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OFFICE

How I Made Over My Old Banker’s Chair

Posted in DECOR, DIY, OFFICE
on February 24, 2017

Many thanks to Wagner for the beyond useful paint sprayer and sponsoring this post. Of course, all opinions and bad grammar are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for details.  

What do you do when you have a piece of furniture that has seen better days, but you can’t seem to part with it? The obvious answer is to paint it or upcycle it!

When my mother died, among many other things, I brought home her office chair. My mom was a workaholic. Not in the negative way that you would normally associate with the workaholic label. I don’t remember ever feeling like she didn’t have time for us, but many of our long talks took place around her desk, in her office. Her passion for work was simply a part of her – she thrived off of business savvy exchanges, constant learning, and hard work. And salesmanship? Whew! I swear, she could sell mud to someone in the middle of a flood. As a result of all of this, she clocked many, many hours in that chair. It is a piece of furniture that still means a lot to me and reminds me of her whenever I see it.

Unfortunately, the chair had seen better days. 12-years ago, the chair was gently used. But today, the chair was falling apart and needed a make-over, STAT. Somehow, the arms had both come off, and one was lost – I’m still holding out hope that it will turn up somewhere! Hopefully, I’m not the only one who loses things in their house! The faux leather seat was torn, and the finish was chipped and scraped all over. I gave the chair a new finish and recovered the seat. Usually I would have used a heavy duty fabric, but since I didn’t have one, I decided to paint fabric with a Buffalo check pattern for just a little bit of an on-trend look. To keep the cost down, I used a piece of canvas drop cloth as the seat cover and painted the pattern on using two colors.  I went with gray and beige shades to keep things neutral and light. A coat of clear wax keeps the chair pad protected. The color combination is very calming and a sweet contrast to the dark wood tones of our home office. Here’s how I did it:

 

Painting a Buffalo Check Pattern

Supplies you’ll need –

  • 1 1/2″ painters tape
  • Acrylic paint in 2 coordinating colors
  • Paint brush
  • Clear wax

Using the painter’s tape, tape two pieces, horizontally, side by side every 3″ across your surface.  This will create 3 x 3″ squares in the finished check.

 

If possible, run a small line of paint down the edges of your tape lines to seal the edges. This ensures a crisp line when you remove the tape. Allow this to dry.

Paint between the tape lines using your darkest color – I used a dark gray, and remove the tape before allowing the surface to dry.

Now, tape two pieces, vertically, side by side every 3″ across your surface going over the first set of lines. It’s best to start from the center to ensure an even pattern. Again, seal the edges and fill in the taped off area with your darkest color. ALLOW TO DRY.

Using the tape, create a grid by again adding tape lines horizontally, following your original tape lines, then paint the squares that have been set up by the grid of tape in your contrasting color – I used white. Remove the tape and allow to dry completely.

Brush on a coat of clear wax or another plastic coat sealer. If you’re painting this on fabric, this will also soften your fabric slightly, removing the stiff feeling of paint on fabric!

Covering the Chair Seat

To recover the seat, remove the seat pad from the chair. Most chairs have 2-4 screws attaching them to the base and will come right off when you remove these.

If the fabric underneath is in good condition, I’ve often left it on and just removed the cover piece – you know, that piece that covers the staples and makes it look all clean and pretty that I can’t remember the name of right now!? In my case, the fabric was torn and had to be removed. I did this with a pair of pliers, prying up the staples. Fun stuff.

To put the new fabric on, cut a piece of fabric roughly the same size as the chair pad, with enough fabric to wrap around all four sides.

Lay your fabric on a flat surface, pattern side down and center your cushion on top of it, face down.

Starting at the front of the cushion, pull the fabric up and around the seat and then turn over the raw edge and staple along the edge, about an inch in.  Repeat on each side, pulling the fabric taut and straight as you go.

To finish the corners, pull the center of the fabric over the corner, pulling tight and staple. Then, pull the fabric on either side of the center over, pleating and pulling taut, stapling around.  Cut excess fabric off and staple the edges down. Repeat on the other corners. Staple down the liner on the fabric staple line, turning over raw edges as you go.

Attach to the chair. All finished!

Painting the Chair:

To paint your chair, you’ll need to:

  • Make any necessary repairs
  • Prepare the surface – give it a good cleaning and lightly sand to remove any shine. This will help the paint to adhere better

I’ve had success with painting chairs using spray paint, and also by hand, but I decided to try out the Wagner paint sprayer that I received during our Game Room Makeover. #badhairdontcare #momjeansforpainting

Don’t worry, though, if you don’t have a paint sprayer, you can achieve the same look by painting by hand, using chalk paint and a polyacrylic coat for protection.

The sprayer I have (Wagner Flexio 890 Paint Sprayer) comes with two spray heads. One is for more detailed work such as crafts and furniture and was perfect for this job.

The sprayer is easy to put together and to use. It’s quiet and light. And, you can paint using virtually any kind of material. I used a chalk type paint which enabled me to apply the paint without a primer, followed by a thinned polyacrylic to protect the finish, both applied with the sprayer. I get asked all the time if you can truly use chalk paint without a primer, and the answer is YES! Chalk paint is lovely to work with and is most often self-levelling. It’s even nicer with the sprayer because there isn’t a brush mark to be seen anywhere. The best chalk style paint I’ve ever worked with is made by Wise Owl – it’s a bit pricey, but the coverage is fantastic. Take a look at this post for more information on Wise Owl paint.

Reassemble your chair, reattach the seat cushion and you’re done.

I added a flokati pillow that has been around for a while and has been moved from room to room multiple times – I love things that can live anywhere in your home! The pillow adds just the right amount of texture and softness. This secretary chair was a simple, quick, inexpensive upcycle. And, I can’t be happier with how the chair turned out – I’m positive my mom would have liked it as well, and I hope you do, too!

 

 

 

DIY Rustic Starburst Wall Art

Posted in CRAFTS, CREATE WITH ME, DECOR, DIY, OFFICE, WALL ART
on January 9, 2017

Wow, that weekend went by a little too quickly, didn’t it? We received a whole lot of snow for our area over the weekend which had all of the kids screaming, “Yay!” all except for the youngest one. In his mind, it is mandatory that a snowman is built on a snow day. So far, the snow has remained too powdery to make one, despite our multiple trips outside to attempt to coax it into even a measly snowball. Tell me I’m not the only person thinking of googling “how to make a snowman with powdery snow”? The worst was when we’d just convinced him we’d try again in the morning, and my daughter came in singing “Do you wanna build a snowman..?”. Seriously. Ah well, maybe we’ll have better luck today – You know we’re ready with carrot, coal, hat, scarf in hand! 






In between trips outside, I got in a little crafting and was able to pull together this fun, simple, DIY Rustic Starburst Wall Art for the January Create with Me DIY Challenge! This fun challenge is where you, our readers, vote on the materials we’ll use for next month’s projects, so be sure to scroll to the very last bit of this post to vote for your favorite before you go.

 

This month’s challenge was to create something using natural wood: twigs, sticks, and other natural materials. I took this literally and went with twigs – at this time of year, our many trees and shrubs mean my yard has an overabundance of them in all different colors and textures. I love how they all come together in this starburst pattern in an almost ombre effect. 



I used thin branches from my crepe myrtle tree, azaleas, and our river birch. You don’t want branches that are too thick or too brittle.. it will make it difficult to cut. 



*Affiliate links may have been used. Please see my full disclosure for more information. 

To create this Rustic Starburst Wall Art yourself you’ll need the following: 

  • Foam board
  • A glue gun
  • Twigs 
  • Pruning shears
  • 1″x4″x6′ pine (if adding a frame)
  • stain in your choice of colors

First, cut your foam board to size. I cut a 14″x22″ piece in half. Then, cut your branches into 1″ pieces. 


To create an offset starburst, draw a starting point in the bottom left corner, then glue a twig facing out from the center of my point. 

Begin gluing twigs about 1/2″ apart in a spiral pattern, moving outward. Each line should be about 1″ from the last until you’ve completed the entire board, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges.  



I chose to add a simple frame to my piece using 1″x4″ scraps of wood and stained the frame with a dark mahogany stain.  

And that’s all there is to it, except for finding a place to display it! 

I hope you can find time to make one on your snow day or hope you at least have better luck with your snowman! 

Now, we need YOUR help! Take the survey below and tell me what you want to Create with Me for February!

Deperate Desk Area Makeover

Posted in CLASSROOM, DECOR, DIY, FURNITURE MAKE-OVERS, OFFICE
on August 1, 2013

The Happy Room is nearly complete, and I’m so excited with how it is turning out! I really think it’s going to be a functional space we can all enjoy – as a matter of fact, we already are enjoying it amid redecorating.

The latest project, was to improve what was to be an inspiring desk area. With it looking so uggggggly, the last thing the area was doing was providing any kind of inspiration!

The update gave a much needed update to a couple of Target folding desks we’ve had for years – so long, in fact, that they once lived in my big baby’s, Brandon and Megan, rooms. Since they both moved out two and a year ago respectively, and hadn’t used them in more years than that, we really, truly, have had them for years. We also recovered two stackable office chairs that were freebies during Shay’s office remodelling. Lastly, we provided some cute storage and decorative accents.

The desk area has a few purposes in the Happy Room. First, we intend to use it as  a computer area, which works out nicely, as the area is located in the “classroom”. When needed, it can also serve as a sewing table – the sewing bug hits me on occasion and it’s nice to have  a place, other than the kitchen table, to do this!  It is also a nice, quiet spot for homework. The desks themselves,  are light and easy enough to move around, adding table space where needed for entertaining.

We started off with the chairs. They were your basic run of the mill, black iron, stackable chairs. They had a few redeeming features – namely a padded seat and back, that was removable.

A little bit of rub-n-buff and some faux leather fabric later, we have something a whole lot less boring and a whole lot more inspiring – definitely more in line with where we are going!

The desks, were a bit more work. They started off looking like this – Yup, mismatched and all. On top of that, the white one especially, had seen much better days.

If you remember, our original inspiration for the Happy Room looked very much like this, and I was still very much on board with striving for a room with this kind of feel, in a kid friendly kinda way:

I love, love, love that coffee table, but I wasn’t really in the market for a new one in this room – I was trying to reuse as much as possible, so, I applied the look of the coffee table to the desks. I’m so happy with how they turned out!

We started off by filling, sanding, and priming where necessary. The paint is Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover in Fire Orange (wow, that was a mouthful). The edge, I painted by hand in Valspar’s Swiss Chocolate.

We finished with three coats of Minwax Polycrylic in a semi-gloss finish, that literally went on perfectly and smoothed out just like glass.

Our decorative accents include a cute lamp that I picked up at Goodwill for $4.99, and world map poster from Target – $5.99.

We added a bunting made out of clothes line twine, Dr. Suess Alphabet cards from the Target Dollar bins, and clothes pins painted using the same paint as the desk. Ayden especially loves this!

And finally, we added an odds and ends storage bar, using an old curtain rod and brackets, shower curtain hooks, and $1 tins from Target.

We are so pleased with the results, and can’t wait to share more of our progress on the Happy Room with you! Stay tuned!
Follow up: 
So excited to say this post and makeover was featured on stylemotivation.com in their “27 Briliant DIY Home Decor Projects That Will Make Your Home Unique” post. Check out the other 26 projects for more inspiration! 
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