There are a number of possible titles for this post. I’m not quite sure which one works the best. Here are some possibilities.
Part 2 in the series, Things You Never Thought You Could Paint
Reupholstery for items of furniture that you don’t care enough about to actually reupholster
Why Ben shouldn’t leave me unattended at night while he goes off to translate obscure 12th century rabbinic texts if he knows that all the children are in bed and I’ll be left to my own devices
A cautionary tale
This is what my chair looked like at the beginning of the evening.
You see my dilemma right? I mean, here we have a chair that is completely blah. Not bad – kind of fun in a very blah kind of a way . . . I mean, it could almost remind you of an art deco club chair except that it’s nowhere near as cool . . . but it’s definitely lacking in zing. No get-up-and-go spirit, no peppy attitude here. I bought this chair at a charity sale for 5 pounds, so I have no real stake in it. It’s just a thing to sit on so that if we have company, we don’t all have to sit in a row on the pink couch. And I didn’t have the fortitude to try and reupholster the thing – mostly because the upholstery was in perfect condition, and it seemed so tiring to think about ripping it all off. I hate ripping upholstery off. I really loathe it – but for some reason I persist in doing it. I always feel this awful compulsion to rip upholstery off of things. Well this time I very sensibly said no. No upholstery ripping will occur. And so it didn’t. This chair sat here and looked blah for quite some time before I had finally had enough. I’m not quite sure what snapped – but Ben was going to be gone for the evening, and I was casting about for something festive to do. So I called Lizzie who is always my design consultant in moments like this.
I love having a sister whom I can call and say, “Hey there. I’d like to paint the upholstery on my chair because it’s a very hideous khaki color. Remember you told me about how you can paint lace without making it all crunchy? How would you go about this?” And she doesn’t snort or poo-poo or say, “You want to do WHAT?!” She falls right into line with my thinking and gives me all of her hot tips for how to paint fabric without making it crunchy – and how she would adapt the technique if she was using it on an upholstered item. It’s a very helpful resource to have a sister like this.
So yes. I painted it. And it was one of those things where you end up in a ridiculous predicament and start to wonder how on earth you ever got yourself into this. I whipped up a batch of paint and started merrily painting away . . . but midway through I ran out. And my initial paint came from WalMart which is half way round the globe – and what on earth was I supposed to do with it now!? The crucial factor that I had overlooked when I started this project, was that although I had plenty of paint to cover the square footage involved in this chair, I had not reckoned with the soakage factor. The paint doesn’t just spread over the surface, it soaks in quite a bit. And thus, I ran out of paint.
I was determined to not have Ben come home to a halfway painted chair and a wife unsure of what approach to take next! He was going to mock me mercilessly anyway – but I would much prefer to be mocked mercilessly about a fun, cute chair than a sad, piebald chair. So I scrounged about, mixed a bunch of weird things together, and came up with a sort of half-decent match. But if you drop by sometime, you have to promise not to compare the color on the sides of the chair with the color on the front. Pretend it’s the light and the shadows that make it that way.
So here it is at the end of the evening. The way it looked when Ben got home from his raucous good times with medieval Hebrew.
Also – that big beast of a thing in the back. That’s our court cabinet that I was trying to describe the other day. That’s what’s on the chopping block next. I’m thinking glossy cobalt blue. I’ll see what Lizzie advises.