotten my best finds at Goodwill. Finds like this standing oval mirror. I painted it a soft distressed pink, perfect for that feminine room.
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And then there is this funky little chair. It is already in the works as well. I can’t wait to see the finished product myself! It will be hard to part with!
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My most recent piece I found yesterday. It is this little table. It is very well made by Ethan Allen. For the life of me I can’t figure out why it is made in this design. I’m thinking that being made by Ethan Allen there might be a story behind it. If anyone knows I would love to hear it. Not sure what I’ll be doing with this one yet. I usually let it gel for a day or two. Then again, sometimes I know instantly what I wanted to do, as with the chair.
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The best part? The mirror and the chair were $9.99 and the small table was $12.99. Now that’s a great base price! Oh, yes, there is some work involved, but if you love it as I do, it can be so worth it.

I will be keeping you posted on the transformation of the chair and table and give you a peek at some of the the other pieces I have acquired for the market.

And if you are looking for that special something, or just enjoy these kind of shows, please join us!

Have a great day!
Doris

New Project and Oatmeal Cake

Hello there!

I am combining some bits of 2 posts. The first one is a project I am working on for an upcoming market show. This is just a before photo of some of the pieces that I am working on. I am focussing on small pieces of furniture for the market. Also I am having a carpenter friend make up some of the wooden cornices that I have worked on and paint them in a couple of different styles. This is going to be fun and I am especially looking forward to presenting the cornices. I will be posting about them off and on as the work progresses. Fun! Fun! Fun!
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The second part is that of a cake I got from the blog onsuttonplace.com. It is Oatmeal Cake, and if you would like the recipe and to see more photos of it, I recommend visiting her blog for that. What I will tell you thought is that it is delicious and very easy to make. If you are like me in that you usually having oatmeal on hand then you most likely will have all of the ingredient in your cupboard already. The taste kind of reminds me of an apple cake that I make from time to time that is a bit time consuming. This is a nice alternative!
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Summer is winding down around here. My grandson actually starts back to school next week already!

Hope you have a good week!
Doris

A Painted Table

I don’t know if you remember the table that has been mostly covered up with tablecloths……well they are now a set. Over the past few days my home has smelled of fresh paint and wax. Love it!
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This table I had gotten years ago at Crate and Barrel outlet. Have always loved the charm of it, but it still didn’t seem to quite fit in. Now, after all this time, and a little paint, it feels right at home.

It is not unusual for me to take my sweet time when it comes to making decisions for my own home. Working with clients and guiding them through decision making comes easy for me. Actually, over the years I have heard this numerous times from interior designers. Maybe it’s just because there are so many good ideas to choose from!
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After a good cleaning and sanding, I applied one coat of a latex primer (Kilz) and 2 coats of an interior latex paint. (I used Pittsburgh Paints and it is an off white called Milk Paint). I sanded in between coats but I still had brush marks remaining. Right or wrong, this has never bothered me, I like the way glazes work with them.
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Once the wax has had a chance to dry, I give it at least an hour (it should lose it’s sheen), it gets buffed. I have found the best material for buffing is old tshirts. Ordinarily I prefer to buff in a circular motion, however, the Anne Sloan wax is a bit softer and I found rubbing with the grain works best with it.

The top I gave an extra coat of clear wax and buffed again. This helps protect the surface all the more. Also what I have found is that it moves the glaze a little bit and therefore you can even it out a little more where needed. Let it dry and buff again. And you’re done!
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A little word of caution here: if you notice in the picture I have the floor taped off around the legs and sheets of white paper pulled through them in lieu of drop cloths. I advise only doing it this way if you have alot of painting experience and you are a clean painter. I wasn’t able to lift the table, therefore I approached it this way. Ideally? Lift the legs onto pieces of 2x4s that are sitting on top of a large dropcloth.

Once the paint has thoroughly dried I applied a wax glaze mix. This is the same paint and wax glaze mix that I used on the chairs.