How we Customized our House with Spray Paint. Part Two: Furniture and Odds and Ends
I mentioned the last time we talked that a lot of people might have chosen chalk paint for some of my spray paint projects and that my reason for using spray paint was that I did some of these projects long before chalk paint was a “thing” and that because of that, it has become a sort of craft of mine. To read about the lighting projects that I spoke about in Part One of my spray paint series, just click here.
Today, I want to show you some of the furniture and random odds and ends that I have customized with spray paint. One of the reasons that I really love spray paint is that it awakened my awareness to the potential in ugly furniture because it was so easy and I am hoping that this article might get something sparked in you. While spray paint requires you to go outside and put some covering down on the ground where you will work, it is actually one of the simplest set-up and clean-up projects that you can do. There are no brushes, there is no dripping paint, no paint trays, no rollers, you get the idea. The other great thing about spray paint is that once you get in your jive, you can create a practically flawless coat on whatever you are painting, IF that is the look that you want.
Let's start with the Dining Room Table and Chairs because I went with a basic “flawless” look for this project. This was one of my earlier projects and at this point, I need to do some touch-ups because I painted the table legs and chairs about eight years ago and they've been through about five moves. Not bad for holding up, huh?! I purchased this table and chairs on Craigslist for a whopping $40.00 the year that I graduated from law school. At the time, I had an ugly out-dated pedestal table in my dining room and I wanted a more grown-up set-up.
I went on Craigslist and found this ugly set that at the time, had powder blue legs. Powder blue legs on the tables and chairs. Yuck. But, I saw past it. Unfortunately I do not have before photos to share this beast in its original beauty but to give you an idea, it didn't even make it through my door before being painted. Fortunately, the natural wood portions were in great condition so I didn't have to touch those parts, but had they been painted, I think I would have still gone for it and just repainted the whole thing. For the legs, I considered brushing on new paint but because of all of the spindle detail, thought that spray paint might give me more even coverage, as I worried about brushstrokes and paint collecting if I used a brush.
Here is what you need to know. I lived in an apartment at the time and had absolutely zero space to be taking on this project. I did not care. I laid the table on its face on the grass outside of my apartment and went to spray painting. I covered the bottom of the tabletop and the bottoms of the chair seats so they wouldn't be covered in black paint and I went about transforming the set. I sanded and cleaned the legs and if I remember correctly, I gave them three coats, no top coat. This two or three hour job has lasted me eight years and counting. Here are some photos (you've seen our dining room table before!).
$40.00 table and chairs from Craigslist and about $10.00's worth of spray paint, folks...
Next up are these wine glasses that George and I had fun painting for our elopement celebration as centerpiece candle holders. We also painted glass vases, giving them the same effect. The wine glasses were just plain goblets that we transformed using several coats of different colored spray paints. We used gold, green, purple and orange and just kept adding layers (we didn't really wait between coats) and this is how they turned out. We have them placed, with the vases, throughout our home.
One of my most proud spray paint projects is my silver chair which was a find in George's bachelor basement. When we moved from his house to mine last year, I made a final pass through the basement for any objects, kind of like when I shop at a flea market. We couldn't take everything with us from the basement because we don't have a basement in our current home so space for extra stuff is an actual problem. I was looking for a project and didn't want to leave behind any objects that could be transformed to the aesthetic we wanted with a can of paint. Around a table in George's basement were a couple of chairs that his brother had picked up for him at a flea market. I kind of liked the sentiment of saving one of these 1970s vintage relics that had olive green fabric and a mahogany finish in their original form. I also knew that we could probably use a chair in our new bedroom [read about our bedroom sitting area here]. At the time, I envisioned turning it into a vanity chair. I wanted it to have an antiqued sort of look. This is how it turned out.
I removed the seat portion of the chair and reupholstered that with silver velvet. For the wood portion of the chair, I sprayed it down with a coat of silver paint. I waited for that coat to dry then using a sanding block I rubbed down the edges to give it a weathered look. I did a second coat, waited and then did the same thing with the sanding block. I love the finished product and honestly can't believe the transformation.
Not all of my projects with spray paint were immediate. In other words, I've used spray paint to change things that I've had in our home that needed to be refreshed. I purchased these large pottery vases at Michael's for 70% off years ago. I was so proud of my find because the whole batch probably cost me about ten bucks. They were blue violet with vertical lines of tan running through them. I've used them on mantels, shelves, you name it. The thing is, they didn't really ever feel right in our current house because we already have a lot of bold colors going on and their particular shade of blue seemed to clash. So one Sunday afternoon I ran out to the store and bought a couple of cans of rose gold spray paint and away I went. This is how they turned out. I may paint these guys again – maybe a copper. Who knows.
The last project I have for you guys today is probably the one you have seen the most – our current living room coffee table. At our last house, we had a large rectangular coffee table that had a lower shelf and that was too big in scale for our current living room. I wanted something a bit more delicate in appearance. So like the silver chair that I told you about above, I found our living room coffee table in George's bachelor basement. This was a laminate topped roadside find that George had picked when he first bought his house. When I moved in with him, it was his living room coffee table. The thing about the coffee table was, if you could get past the fake woodgrain top, it had really good gams (legs). They have a french country sort of feel going for them and I thought that if I could paint it white, we might have exactly what we needed in our new living room. The table had some textural imperfections so I thought we could sort of go with it and I antiqued the table a bit as part of my painting process. I hauled it out into the backyard and in between coats of the silver chair, I used a hammer and sand paper to give the coffee table some character. I wiped it down each time I sanded and used an antique white spray paint to paint it. I allowed it to dry between coats and then sanded the edges to give it the look that I wanted and then also used a silver and believe it or not, coral spray paint around the edges and then sanded some more to give it the effect that I wanted, adding more white on top. This is how it turned out.
Spray paint has allowed us to customize our home in ways that we couldn't otherwise afford. From the light fixtures to the vases to the furniture, spray paint has surely helped us make our house a home. Our home. The best part about it is that it is cheap and once you are set on re-doing a piece, the worst that can happen is you pick a bad color and you have to repaint it. Start with something small, like maybe a wine glass or an old ugly vase and gain a little bit of confidence if you are doubting yourself before spraying down a piece of furniture. They have some amazing paint options including ones that make glass look like sea glass – I think that would look really cool on some mason jars.
Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it more than you can know! I hope that we have given you some inspiration to make some big transformations in your own home. Think outside of the box and always remember that if you don't like how it turns out, all it will take is another can of paint to fix it.
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