Category Archives: around the house

chalk paint refurbishment…

Chalk paint has been all over Pinterest for a while now, and everyone raves about how easy it is to use, and the gorgeous results it gives. I’ve wanted to do-over my bed side tables for a while now, and I thought this was the perfect project for a first-time-chalk-painter!

This is was I started with. Two, very generic, bed side tables. First, all of the hard-wear was removed, including the doors, handles, and those little disks.

Even though I’ve read over and over that you don’t have to sand your item before you paint it, I did give mine a light sand, and a good scrubbing with a brush and some warm sugar-soapy water.

The next step, I have to credit to my wonderful dad! Behind the door was just one big open cavity, which I found completely useless for storing stuff. I thought adding a shelf would give me more storage options. I bought a sheet of MDF, and gave dad puppy-dog eyes until he agreed to build me some shelves (thanks dad!).

He used the above tools.. I’m taking a stab in the dark here, and am going to call them “air-compressing nail gun” and “drop saw”.

Here are the two shelves which dad put grooves in to match the sides of my tables.. and the shelf positioned in it’s new home.

Now, onto the fun part! Although I searched, I couldn’t find a retailer that could sell me chalk paint, let alone the colour I wanted. Then I stumbled across Marilyn’s Chalk Paint, which is an Australian company that sells chalk paint powder! This stuff is amazing! Basically, you add it to any low sheen or matte acrylic paint, give it a good shake, and BAM! It will turn it into thick chalk paint! It comes with instructions and measurements, so you’ll never get it wrong!

I added the chalk paint mix to my low sheen acrylic paint (in Aqua Chiffon [T10 50B-1] from Taubmans) I started with the shelves, the drawers, and then moved onto the tables. Reags helped me to do a second coat, once the first was completely dry.

I felt like the inside of the draws needed a bit of love. My mum has this book full of gorgeous Paisley wrapping paper, which I knew would be perfect! Using regular-old wood glue, I stuck strips of paper over the joins inside the draw, then measured rectangles of paper to cover the sides and bottom.

I let everything sit overnight, to make sure it was 100% dry. Then I took to all the edges with some fine sand paper, to give a nice distressed look. This is where the chalk paint starts to shine! There is a small amount of texture to the dried paint, so the sand paper took off small bits at a time. It was really easy to control how much distressing there was.

After a quick dusting, we sealed the tables with clear wax, which you can also get from Marilyn’s. You just apply a thin, even layer of wax to any surface you want to seal. Let it “set” for at least 10 minutes, then get to buffing! I found small, circular motions worked best. The wax is buffed when the surface is silky smooth and shiny.

Then it was just a matter of adding the new hard-wear, and inserting the draws.

Just like everyone before me has said, chalk paint is super easy, there is little (to no) sanding required, and the results are wonderful! Sealing the paint with the clear wax gives a finish that looks and feels very professional. And how cute are those crystal handles? If you’ve every wanted to try chalk paint, I really encourage you to give it a go, you’ll love it!

vintage print cushions…

Our poor lounge has been in want of some cushions, and Reags has been bugging asking me to make some for ages now. We had a lazy-Sunday-at-home planned, so I thought I’d drag my sewing machine out and make them!

I started by making a simple 3 piece pattern in the measurements below . My cushion inserts are 46cm square, and I wanted them to fit snug inside the covers, so I made the finished size 45cm square (adding a 1cm seam allowance to each side).

a = front, b = back top, c = back bottom

I made the back in two pieces so I could add a zipper for easy insert-removal. With the zipper in, I stitched the front and back together, with right sides facing. Turn it right size out through the zipper hole, shove the insert in, and DONE!

The backs

The backs

These were so quick and so simple to make. They add a great burts of colour to our loungeroom, and I’ve actually had one behind my back while writing this post! I can report, super comfy!

can upholster…

I don’t think this is strickly classed as upholstering, but I recovered our dining room chairs a few weeks ago. We got them off GumTree, $100 for the four! I was going to strip them back and paint them white (I seem to be doing this a lot lately..), but it turns out they are cedar chairs! So we just gave them a light stain, and are yet to put a bees wax sealer on.

The chair on the left is the ‘before’ and the other is the ‘after’. Recovering the seats was so easy! Basically, I just ripped out all of the old staples, and used the fabric as a template for the new cover. The padding and foam was in really good condition, so I didn’t even have to replace it! I used an electric stapler (kindly borrowed from my mother) to attach the new cover. I think I have pulled the fabric a little too tight in places, see how you can see a bit of tention across the front of the seat? Honestly, it doesn’t bother me too much, but I will try to keep it a little even when I do the last two chairs.

While I was in the mood, I also recovered my sewing chair in a really awesome fabric I found at Spotlight. It was 40% off too! The staples holding the original fabric on were pushed in really far, so I found it difficult to pull them out. I ended up just going straight over the top of the old stuff, as it was cotton in a creamy colour, and wouldn’t interfer with the new pattern at all.

This is a really simple way to give an old chair a new look! I like my sewing chair so much more now, it fills me with sewing inspiration and drive, which is just what I need!