Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How I Met Your Clutter...and made it pretty.

Lately I've been painting upholstery. Didn't know if you knew that. I did it years ago before it became an upcycle trend. After all, a painting is just fabric with paint on it. So on my short drive to drop my son off to school, I always weave through the alleys of Lansdale to see what decluttered gems  my neighbors have been leaving at the curb after weekend clean outs. Recently, I found a treasure in these empire style dining chairs. I just couldn't resist. I had to do the Shabby chickie thing and paint them off white. Because the finish was completely faded, I painted then with a satin cream, paint and primer in-one latex. The dry chairs sucked it right up and the paint laid on perfectly. Because the original fabric was straight out of an episode of The Partridge Family, meaning that it was course gold and green corduroy, I decided that painting over that  was not going to give me the look I wanted. The look I was going for was faded, old world canvas, with a touch of french styling.  Something that looks like it had been in L'apartment dans Paris for quite some time. So I removed the seat from the base, and dug through my scrap fabric box to see what kind of cotton/linen sheet I had hiding within. Sure enough, I came across an old Ralph Lauren cotton bed skirt that I had from years ago, that had gotten wet while in storage and the fabric stained and fell apart in a few places. For some reason I could never part with it even with it's damage, so I had washed it and stored it away in my  bin. It was perfect. As soon as I pulled it out and saw the shirred skirt, I knew exactly how to proceed. I was going to skirt the slip seat of the chair. And paint that fabric as well as the seat.

I removed the seats, and cut the main part (platform) of the fabric and allowed a two inch return to give me room to staple the fabric down. Then I cut off the shirred (gathered) part of the skirt and began stapling that to the underside edge off the seat.

Once done, I flipped it and used a sponge roller to apply the latex paint to the seat.
On the skirt, I sprayed Kilz primer so that it would stiffen up the fabric, and the spray helps get in all the folds
where a roller can't.
     Then brushed some cream paint onto the skirt once the primer had dried. Next step, I rubbed in antiquing wax to crevases along the seams, just where dust and dirt would collect naturally over time. Then rubbed antquing over the entire chair, as well as sanding a bit to give the chairs some distressing. The antiquing wax can be very dark, so I only use a little. I rub it in until it begins to blend in and fade a bit, then dry brush on the cream color again over the brown. This creates a layered, more authentic, time-worn look. I chose some stencils I felt would give It a French feel, and sprayed on with brown spray paint.  Once the stenciling dried, I did another round of dry brushing over the letters, again, to make it look older and faded.After that dried, I did a layer of wax over the whole chair including the fabric. It just softened the whole touch of the fabric and the painted chair. You may notice on closer look at the pics, that the skirt on the chairs has a raw edge. I did that on purpose. The bed skirt was too long and hid the beautiful chair legs, so I tore the skirt to cut it down. I liked the deconstructed, faded and worn look of it. It added to its authenticity. I finished them off with shredded silk toile ribbons at the back. This look may not be for everyone, but those who love shabby will just adore it. The beauty of it is in the imperfections. And that suits my style perfectly.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Two Stools and a Door and No Sleep

So what do I do with 2 stools and a door when I can't sleep? This...

Remove the seats...

Line up the stools where I want them placed...

Screw them in place...

Attach a board below for stabilization...glue and screw from the sides...

Paint the board to match, screw the seats back in at the bottom
and add a piece of wood under the door in the middle to act as an apron...glue and screw in place and paint to match...

Add a vintage wood piece as a back splash...glue and screw in place...drill holes in the bottom of the feet and add vintage wheels....

Shabby it up and coat with polyurethane...voila!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Knob to Knobility

Got boring wood knobs? Class them up for a unique and inexpensive look.  These knobs belonged to my client and I decided to amp them up to make her plain dressers have a bit of pop.
I purchased wood circles and resin fleur de lis stick-ons at Michael's and...

Drilled holes in the circles...

Then to create a space in the hole to counter sink the screws to hold the wood piece to the knob, chose a drill bit slightly wider than the screws I am using...

The hole will look like this now...don't drill too far down with the second bit...otherwise your screw will come right through...

Drill a small hole in the knob...

Then screw them together...

Paint of your choice...

Glue the appliques...

And embellish!
Can't wait to put these on!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Now on Instagram???

Just yesterday I finally got my account up and rolling with Instagram, because apparently that's where all the cool people hang out, and I like to pretend I'm cool and pretend I know what is going on and what is trendy, so I opened an account. I have absolutely no idea what its all about, even after using it for two days.  I had my coworker show me how it works, and I still don't get it. But that's ok.  It's another tool we are using to get the word out about what we do here at The Shabby Attic. So though I am a reluctant social media person (I've been told i'm good at it, although I still have no idea what i'm doing), I will add it to the list of internet outlets I am staying up to 3am using, to make sure our business is a success. Although in my opinion, nothing beats the old fashioned word of mouth. Even though secretly I wish one of my vids would go viral. So here are my thoughts about Instagram. I am confused by the name, so I came up with what this social sight should really be called:

Instagrammy/Instagramps:   Where old geizers like me try to do social media, but really have to have a ten year old show us how it works. And we are still lost.

Instagrammar:  Trying with frustration to read and decipher screenames, because the English language just got put in a blender. It took me several minutes to figure out that wxyzalphalovr was a friend. Kikilave is my neighbor and I had no idea she even was a Kiki since her name is Mona.

Instacramps: Spasms in your lips from making too many duck faces from individual and group selfies

Instapounds:: Sitting on my arse eating oreos while I post selfies instead of doing my P90x workout.

Instaman:  Another venue for creepy guys I don't know to stalk me. And maybe even some creepy guys I DO know.

Instaglands: This site seems to be  overrun by 14yr olds with raging hormones.

Instapants:     People taking selfies in clothes that don't fit ....too much spandex girls! and pull up those pants boys!

Instaplans:  Planning your vacation around how good your pics at Disney will look in sepia tone.

Instabland: Pics that are posted without using rockin effects that make them look edgy or vintage. Basically, FB pics.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Time Has Come....finally.

Well, it seems like this is now the end of a long road. We are finally moving into our new store.  It has been a challenging and exhausting journey since May.  And like a long labor that had no epidural, this baby is finally gettin born, and it's about time. And man, did it hurt. But i'm sure the pain will someday be a distant memory (although I know for darn sure i'm never doing this again without some good drugs on hand).  Like so many things in life, some things just can't be rushed. Things take on a life of their own and you just have to ride the crest of the wave until it crashes on the shore, dumping you on the beach with sand in your suit and seashells in your hair.   Then you get up, adjust the boobs and pick out the surf wedgie, and head back to the ocean to watch for the next wave.  And the waves will eventually come.  Thank you to all my lifeguards who kept me from drowning...Rachel, Audrey, Ryan and Lori, my folks and family, and all my other support people.  I love you guys. The Shabby Attic isn't just a shop. It's a haven. It's a retreat. It's an escape,  It's a mission. Let's see where the ocean takes us next.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wrap It Up

You all may not know that I am currently renting a house, and of course, renting creates decorating dilemmas.  I have a small bathroom and I've been dying to give the bare walls some "punch". Here is a way (I'm attempting) to give a designer look to the walls without causing damage to them when the rental ends and the paper must come down.  (I anticipate that a sponge and some solvent cleaner (acetone) should do the trick to remove glue residue in the future) .
I am doing this look only on one wall in the bathroom, and I would suggest the same for anyone else, to keep the area of coverage somewhat small.
I found a heavy grade gift wrap at Homegoods that I found  for $4 per roll that I figured might work, heavy enough to take pulling and cutting, etc.
I would think that you could also use unpasted wallpaper to do this look too, I just didn't find any with a pattern that I liked.
I measured out how long the strips should be, and I used Elmer's Adhesive Spray to spray the back and put it up just like wallpaper, wiping/pushing out the bumps using a dry rag. Use an exacto blade to cut off any excess.
There are a few bubbles in the paper but I'm not going for perfection or permanency, just pop.
So far, so good....everything seems to be laying and sticking pretty well and I love the silvery gray look against the white and orange.  I used the shower and the paper seems to be holding up with the steam and moisture. I am anticipating that if any corners or edges raise up, I will reapply come of the adhesive to reattach.
 Anyway, for us apartment dwellers, this is a creative way to put up color that is not permanent.  Hope you enjoyed it! Let me know if you have other suggestions regarding rentals and putting up color...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

There is one thing about the power of paint that never ceases to amaze me...it's the ability of it to transform. Everything becomes a canvas. Even a junky old colonial pine coffee table that nobody wanted at auction.
Oh those silly folks who passed by it and couldn't see it's potential. Shame on them, but bonus for me!
So, I paid for this orphan and brought it home, and I knew exactly what to do it with it.  It's a sizeable table, measuring 60w x 29d...so I'm going for a Pottery Barn look, with a butcher block natural top.

Step 1:
Using Zip stripper, we removed the old lacquer from the top and then sanded it down to the natural pine. Make sure and wear a mask! I like Zip because it's effective and can you can start stripping within just a few minutes. Put it on thicker rather than thinner and it really works.

Step 2:
I sanded the piece all over, and removed the old hardware, getting it ready for painting. Once sanded, two coats of black paint and primer were applied, and the distressed along the edges after it dries.

Step 3. Apply two coats of wax, or polyurethane, whichever works for you...I applied wax to keep a lower sheen.

Step 4.: We got some jumbo wheels from Lowe's, which cost about $15each. I also redrilled the holes for new hardware, about $4 each... worthwhile investment for the industrial look.

What difference from BEFORE to AFTER!

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