I’m a bad blogger. We’ve actually done quite a few projects around Stoneybrooke in the past few months but I am constantly having an inner debate between waiting to post until “the final reveal” so as to not spoil the surprise of the end look, and posting piece by piece as we work at the pace of real life.  Since there are still a few more details to take care of before I post a photo of the dining room progress overall, I thought I’d show you the update to our dining room chairs. This is one of the easiest, albeit time-consuming projects ever.
Dining Chairs Before Green White Black Gray Grey

I picked up these bad boys on Craiglist for $5 a pop (that’s right… 8 chairs for $40!!!)  I was pretty stoked to say the least.  They had been sitting out in the rain for a few days before we picked them up so the screws and brackets were a little rusty and the clear coat was peeling up, but that wasn’t a big deal to me since were planning to take them apart.  Here’s a little play-by-play of the excitement.

Step 1: Remove the Nasty

Removing the old fabric and crusty foam was a long process. I recommend you do this step while catching up on your overloaded DVR with a bottle of wine.  I started pulling out each and every one of the old staples on the first couple of seats, but gave up after 2 seats. Some of the plywood was not in great condition because of water damage and pulling out the staples was pulling the plywood apart. Because I don’t plan on keeping these chairs forever, just for a few years until we’re done doing major updates to house and have more room in the budget for furniture, I wasn’t terribly concerned with the chairs being PERFECT.  You don’t see that side of the chair anyway so it’s not a huge deal. If you’re a perfectionist, then have at it… and then come over and do some of my projects for me! *hehe*

table-with-wood-cushions

I used my palm sander on the chairs as much as possible and then did some hand sanding for areas that were hard to get to.  I hate sanding as much, if not more than the next person, so I mainly did the sanding to get the flaky water damaged spots on the wood removed.  Then I used a deglosser on the rest of the wood to soften up the remaining varnish so the new paint would stick.

Step 2: Prime!

This is one of those time where I thought I should probably prime, decided to skip it because of the time crunch I was under, and totally regret it! Always go with what your gut tells you.

Step 3: Paint

I really, really, really wanted to spray paint these chairs, again because of the time crunch, but couldn’t find a color available in a spray that would whisper sweet nothings to me. So, I sucked it up and enlisted slave labor my friends to help.  We did two coats of Valspar Signature Interior Paint/Primer in “High Speed Steel,” waiting a full 24 hours before putting on the second coat. I haven’t used Valspar before but it had good coverage and drying time.  Because its been pretty cold around here and our only time was in the evenings, we had to paint in the basement.  This was not so much a problem for the Valspar since it’s a low VOC paint, but Montana was pretty sure I was going to kill us all when I did the clear coat down there. We’re all living still… just with a few less brain cells.

Dining Chairs Painted Gray Grey

Step 4: Protective Coat

For the top coat I used my favorite Polycrylic by Minewax, that comes either in a spray can or different sized cans for rolling/brushing.  I opted to splurge a little and buy the spray.  I was able to do 2 coats on 8 chairs with only a can and a half so I think it was well worth the few extra dollars to save easily 5 hours of painting time.  This was when I realized not priming (even though my paint had primer in it) was a mistake because some of the red was showing through.  After a few minutes of pouting and self loathing I decided that the lack of perfection on the chairs actually made them look more rustic which is kind of what I was going for anyway.  I was originally going to do two colors of paint on the chairs and rough up the edges to show the second color but the lack of time made me stick with one color.

minewax polycrylic

Step 5: Reupholstering Cushions

Supes easy.  Cut fabric and lay flat, set foam on top of fabric, set wood seat on top of foam, staple. Boom your done!

Ha. To quote Cher Horowitz, As if. Insert cursing the day the electric stapler was invented every few staples as it gets stuck and you have to completely unassemble the stapler to get the stuck staple out. Repeat x100. Step 5A: Go to hardware store and buy an old-fashioned non-electric heavy-duty stapler. (We haven’t done this step yet).  *If anyone has had an electric stapler that they actually like, please comment away.  We bought 2 staplers and they were both HORRIBLE even though they were $50! Not cool!

We used 2″ foam so that they’re nice and cushy and won’t be completely flat after a few years of use.

Green Eco Friendly Cushion Foam

For the fabric I chose a toile from Hancock Fabric which I got for 50% off at the Labor Day sale. Score!

My main tip for stapling is that when you start, staple first in the middle and push the cushion down a bit. If you don’t push the cushion down, then when you flip them right side up, the edge on the foam will be very square.  After you staple the first side, staple the opposite edge before the adjacent edges while making sure you pull the fabric tight. Wait to staple the corner sections until all the sides are done and tuck the fabric under itself like you’re wrapping a present. I gave myself an extra inch of fabric more than I needed to help me pull it tight. You can cut off the extra fabric when you’re done stapling.

how to reupholster dining cushions

I also decided to use a waterproofing spray on the cushions when we were done since the fabric I used was white. Hopefully it helps with spills, If not, I bought an extra yard or so of fabric so I can recover them if necessary.

Step 6: Reassemble chairs and brush your shoulders off. You so fancy.

Dining Chairs After Green White Black Gray Grey

 

And now for the Before and After…

Dining Chairs Before After Green White Black Gray Grey

Hopefully soon we’ll have our table refinished and then I can do a proper “progress” shoot of the dining room. Until then…

 

 

We’ve been getting busy in the bedroom.  Busy painting and decorating!  No need to advert your eyes!

I’m one of those people that can’t sit still and relax if there’s a mess in front of me. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I still drive Montana nuts on occasion with my need to be constantly moving around cleaning up “when we just spent hours cleaning.”  Likewise, if I’m in a messy or haphazardly thrown together bedroom, I have a hard time falling asleep because it stresses me out.  I’m sure there’s a study out there on sleep patterns and aesthetics of a room, but here’s a fact according to Anne. FACT: People sleep better in pretty places.  Also, more sleep –>happier Anne, and as every husband knows… Happy Wife, Happy Life!

A while back, while discussing my idea of having a desk in the sitting room attached to our master bedroom, my hair stylist said “Your bedroom should be for sleep or *smooching* and nothing else.”  (Censored for the children.)  I think there’s definitely something to that so I’ve kept it in mind while planning out the style for the master bedroom.   As you know from my previous post on Picking Paint Colors, we decided to go with Gray (Silver Sateen in Behr Premium Plus Ultra) for the bedrooms, and in the master chose teal as our “pop” of color.  Here’s some photos found on my beloved pinterest that I used for inspiration. (Sources listed below)

Inspiration bedrooms in shades of gray{Source: top left – houzz, top right Designer Unknown – Live the Henry,

bottom left – houzz, bottom right – high fashion home}

Just as a reminder this is basically what we started with and collected within a few weeks the move. bedroom before update shades of gray teal

before update bedroom shades of gray teal

bedroom before update shades of gray teal closet bathroom

Now after a coat of paint on the walls, painting the campaign dresser, a new bed, and some accessories, the room has made significant strides into feeling “pretty” and calm!

shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp
shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp
shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp

shades of gray bedroom teal progress mirror nightstand lucite lamp

hallway door laundry shoot shades of gray bedroom makeover update teal

The campaign dresser ended up being thankfully a fairly quick and cheap makeover. I mixed together a bunch of paint samples that we had used to try to pick the gray and teal, and the only thing we had to purchase was some new drawer slides, an extra can of Minewax Polycrylic for the protective coat, and a can of Rustoleum Satin Nickel Spray Paint for the hardware.

We also used the same Satin Nickel spray paint to give a fresh look to our ceiling fan. Unfortunately, while ceiling fans aren’t glamorous, they’re kind of a necessity here in the summer. Our house is usually about 10 degrees hotter on the second floor than the main level and again about 10-15 degrees cooler in the basement.  So… the fans are staying. Oh well. 🙂

spray paint ceiling fan update bedroom shades of gray satin nickel birch

Future Projects or Purchases we’re already planning for the bedroom include:

  • building custom closet built-ins
  • closing up the wall where there is a window behind the headboard
  • replacing the window on the wall to the side of the bed with a double window (We already hung double wide curtains to plan ahead)
  • Stencil one or all of the walls with “Endless Moorish Circles
  • Buy a Rug
  • Maybe Mirrors for behind the nightstand lamps?
  • Figure out art for the walls
Most of these will be waiting a while so the rest of the house can catch up to “progress” from “before.”
What do you think?!
(Source List for Our Bedroom Makeover Progress: Mirrored Nightstand from Marshalls, Lamps from Home Goods, OMVÄXLANDE Tray from Ikea, picture frames from Home Goods, Ampersand Bedding from Bed, Bath and BeyondSkyline Furniture Tufted Wingback King Bed from Lowes (also available on Amazon), Teal Vase from Home Goods, Alarm Clock from Marshalls (few years old), Mirrored Kleenex Box from Home Goods, MERETE Curtains in “Bleached” from Ikea )

 

 

We’ve finally gotten around to starting to paint out house and its so nice to see what a huge difference some work and a few cans of paint can do for a room! Choosing the right paint color is hard. Mistakes happen even when you think you’ve really got the shade pinned down to exactly what you want. The good thing is that a can of paint is relatively cheap and so you can always start over.

choosing paint colors for your home

How do you go about picking colors for your house? Designers recommend that you choose and stick to 4-5 main colors for all the rooms in your house. That way it’s easier to make everything flow well from room to room.

Montana and I (ok, really just me) had a general idea of what colors we wanted to paint before we even moved in since I’d been thinking about it constantly for the last year. In general I wanted a soothing neutral in the hallways and bedrooms, something spa-like for the bathrooms, and something bright and cheerful in the living room, dining room and kitchen. I settled on gray, teal, green, yellow, and pure white. I’m a stickler for uber bright pure whites. There’s nothing that drives me crazy faster than a dirty looking white.

I ran across this palette from a great blog called Design Seeds and LOVE it. It’s basically exactly what I was imagining.

Rachel from Lovely Clusters also does a great job putting together palettes from pretty photos.

Maybe you already have a favorite pillow or painting that has great colors you want to use. John and Sherry from Young House Love based their color palette off a clearance napkin. Anything goes.

If you have a favorite brand of paint, most of brand websites will let you upload a photo of your inspiration and tell you what colors of their paint are found in the photo. I know a lot of professionals swear by Benjamin Moore. Honestly, I was going to give their paint a try, but the only time their local store is open and I’m not at work is for a few hours on Saturday. This girl needs to be able to shop for house stuff in the evenings, so BM lost my business. If you love the BM their tool is available here.

choosing benjamin moore paint colors for your houese or home

Glidden calls their tool “My Colortopia“.

choosing glildden paint colors for your home or house

My personal favorite brand of paint is Behr. Montana actually laughed at me when I said I wanted to try BM a few months ago. He’s very much an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” kind of guy. Me… not so much. I’m always wanting to try different products. But anyhow, as I told you above BM didn’t fit my schedule so I’m staying forever with Behr. They have an awesome free iPad app that is great for wasting away your evenings.

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Same as the other brands you can upload you’re own photo or choose from one of their stock photos…

choosing paint colors for your home

look at paints in color families…

choosing paint colors for your home

get suggestions on complementary colors and save your favorites….

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and even preview your selected colors in the room type and style that you’re planning. Its fabulous!20120911-083957.jpg

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Major time suck! I told you so! But it’s also nice to save your colors and come back to them. That way if you’re painting furniture and you want to have a slightly different shade of a complementary color to your palette without using the exact colors of your palette you’ve got help!

Behr has two main lines of paint. Premium Plus, the more economical line, we’ve used for our ceilings. We buy it in the two gallon cans because it’s slightly cheaper but not as heavy as the five gallon. So far in our experience it took three coats to cover over a green ceiling without any primer, and two coats for cream or white ceilings. Side note: the Premium Plus is No VOC which is exciting because you don’t feel like you’re going to pass out or kill too many brain cells while painting. 🙂

For our walls we’re using the Premium Plus Ultra which is their Paint and Primer in one. We love love love it. In our old condo rental we used it to cover over a dark orange with light tan and it covered in one coat. It was a miracle. In the house we’ve been using two coats just to ensure we haven’t missed anything since we own it (well the bank does for another 29.5 years but you know what I mean). It’s Low VOC and I don’t notice any smell. Another happy face. 🙂

I’ll back soon with photos of some newly painted rooms. Yay for pretty walls!

Who gets stuck picking out colors? Do you jump right in and commit?

***This is not a sponsored post. I just love me some Behr. I feel bad that I almost cheated on them with BM. Thank you Home Depot for being open until 10pm so I can fulfill my need for your lovely aisles of paint when I should be sleeping.***