Monday, December 9, 2013

From Plaid to Rad

So remember when I had a couch that looked like this? 

And my challenge was to turn it into something that looked a bit more like this?
(You can read more here)

Well after a trip to the upholstery farm and touching up the base with a weathered paint treatment, this is what we got.

Let me break it down for ya...

So in the original plan, I was going to have the cushions reupholstered in a soft blue velvet fabric. I ended up not having enough of that, plus I though that that fabric would be perfect for the chairs that I'm getting done here soon for our living room (yes, I have an upholstery problem). So I ordered an indoor/outdoor fabric from I thought it'd be smart to cover the cushions in an indoor/outdoor fabric since they'll get lots of wear and tear. And since these are slipcovers, I can just unzip them and throw 'em in the wash. (BTW, isn't that plaid throw so cute?! I got it at a thrift store last week. So the plaid lives on in this room!)

Now onto that dark and dated couch base...first I started with rubbing a liquid sandpaper over the wood, basically to clean it and remove any gunk that was built up on it. Then I used wood stain on it that we already had. It's white but had some gray put in it. We were going to use this originally for the stairwell walls but ended up not liking how it looked.

 I brushed on the stain.

As you can see, I didn't use much. If too much got on the couch, I wiped it off with a rag.

Then the next step to get that weathered look was just using a bit of paint. I picked up a sample pint at my local hardware store (they're $5). I knew I was going to put a topcoat of poly over the paint, so it didn't really matter what kind of paint I used. The little samples you get aren't a good choice to use for painting projects since they're not "hard" paint. In other words, they chip easily and aren't as good of quality as "normal" paint. They're great for craft projects but not so great for big pieces, like furniture. But like I said, since I was putting a protective finish on top, I could get away with using this type of paint. The color is Ben Moore Kendall Charcoal. 

I waited for the stain to dry, which didn't take long. Then for the painting part, I barely dipped the tip of my brush in the paint...

then I dry brushed it on the couch. I used the paper towel to dab any excess off the brush.

This is what it looked like after the paint treatment. As you can see I didn't worry about painting the back slats since it's going against the wall.

 After everything was painted, I went back over the whole thing with the stain again to lighten it up just a bit.

Here I'm wiping off some stain to get it just right.

Then I used wipe-on poly over the entire surface to seal everything in. The last thing I needed was for Bryce to take a fingernail to it and start peeling everything off. I put two coats on. 

So let's review: this was my challenge:

I think I did a pretty good job. 

And here's the before/after again for you.

Yay for knocking out this project! My upholsterer is currently making a pillow cover for a giant pillow that will stretch across the couch, but for now here are some "extras" I had lying around. 

So...what about you? Have you ever painted a couch base before? I must admit, I was skeptical at first, but I think I achieved the look I was going for: a light and airy couch that's perfect for our basement family room.


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