Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Quest for My Own Great White Way Continues...

Don't ask me why. I can't tell you because I don't know. This strange attraction to a white palette is growing stronger. It's not even a conscious decision. Look at my latest two projects before they were lightened up:

#1 - A handmade sort of wonky mirror purchased for $4 at Goodwill. If I had some of the famous Annie Sloan chalk paint, I would've used it. Sadly, Annie Sloan has not made her way to Amarillo yet. 

Instead, it received a coat of faux "chalk paint." I've seen half a dozen recipes, each adding a different substance to latex paint. I know it's still latex paint with other stuff added, and not the chalk paint everyone loves. Still, I had some unsanded grout from a past project, and some flat off-white mis-tint paint, so I decided to try it. My faux was very thick - 2 Tbsp. grout to 1 cup paint. Still, the coverage was pretty good compared to straight paint. I'll probably use it again, but I won't buy more grout for this purpose. 

After painting it, I lightly distressed it, and lightly stained it with Minwax Gel Stain walnut stain. You'll see it toward the end of the post.

#2 - A chair I have recovered once before. I bought it for $15 at a Thrift Store a few years back. It's sturdy, and I like the shape. I recovered the seat, but left the newly exposed second layer of fabric on the top. It was in great shape, and it coordinated with my black floral print. I liked the two-tone look, so I just trimmed it with black gimp. It's been this way for 3 years.

The wood details on this chair are pretty. It's a little beat up, but I'm not going to paint it. (Amazing, I know!)

First things first: Remove the old fabric. Next, little touch-up with Minwax Gel Stain Walnut. Next, add a layer of batting. Use the fabric that covered the chair as a pattern and cut new pieces - I used drop cloth. Staple it on. 

  • For any simple upholstery project like a seat cushion or back, it's usually best to begin at the centers. 
  • Pull the fabric snugly and staple. 
  • Move to the opposite side and repeat stapling at the center.
  • Continue out from each center,  pulling and stretching and stapling your way out to the corners.  
  • When you get to the corners, fold and tuck the remaining fabric until it looks neat. (It's sort of like wrapping a package.) 
  • Staple and trim as needed. 
  • Each project is a little different, but this usually helps your fabric to lie smooth and taut. 
  • Any wrinkles end up at the corners under the tucks and folds.

  • To finish the raw edges, trim any excess fabric with a straight edge razor blade. 
  • Using fabric glue, glue on trim to cover staples. 

I went to Hobby Lobby after work to buy ivory gimp trim. They wouldn't sell me 3 yards, only a whole bolt of what was remaining - over $16 for the trim. It wasn't in the budget to spend that much on trim. So, I used grosgrain ribbon. I don't really like it, and will probably purchase the gimp later from another source and redo it.

One by one, pieces are getting lightened up in my home. It makes me smile. So does she, the little hairy beast.

Here's a little bit of trivia I only just learned when the title of this post floated to the top of my brain. 

The Great White Way is a nickname for a section of Broadway in the Midtown section of the New York City, specifically the portion that encompasses the Theatre District, between 42nd and 53rd Streets.

Nearly a mile of Broadway was illuminated in 1880 by Brush arc lamps, making it among the first electrically lighted streets in the United States.

The headline "Found on the Great White Way" appeared in the February 3, 1902, edition of the New York Evening Telegram. 

The journalistic sobriquet was inspired by the millions of lights on theater marquees and billboard advertisements that illuminate the area, especially around Times Square

It is so interesting what you can learn on Google these days! I don't know how we ever lived without it. 

Word for the Day:

Psalm 51:7

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

May we all see each other on wash day!


Posting this week with:
http://knickoftimeinteriors.blogspot.com/ Knick of Time Tuesday

http://restoreinteriors.blogspot.com/ Restored It Wednesday
http://savvysouthernstyle.blogspot.com/ Wow Us Wednesdays
http://primitiveandproper.blogspot.com/ Piece of Work Wednesday

http://www.missmustardseed.blogspot.com/ Furniture Feature Friday
http://www.remodelaholic.com/ Fridays on Remodelaholic
http://redoux.blogspot.com/ Friday Redoux Link Party
http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/ Frugal Friday
http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/ Frugalicious Friday
http://twenty-eight-0-five.blogspot.com/ Potpourri Party
http://www.atthepicketfence.com/ Inspiration Friday
http://commonground-debrasvintagedesigns.blogspot.com/ Vintage Inspiration Friday


Courtney said...

Love the chair, Revi!! Glad you didn't paint it!!

outjunking said...

I'd say your going toward the white, in a gentle way. I like that the chair is still brown and love the fabric choice.

farmhouse-story said...

hi revi,
sorry, i've been quiet (i have been reading:), we got a puppy a month ago, and i can't take my eye off her right now:) really cuts into my blogging time!

love your transformations today! should a beautiful chair and mirror!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

I too am a white lover. I love how it mixes with the darker woods. Your vingette is so pretty.


Anita at Cedar Hill said...

Yes, I too am loving white like never before. I love that mirror and chair. And the homemade chalk paint from my experience is almost as good as the real thing. I love the new upholstry job and the painting, but I liked the mirror before as well.

Elegant Economies said...

Looks grand. Love your sweet dog. Hope you are having an amazingly good week. Audrey

Unknown said...

I'm liking your white theme. The side chair turned out so cute! I can't wait to see what you do with your chalk paint- I've been reading so much about it on other blogs! I'm getting curious what all the fuss is about.

Cassie Bustamante said...

what an adorable little vignette! and the mirror looks so sweet now!

Bohemian said...

A Beautiful Makeover in your new palette... I find that I often become drawn to different Styles at different Seasons of my Life. Some have remained constant attractions throughout my Life, but the exposure to Beautiful Styling of other aesthetics, cultures, trends and color palettes had enlarged my Vision over the years and I pick up those Styles that I'm currently attracted to and incorporate them into my own Style sensibilities. If you Live with what you Love & feel most comfortable surrounded by you simply cannot go wrong.

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Suzy www.savedbysuzy.blogspot.com said...

Great transformations! The shape of the mirror is so cute and I think the chair looks good unpainted. I love your sweet beast. We have a giant golden retriever who is known as "the beast." Any dog lover is a friend of mine!

Deborah March said...

LOVE the white upholstery with the dark wood...BEAUTIFUL contrast! I'm with you in the love affair with all things white...always so classic!

Deborah (visiting happily from http://upcyclingmylife.blogspot.com…hope you might take a minute to stop by and say hi!)

Town and Country Gals said...

the mirror, so much cuter white, like the way it turned out. The contrast between the wood and the white fabric is lovely. I like white also, most of the furniture I paint usually is white. Can't give up my color to go all the way!

Anonymous said...

The mirror looks great in your white chalkish paint. Like it a lot.

Honey at 2805 said...

A lovely makeover! I admire your quest for your own white way. You are right, whatever you want to know, just google it.

Thank you for linking this lovely post to Potpourri Friday! I really appreciate you and your participation! Hope you will make this a weekly party stop.

I have just become a follower and hope you will do the same.

faucet mount eyewash said...

The shape of the mirror is so cute and I think the chair looks good unpainted. I like white also, most of the furniture I paint usually is white.

Kelly said...

You're right! The white looks best. I have repainted many items in my home with white paint and suddenly fell back in love with them. Ha! I agree with your comment on my blog post too that it looks best with other subtle shades of grey, taupe etc. and some texture. Your mirror and chair look terrific redone in white.

Ricki Treleaven said...

Great Bible verse for the day! I like the way it enhances your post. I have not done my Bible study yet ...I need more caffeine so I can concentrate!!!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

You brightened the chair very well without painting it. Nice job on the mirror too. Have a great weekend my friend.

Shabby chic Sandy said...

Lovely job--white is addictive! It is so clean and I think it helps unclutter the mind:)

Ela @ Scrapidoodlelicious.blogspot.com said...

Great tutorial for upholstering the chair. I love the distree look of the stool and mirror too. Great combination. It feels like having a tea or coffee.

I am a new follower. Thanks for dropping by in my blog.

Ivy and Elephants said...

Love how your "New" old pieces have been transformed. That little wonky mirror is just gorgeous!

Karen said...

I think your pieces look great with their new look. I'm going back to o a lighter palette after going from a Shabby Chic look in the early 90's to an Old world Tuscan look in the mid 90's. It never suited me, I did it out of necessity. I'm so happy to be going back to the look that I love and I'm always happy to meet kindred spirits. Thanks for visiting and following, following you as well.

A Vintage Vine said...

Great job! I am a fan of this homemade chalk paint! I like your lightened look....Loved the trivia about the "The Great White Way"!

GIO said...


Anonymous said...

I'm moving to a white palatte too. I love the transformation to the mirror. I'm hoping to try the homemade chalk paint too, except I will us plaster of paris because I have a huge container of it.

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

So darling!! Loving that 'wonky' mirror too! Thank you for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

Chris said...

Hi Revi, I love what you have done with the mirror and the chair. I too am turning to lighter shades, mostly cream - I love the clean look of it and my recent refinishing projects have been in cream. What's going on, LOL? I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris