Glad You Stopped By

By day I am a marketing professional for small businesses. I love to find and re-purpose forgotten objects, furniture and household items, turning them into usable stuff. I find interesting items at tag sales, flea markets and sometimes even thrown away along the side of the road. If I can find a use for something, I'll pick it up if it's the right price.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ode To Chem Lab, Industrial Stool Makeover

I found a really cool industrial stool at an estate sale in Connecticut earlier this summer.  I could have come home with a replica cannon that was also in the sale, but this seemed more practical.  It kind of reminded me of chemistry lab - bad memories. But, it had some promise, so home it came  . . . and sat all summer.

Today is a top 10 early Fall day in New England. The leaves are just starting to change, the temperature is in the 70's.  A perfect day to get this project going.

The first step was to remove the gray paint from the oak seat.  With a little Citris Strip (my favorite stripper), it came off easily.

There was some rust on the metal legs, but a little coarse sandpaper scuffed it up nicely.  A damp towel was all that was needed to finish prepping for spray painting.  I chose Rust-oleum, black satin.  It was a little tricky to spray the back of the chair, but after a couple of tries with plastic bags, I used packing tape to protect the wood. 

After the legs dried, it was on to applying a light coat of stain.  I used Minwax "Golden Pecan" as I had it on hand.

I always love watching the change as the wood grain begins to show itself.  How many high school kids sat right there as they struggled (well, I struggled) with their experiments.

And here is the finished project, waiting for a new home.

Painted Lamp Shades, a Pop of Color

I woke up today and decided to changeover the living room from our summer coastal theme to a comfy, cozy fall palette. Then I saw my dingy, boring table lamps and said . . . .  stop, bring on the color.

Nothing that a little paint won't fix.  I chose Benjamin Moore "Bird of Paradise" paint leftover from another project for its coral-orange color and began lathering on the paint using a foam brush.

Nothing complicated here - just make sure the shade is covered fully so that no light gets through.  I held it up to the sun a few times to check.

Here's the finished project. I really like them next to our falling leaves. Just need to let them dry.

And here they are in our living room.  I think I need to change the pillows and we'll be ready to bring on Fall!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Roadside Pick Of The Summer

There is nothing that gets a DIYer's heart pumping faster than a good roadside pick. As I was walking my dog in my neighborhood, I saw someone putting out 4 ugly looking chairs by the curb. I quickly scooted over to chat with the owner and learned that the chairs had come from a local hospital's reception area and were given to him when they remodeled a few years ago.  He had intended to refinish them but never got around to it.  And the best part . . . . they were FREE.  I asked if he'd put them behind the hedge so I could run home and return with a truck. Well, here they are.

And there they sat, all summer.  It was just too hot and humid in our neck of the woods to think about sanding.  Plus, it took a while to find the right fabric to cover the hideous vinyl seats.  After combing the thrift stores for a set of large napkins, I was able to find a remnant for $5.00 at one of my favorite shops, Knack, The Art Of Clever Reuse, located in Easthampton, MA.  I told myself that Labor Day weekend would be devoted to getting these chairs out of the garage and finishing them.

I hand sanded each piece just enough to scuff up the old finish.  I used Glidden Pecan stain and waited patiently for them to dry. After washing the vinyl covers, I laid out the seat cushions on my fabric.

I suppose I could have finished the edges off, but who's going to look under the chair, right?

And here's the finished project, perfect for my office conference table. 

Total cost:  $5.00.  I already had the stain, a foam brush and the staple gun.  Onto the next project - a retro industrial stool.  Stay tuned!