Side Chair Makeover

In the last few posts I mentioned we moved.  This was a big deal.  It had been 7 years since I moved last and that move didn't really count. I was a carefree single girl finally moving in with my fiancĂ© with my handful of kitchen items and a futon. Puh-leeeze. I could do that in my sleep now.  This was a real move.  Complete with two kids, and their stuff, and 7 years of stuff my husband and I had collected, and more stuff on top of that stuff. We were leaving the house we came home to on our wedding night and the house we brought both of our babies home to. It was a stressful week to say the least.

On top of the move, we showed up to our new house with a U-haul full of furniture only to find the previous occupant left the house a complete disaster.  Mess and smell on top of garbage and furniture all left for us to deal with.  There were points that day that I wanted to cry. What does this have to do with a chair makeover?  This chair was left amid the piles of garbage. Pretty much the highlight of that day... even in this state.
After we got semi settled, I made a trip to Home Depot for a few supplies and JoAnn's for the fabric.

Here's what I used:
• Light grit sandpaper
• Elmer's Wood Glue
• Elmer's Wood Filler Max
• 1 can of Kilz Spray Primer
• 2 cans of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Spray Paint
• Staple Gun and staples
• About 1/2 yard of fabric

Step 1: Remove the seat. (4 screws right under the seat)

Step 2: Fix any large repairs. I repaired the broken arm with wood glue and clamped that over night.
On top of a broken arm, there was a lot more damage to this chair (this is where the wood filler will come into play).  I thought about refinishing the wood first, but decided against it once I realized how damaged the wood was.  No stain is going to cover this up.

Step 3: Lightly sand the entire chair and wipe the dust off with a damp rag.

Step 4: Give the chair a light coat of spray primer.

It won't be completely white. That's fine.  Better to go light than to have drips.

Step 5: Fill in any missing chunks with wood filler. I'm guessing I could have done this before the primer but I still had some sanding to go so it didn't really matter.

Step 5 and a half: Not really step 6 since not everyone will have to do this, but my chair needed a lot of sanding. The finish was in bad shape and the wood filler was bumpy. So I went back and forth between sanding and priming sanding and priming... until I had a smooth finish. (The spray paint I used is in that picture)

Step 6: Reupholster the seat.  While the final coat of primer dried, I went inside and reupholstered the seat. Lay the seat face down on the wrong side of your new fabric and staple away! I just went right over the old fabric, stapling on opposite sides while making sure it was pulled tight.  This seriously takes like 10 minutes. : )

That's the old fabric... held on by tiny little nails.  Yup... not pulling those out.
I got my new fabric at JoAnn Fabrics.  It was $50/yard which is crazy! However, I had a 50% off coupon and I only got 3/4 yard.  So it came to about $18. Much better than $50 and I love it!
Staple, staple, staple. I made sure to line up my pattern so one of the circles fell right in the center of the chair. Optional, but something to keep in mind.

Step 7: Paint! In my experience many light coats gets the best results. Here's what coat 1 looked like.
Better to have missed spots than drips.  You can always spray it some more.
Here is my chair mocking me from the yard.  I wanted to bring it in so bad but I knew it had more drying time to go. I think I did 4-5 coats over several hours. All very light.

Step 8: Reattach your new seat and admire your work. Done!
So what do you think? Inspired to try it?


DIY Moroccan-Style Wall Stencil Tutorial

**UPDATE!  If you have any trouble making your walls snazzy, visit my FAQ post on this tutorial.  I got lots of questions, so there're all here for you should you need some help.**

I jazzed up my wall with a DIY Moroccan-style pattern. And, the best part about this project?... it was completely free.  One Pampers box and some leftover paint later and I really like my wall :)

Here's what you do.
1. Find a Moroccan-ish shape you like online and print it out whatever size you want (Google images is a good place to go).  The larger you go... the less work it is.  I had to tile mine onto 4 sheets of paper, then tape them together.  Don't worry about the design being all blurry if it is, you can fix that in a minute.  Once it's all taped, fold the paper in quarters and cut out your shape.  When you unfold it, you will have a symmetrical pattern even if it started off blurry.  Here is the shape I used if you want to do the same.
Originally I was going to add that center shape as well until I started tracing, and realized I was insane.

2. Trace your shape onto cardboard and cut it out.  This is where my Pampers box (and assistant) came into play.

3. Step 3 is an important one, and I think the reason I had no wonky pattern happening.  I taped a level to my stencil.  This way, I traced it onto the wall perfectly straight every time.  Worked out awesome.

4.  Pick a spot on your wall to start tracing lightly with a pencil.  I eyeballed where my stencil would end up on each end of the wall and made sure I started in a place that would have me end in a half pattern on each side.  Did that make sense?  It really doesn't matter.  I just preferred no tiny slivers on the sides.
(In these pictures I already went over some of my pencil lines with the paint)

5. Once you traced everything with a pencil, (took me a few nights while they snoozed) grab a small brush and go over the lines with paint.  That's it!
My lines are not perfect but no one is going to look that closely. :)

I'm sad to say that just a few weeks after I finished my wall... we sold our house and moved!  (Which explains the lack of posts in a while... and the crappy iPhone picture of the "after")  Oh well.  It was good practice and I will definitely be doing this again in our next house. I love how it turned out.

If you're in to easy and inexpensive DIYs, here's a few more I've done around my house.