Saturday, 20 July 2013

Chalkboards, Chalkboards and more Chalkboards

Hi, just wanted to show you what I have been working on lately.
Nothing ground-breaking here but still kind of fun.
Remember that I said I had a collection of window frames? Well, I thought I should use up a couple more.
 This one is a chalkboard and a memo board. Hard to see in this photo, but the window frame color is a pale Seafoam color, similar to the ribbon I used on the memo board.
And this one is just chalkboard with a drawer pull for chalk storage.
I did both of these with the same methods as I used in the "Nautical Window Frame"post.
I also made a few other chalkboards.
With vintage silver trays this time for a completely different look.
 I tried two different types of chalkboard paint. Martha Stewart and Rustoleum's. 
This is Martha Stewarts pictured above. I was not happy with this product, it did adhere to the silver without a primer but, it did not cover well (took 3 coats) and had a shiny finish when done. 
So I broke down and spent the $23.00 to get a quart of the good stuff - Rustoleum. 
Wow! What a difference.
The Rustoleum went on beautifully, and covered in one coat (I applied a second one anyway).
I sanded and primed two of the trays before painting with the chalkboard paint and applied the chalkboard paint directly on the other two. Coverage was great on both .
As for durability I am not sure, only time will tell I guess.
If you were going to try this yourself I would recommend a light sanding over any engraved details on the tray first so the pattern doesn't show through.
Then prime and use two coats of paint, sanding in-between coats. 
I had taped off the edges on the trays, but when I removed the tape,
 the edges weren't as nice and clean as I would have liked.
Anyways, I found these adhesive gem strips that I applied around the edge to give it a cleaner look.
I added some little rubber pads to the back to prevent the tray back from marking up the wall, they also help prevent the tray from sliding around on the wall.
Then I used some wonderful satin ribbon to hang it.
You can also use a plate stand to hold the tray on a counter or table.
Here are the other completed trays:
I like the small rectangular one alot because they are great for so many things.
Labelling food at a buffet party, directing people at a wedding,
as open /closed signs for a business, etc. etc.

Friday, 12 July 2013

French Telephone Bench

You know you are old can remember telephone benches,
or so my 18 year old son tells me. 
I actually had to explain to him why they were called that. So for any young people out there, a telephone bench had a table part for the phone to sit on and a bench or seat for you to sit on while you talked on the phone. We didn't have cell phones yet of course, but believe it or not, we also didn't have cordless phones at that time so you couldn't just take it and go sit on the couch to talk.
But these benches can still be quite functional pieces of furniture. 
Here is a picture of the one that I found:
Really not bad looking but the seat had absolutely no padding of any sort. Unless you count three layers of fabric. I could have just re-upholstered the seat but where is the fun in that.
So first I removed the seat and started removing the fabric. First layer is the red you see above,
next came a large floral print
then a not so bad striped fabric. This one was actually the original.
It was no small feat to remove all of the fabric, as they had been fastened not with just with staples but lots of small tacks as well. The tacks had heads that would snap off when you tried to remove them. It took pliers, cutters and a flat head screwdriver to get them out and each layer more than fifty of them. All totalled there were 162 tacks & staples. (Yeah I counted, it gave me a sense of accomplishment.) 
Finally I glued on some 1-1/2" foam, wrapped it with batting and then covered it with a lovely linen blend fabric with the names and pictures of famous Paris landmarks printed on it.
(I used staples..... Just sayin.)
The bench itself I painted with a pale grey latex paint that I had added "Paint Minerals" to. I love this stuff it makes the latex paint just like "Chalk Paint" at a fraction of the cost and in any color I chose.
I distressed it and sealed the paint with "Miss Mustard Seeds" clear wax. Then I antiqued it with "Miss Mustard Seeds-Antiquing Wax". These waxes are my favourite because of the lovely creamy consistency. They are so easy to work with, are all natural and don't smell.
Next I stencilled some French typography onto the table top.
 Distressed it, antiqued it and sealed it as well.
Finally I took a basket that I found at "Homesense" which was almost the same color blue as the print on the seat fabric and I removed the lid and the liner and placed it on the shelf. It fit perfectly. 
This bench sits in our front hallway and still functions as a phone bench. Only now the cordless home phone charger will sit atop the table and the cell phone charger cords will be tucked away in the basket. As for the seat, it's always nice to have somewhere to sit and take your shoes off.
Furniture Feature Fridays