Furniture Rescue: Sewing Table

A good friend of mine offered me this sewing table about 2 plus years ago that she found on the curb during bulk trash pickup. She sent me a picture asking if I wanted it, and since I love a good project, I took it. It sat around collecting dust for a while, since I lived in an apartment unable to really refinish furniture. I then moved to a duplex where it was still not very easy to refinish furniture, but one day I took it outside and sanded it down. Until recently when I joked with my fiancé about how it only took 2 years to get this far, and it may take 2 more to finish it did I realize how lazy I was being. I had free time. I had supplies. What was holding me back? So now that we live in a house it was easy to just take the piece outside and finish the sanding and staining!

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This is the before photo. I got new knobs at Hobby Lobby. The finish was so old it was literally flaking off.

Table Before

Finally got it sanded and it’s super splotchy. I decided to use Minwax’s “Espresso” to hide the imperfections so I didn’t have to sand it to death.

Table with new stain

The stain isn’t as dark or as black as I was hoping, but it pulled out the woodgrain beautifully.

Finished Table

After countless hours of sanding, a coat of stain and 2 coats of polyurethane it turned out great!

Finished Table with Knobs

I got these knobs at Hobby Lobby for only $2.36 each! They are super bohemian and I love them.

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I’m so glad this project is done! I love the finished product, and for only the price of stain and knobs, about $20 total! Happy refinishing!

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Fixing a Teak Chair with Bondo

When my Dad moved out of his house and put everything in storage, I begged for this Teak chair I remember as a child. It had big arms, and was cozy to curl up in. I’m a bit bigger now, and curling up in this chair isn’t quite as cozy, but nostalgia kicked in and I had to have it. He warned me it was broken, and I instantly told him I could fix it. Two years later, I decided to do something about it. I read an article a while back about a guy that fixed part of the outside of his house that had been infested with termites using Bondo. Bondo is a 2 part, epoxy / putty like substance sold to fix major dings and dents in cars, and dries rock solid. I thought it was worth a shot on this great chair. You may remember this chair from an article I did on coconut oil improving the appearance of wood.

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My chair. It has some great bones, but was missing all the good stuff. No cushion, and two of the back supports were popped out of the back, which was broken.

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I attempted to put a screw in the back, which may not have been the best idea.

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So, Bondo. It’s a 2 part deal, with a small tube of red stuff and a quart can of gray putty. It’s hard to mix, so read the instructions very well before using. Mix it fast and use it fast, because it becomes rock solid within a matter of 4 minutes and then you can’t use it. I had to mix, spread on, sand,wait 20 minutes, mix, spread on… 3 times to get desired results. You can see my butter knife marks. Ha.

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I applied and sanded each time, trying to avoid sanding the chair too often.

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The Bondo looks angry.

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For the last round of Bondo, I grabbed bits and smooshed it into the chair, making sure to stick out farther than the chair, so I could sand it flat with the back of the chair.

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Not perfect, but better! It’s so strong. Within 20 minutes I was able to sand and paint it.

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This was my attempt to see how well Minwax stain took to the Bondo, which was like concrete. It didn’t stain well, so I decided to just paint it.

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I put a coat of something close to wood colored paint on the chair, but it still wasn’t perfect.

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I cut little wood grain notches in the chair so I could stain over the paint.

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This is where I ended up. It’s not perfect, the color is a little off, and I may keep playing with it, but it’s still WAY better than it was. The Bondo is super strong, and holding the wood in place!

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I got this cushion off of a curb sofa, and meant to use the foam for the seat cover. I took off the ugly sofa cushion and sanitized the cushion.

DISCLAIMER: And no that’s not grimy-grime on the foam. I pulled a brown seat cover off of it and some of the fabric particles were left behind. And the sofa had JUST been put on the curb. I have a rule when I furniture pick, no fabric, no particle board. And since all I was using was the insert, I deemed it ok to take.

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I chose a great canvas fabric from Hancock Fabrics. Only $5 a yard!

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I sewed a little box cushion with a zipper in back for easy on and off. The zipper was only $1 from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

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The cushion fits perfectly without me having to cut any sides off!

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My finished chair! I’m so happy to have fixed this chair I remember sitting in as a kid. It’s something I plan to always have. While I was at it with the Bondo, I fixed a doorknob plate with a loose screw. I took the plate out of the jamb, filled the hole, and put the plate back on. The screw went right into the Bondo, no chipping or cracking.

Happy Bondo-ing!

Coconut Oil to Renew Wood

I got this chair from my father as a hand me down. Well, the true story is he had it in storage and I begged and bothered him for this chair until he dug it out. It’s something I remember from my childhood, and it’s broken and missing cushions, but knowing me, it wasn’t going to stop me from wanting it. The wood on this old teak chair was dry and looked just sad. There were 2 choices I had, I could polyurethane it or find something to renew the wood itself. I came across a blog post about rubbing coconut oil on old dry wood to renew the luster. I thought it was worth a shot. After testing it on the underside and liking what I saw, I went ahead and did the rest of the chair.

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This is what the chair looked like before, dry and aged.

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Here’s another shot. Cats love to help. They also love coconut oil.

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Here’s what it started to look like once I rubbed the oil on the chair. It looks amazing! The downside was that I had to rub and rub and rub to get the oily feeling out of the chair. I wanted that refreshed look without the feel, and went through quite a few paper towels.

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Here’s the arm of the chair after I finished it.

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The finished chair! With no cushions, I just draped a blanket over it and added a folded blanket to the seat.

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This is the arm in the sunlight. The chair looks great next to the table by it (that WILL get refinished this summer.)

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I think the chair looks great. NOTE: Don’t start using coconut oil on chairs and furniture around your house to freshen them up if you plan on refinishing them. You’ll get the oil into the grain making the color weird or keeping a water based poly from sticking to the furniture. I would only recommend this for pieces like this, natural wood that’s been dried out that you just want to bring back to life. Happy re-finishing!

Find of the Month:The Retro Chair

So I went to visit a friend on Saturday, and in her basement, hidden beneath an old computer monitor was this neat little retro chair. I mentioned how cute it was, and she offered it to me.”Oh boy!”, my mind thought. A chair that I can take home, and re-cover and make my own! Like I don’t have enough on my crafting-to-do-plate. But alas, the shape of this made me think of a glamorous little dressing chair, somewhere to sit while you put on your high heel shoes for a swanky night out. The itchy avocado-gold fabric and silver thread accents don’t do it justice, but I’m sure I can find the right fabric to give this little gem new life.

Designing by Color

I love a good old neutral room, with splashes of color. But every now and again, a room with full blown color looks fantastic! Here’s some examples…

From Sarah’s House on HGTV. Red is a great accent color.

 Don’t be afraid of color. Go for it! From quintessenceblog.com

I love this yellow wall art. It’s most likely a piece of fabric that’s been framed. And the matching pillows are lovely.

This green kitchen is too awesome.

How about this lovely blue livingroom?

Or- my suggestion still stands to anyone even slightly afraid of color- Just paint a neutral color and put in great accents of color all around you. Happy Designing!