One of the things I have always loved to do is take a piece of furniture from "drab to fab." I'm currently working on a couple of furniture pieces depending on what kind of space I have available, time constraints, and flexibility. Recently, we had a lot of space open up in our living room, so I'm taking advantage!
So, it all started with this chair (more specifically, these chairs since there are two). My parents had a set of four or five of these when I was growing up around our kitchen table. My mom hated these chairs. I mean she hated them: like I hate playing monopoly. So, when we moved, no one was more thrilled than she was that these weren't needed regularly anymore.
Luckily for me, she couldn't part with these. Some eventually broke until we were down to just two left. My sister and I fought to keep them, knowing someday, they would be wonderful.
Now, just to be clear, I don't count myself hugely sentimental with furniture pieces. These chairs and my desk are the only pieces of furniture I've had for longer than five years. But as folding chairs, these have such great utilitarian uses, that I couldn't justify seeing them go. And we've used them for several events and holidays already.
But enough of me justifying why I've kept these seemingly awful chairs, so I can explain the new lease on life: The biggest change is these are getting a new coat of paint. These are going from a not so crisp white (my mom called the color dirty gross white) to a beautiful chocolate brown.
I have started putting on a fresh coat of paint, and while these are by no means finished, the look is already much improved. Beautiful, even.
I've so far done two coats of paint on each chair, and I am planning to start with touch-ups whenever possible. I plan to break out a smaller brush to get between the slats in the seats and all the tiny nooks so the color is completely flat and consistent.
I'm using a flat finish for a couple of reasons: it doesn't show scratches and wear and tear as much as other finishes do - which is good for a utility/kitchen chair. The paint would also be more easy to touch up and redo if these are ever extremely mistreated.
I have one last material designated for these chairs: In college, I bought some seat cushions for our bar stools in our furnished apartment: the cushions made those bearable to sit on. So, once the paint is done and dry, I'll put the cushions on, and voila! I'll have two wonderfully done, completely rehabilitated rescue chairs!
I even started showing some of the pictures to my mom (since she has professed her hatred for them), and she thought they were looking so much better already! Here's hoping the finished product continues to produce such great results!
My day yesterday was joyously filled with tons and tons of painting! I got started on two awesome folding chairs (more on those later), and did a resin gun prop start to finish! I took it from the resin mold to looking like the original Malcolm Reynolds pistol from the show Firefly. While I didn't actually do the resin mold myself, all of the detail and paint work was done completely by hand.
So, here was my starting point: not bad, just really boring. All of the pieces are there, just none of the coloring. Unfortunately, I'm really awful at taking "in progress" shots (and this one is a stock photo from the ordering website: http://www.therpf.com/f9/mal-reynolds-firefly-pistol-10604/ ), but I'll still talk through most of what I did...
I started by sanding it down with 60 grit sandpaper to make the paint more easily adhere to the resin. Then I migrated out to my garage and went to my trusted Rustoleum spray paint. I sprayed a coat of bright silver over the entire gun, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, let it dry, flipped it over, and did a coat on the reverse side.
From there, I started doing more research: pictures, information, and finding all the necessary things to delineate this gun from a real one (a half inch orange tip on the end of the barrel is customary). I found some pictures helpful, and others not as much, so I chose one that was the original, and one that I thought would have the best detailing that I could duplicate - duplicating a metal look on resin isn't quite as easy as it sounds.
Once both sides were dry, I was able to bring it inside, and I used brown acrylic paint to add all the necessary detail to the upper portion of the gun. I used an artist brush to add the color, and a rag to help get rid of any obvious or unnecessary strokes and amplify the detail.
After I had the detail mostly done with the top half, I moved to the stock of the gun, where I broke out a second paint color - this time red - to make the wood look. I didn't use the rag nearly as much on the stock, this way I could make it look more wooden. I added some browns to give it depth, and I hung it from the trigger to dry.
After a few hours, I did the orange tip to make sure the gun could be distinguished from the real thing and left it to hang overnight.