Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Mini makeover project, and a winner...

Hello again, I'm back from my brief visit to Ireland and am straight into the joy that is the school holidays. Anyone else already suffering from a tense nervous headache?  As both boys are at home and requiring entertainment I'd better apologise in advance for my continuing sporadic posts and comments, I will do my best to keep up with everyone though. Can I sneak a laptop into cinema when they're showing Cars2?

So...the project. Scarlett recently mentioned her 'sponge gremlins' who live in her oven and destroy all her cakes, as the reason why she doesn't post recipes. You may have noticed I am not a 'furniture makeover' type of blogger. I'd love to be, really, having seen amazing results people have achieved with nothing more than a torn paperback, tube of glue and chest of drawers. Or a vintage tea-towel, staple-gun and kitchen chair. But I have 'paint fear'. I read all the right blogs and magazines, and have even been known to say blithely to other people "Oh, you could just paint that", but come to my house and you won't yet see one piece of furniture which isn't in its original state (give or take a cushion I might have plonked on it). 

I get to thinking about having to sand it, and do base coats, and decide whether I need eggshell or matt or gloss or heritage  paint, and where I'll have to go to buy this, and however many hours it is between coats, and then I remember that I don't have a garage or shed I can do any of this in, but that I do have small children who will harass me in the garden. As a result my brain then slides away from the idea and I go and stick some small portable things together with a glue-gun instead [Not my children. But it is tempting]. However - all this is going to change! Oh yes. And you clever people are going to help me. 

Below is my project in its still virgin state. It's a stool with an upholstered seat which opens for storage. It's possibly a piano stool - I have vague memories of keeping music in something similar - or could just be used to stash my current pile of magazines. Or it would be good for storing knitting or needlework supplies. It's a nice solid construction, but I'm not particularly loving the uber 70s brown and orange fabric and the wood is a bit scratched. What would you do? Any hints and tips would be gratefully received, and now I've shown you it I have no excuse not to attempt a makeover!

Soon to be gorgeous stool

Anyway, I also need to announce the winner of my 'Stupid Sock Creatures' giveaway, which I was supposed to do on Sunday. I used a random number generator, which declared the winner to be Lucewoman! [Actually, it first chose my comment, and then Alex, who didn't want to enter, then someone who hadn't told me their crafting disaster - but fourth time lucky!]. Well done Luce - enjoy your sock wrangling!

Finally I also have a rather lovely giveaway running at the moment to win a necklace from Stall 21, not many entries to far so do have a look, I think it's gorgeous.

Lovely hematite and silver necklace with feather

 If you'd like the chance to win it then just sign up to the odd bit of news from Stall 21, either by Twitter or email. Or you can simply 'like' their page on Facebook. I follow on Twitter myself, and can confirm she doesn't spam you! See my post here to enter. I may have to buy myself this necklace - there is still 50% off with the code adeleparks until the end of the month.

Lakota x

PS. There's been a lot of discussion recently about bloggers being paid to advertise companies, non-disclosure of review products actually being gifts, and whether a code of ethics is required regarding sponsored posts and the like. I have never been paid to mention any company or any product, just so we're clear. Any competitions I run with a company are because I like the prize and want to be able to offer it. Obviously they get some publicity as a result. [If you want to join future debates they're hosted by AThriftyMrs on Twitter on Tuesdays at 9pm. Use hashtag #blogdebate]


  1. Hello. I am going to try to give you a bit of encouragement with the stool. Although I will have to pass on the upholstery part because the only thing I have ever 'upholstered' is a kitchen chair and I did that with a tea towel and 4 million drawing pins.
    Don't be scared of paint. I too have read all the blogs and posts and frightened myself to death but what's the worst that could happen? You bugger it up and start again. I have painted hugeish pieces of furniture of my own that started off as pine with not so much as a whiff of primer or undercoat or sandpaper. I just gave them a coat of white emulsion, then a coat or two, depending on what it looked like after one coat (I'm lazy) of my chosen colour in eggshell or satinwood. Some things I have rubbed down, that mahogany veneer repro stuff that starts off shiny. Also, I have never used this so it's not an endorsement but Miss Mustard Seed uses it and she is the Queen of Painting Stuff in my opinion, I have seen this paint called Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan and apparently you can paint over virtually anything with no prep. That sounds like my kind of paint.
    As I said I'm no expert at this but I have had a go and everything I have tried has turned out ok. Give it a whirl, you will be painting everything in sight before you know it. You too could end up with a stash of stuff you are supposed to be painting and selling on ebay...!

  2. I was going to say the same thing as Missy about that Chalk paint.I am busiting to try it but its not available here yet.I have heard so many good things about it.I have painted things but I think I have stripped even more so find it hard to paint over wood but if its not that nice go for it.I have a cuboard I have primed just have to find THE colour.
    I have also done recovering and lots of dont be scared of that as its not that hard just use the old peice as a template.
    I bet your peice will be spiffy soon .
    Oh and how was Ireland?Id love to visit there.
    Hope you survive the hols ours were over 2 weeks ago.x

  3. Welcome back, hope you had a fab time in Ireland :o)

    I have a piano stool which I made over a while ago, didnt have much inspiration so I just sanded and painted the stool white and then covered the orginal seat pad with a polka dot fabric and attached it to the wooden top with those metal rivets pin you can buy - just hammer them in and the jobs a good un'. If all else fails just get the staple gun and attach to the underside.

    Looking forward to see what you do with it, if you need any gremlins to help out let me know, my house is full of them ;o) Scarlett x

  4. The wood doesn't look too bad in the photos so I'd be tempted to leave it (I'm lazy!) and just cover the seat in some lovely fabric. Things I've covered in the past I've just used a staple gun. Good luck!

  5. I’d go down the same route as Scarlett. Whenever I’ve covered anything I used a staple-gun. It looks like a piano-stool, which is good news as they were pretty sturdily made. You can cover it with whatever fabric you like, it doesn’t have to be furnishing fabric, as it’s so easy to replace. It’s the sanding, varnishing, painting that I don’t relish. I have done it when need dictated, but if you have small children demanding attention, it’s perhaps better to get someone else to do that bit .

  6. I would leave the wood as it is - some funiture wax in the right colour might be enough to sort out the scratches, depending on how bad they are. Then it's just a matter of recovering the seat. Looks like you'll have to unscrew or de-nail it from the frame underneath, then just staple gun on the fabric of your choice and re-nail. Simple!

  7. I can't add anything to what the other ladies have already said really. I have painted and it's not hard but perhaps tricky with kids around. (I'm seeing fingermarks in still tacky paint) I believe re-upholstering a stool is easy but I have never done it myself. I say just go for it, you can always repaint or re-upholster if it doesn't turn out how you expect. I think the rule with upholstering is always have a little more padding than you think you will need for a nice finish but maybe that advice is just for soft toys and cushions? Look forward to seeing what you decide to do. :)

  8. Stool would look great transformed. I've tried various paints in my projects and don't really think you have to buy expensive stuff - just normal, water based paint - makes it so much easier to clean up!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  9. Good luck with your project. It's going to be great :)
    Joy x

  10. Hi! Did you find any charity shop buys in Ireland then?! Hope so! Lovely little retro stool, I'm kind of digging it just the way it is = easiest solution ever! Good luck with it! xx

  11. I'm scared of paint, too, so I'm going to encourage you to take the lazy option.
    That fabric is nasty, but fortunately it's only a stool so you can probably get a small bit of something lovely quite cheaply.
    My local John Lewis has a remnant bin, plus even when they don't have a sale they normally have a few rolls of reduced furnishing fabric. Even if you decide to go full-price, they will cut in increments of 10cm.
    If the padding is manky I would replace it - there's a stall on my local market where they will cut bits of foam to size, I guess most towns have places like this.
    Staple guns are the way forward - I got a cheapo one at B&Q for £1.99.
    I reckon that once it has a lovely new seat cover it will be transformed so nicely that no paint is needed.
    Good luck!

  12. Great piano stool. Has it got a name underneath? looks like a good quality brand. The wood looks too good to paint - I agree with earlier comment re waxing.

    To re-upholster the seat, avoid foam [it will disintegrate] get heavy wadding from haberdashers. You probably only need to cover the existing stuff with a new thick layer of padding. And cut a REALLY big piece of fabric [to allow for generous turnings]

    Staple gun rules- start with centre front. Then centre back.Then centre right, then centre left. Then you can work down from centres to corners on front, and on back, then the sides.

    If you staple all along front first, you may find it harder to line up fabric squarely for the other 4 sides. this 'centres first' method makes it much easier.

    Begin paint projects by practising on small things [picture frames, small drawer sets and spice racks]

    above all, have fun! blessings x

  13. Hi Lakota, I'm with SG, I quite like the look of the wood but if it's really not nice then Sarah of Modern Country Style has used that chalk paint of Annie Sloan's recently - so you may want to check out her blog. Re the upholstery bit, I've done exactly what Scarlett recommends (with a sewing stool) - it was really quite easy (honest!). Ooh and I like the idea of covering with a tea towel as Missy mentions and as Vix has done. Good luck!

  14. Hello lovely!!

    Welcome back! You've bagged an absolute blinder - piano stools seem to be as rare as a chav without a baseball cap around here!! What a great thing to make over too; stool with storage - you're going to end up going all Martha Stewart on us once you have the bug :-) Hope the little ones enjoy Cars 2!

    Jem xXx

  15. Welcome back!
    I'm the biggest domestic slattern on this planet so my revamps are done with whatever materials I find lying around and with minimal prep and effort.
    If that stool were mine I'd roughly sand it down, slap on some bog standard white emulsion, wait for it to dry and rub in some beeswax furniture polish to the corners to give it an aged effect.
    I'd remove the seat, cover with a vintage tea towel or some interesting thick fabric and tack it in place with either gimp pins or normal tacks. x

  16. Hi! Farrow & Ball paints are now all waterbased, so much easier to use & drying time drastically cut. Try eggshell on this after a v. light sanding. Don't be scared of paint - if you don't like it, paint over it - simples :)

    Are the tacks easily removable? Look like they'd release the seat from the frame, allowing you to recover and replace (staple gun is fine & easier to remove if you change your mind).

    Have fun - its a v. nice stool. Enjoy spending summer with your boys. xxx

  17. Woohoo! I'll finally have a use for my bag-for-life full of odd socks. Look out friends and family; there's only one thing coming your way for Christmas this year!
    Being the scrounger I am, I regularly have to get busy with sand paper and varnish. minimal effort is required for such a small piece. I would go super-super lazy and iron on some thick fabric with strips of double width wundaweb, then tack ric-rac to the edges. Wendz's cushions looked fab with a doily stiched on didn't they? Maybe you could jazz up a plain piece of material with a dyed doily (dye a few and you could make some bowls like Liz's - I always like having a few craft projects on the go in a 'killing 2 birds' sense).
    Re last night's blog debate - I think readers make up their minds about the type of person the blogger is and build up a trust. For me, this is the only way

  18. I'm a black painter. "I want to see it painted, painted, painted black!"

    And I was about to say reupholstering chairs is relatively easy, but went back to look at your photos and see that the underside of the stool looks nailed in....soooo that would be a bit more intimidating for me.

    Good luck!

  19. welcome back Lakota! i hope u had a great time in Ireland! show us some pics from there! as for the stool, love the shape of it, now i dont know much or what to do to change the upholstery, but i guess the stool can be sanded, painted and recoat hehe (i know i suck at furniture makeover too) so better read other comments as mine is not that helpful hehe. x susan

  20. I don't know if I can be any help - am not exactly an experienced or good crafter - but I vote just go for it. You've got some excellent advice in the above comments. Pick some nice fabric and paint and have a go - you won't be doing anything that can't be painted over or removed if you do get it wrong (which you won't!).

  21. Welcome back hope you have had a nice break. I really like the stool and i love the wood as it is if it was me i would just try and change the fabric,i haven't done this either but it really can't be hard on a straight edge like that one. What ever you do good luck and enjoy it ;-)) dee x

  22. The stool is pretty awesome. I like things simple so for me a light sanding and restaining the wood is all I'd do, and just recover the top but I don't know how to do it really, at least not very well.

    I agree about the full disclosure- there has been some local bloggers in my area that have not disclosused payment and i kinda lost respect for them in that area. nothing wrong with doing what you've got to do as long as you're transparent about it, however.

  23. Hi, you've drawn me out of lurking with that stool... Because I have similar that's in even more need of attention! It's a bit older with very faded and frayed fabric. I kid myself it's authentic shabby chic. But it's not. I'll be interested to see what u do to yours...

  24. Eeek, am also scared of painting projects! Like the piano stool though! Tis funky!

  25. I'm the last to give advice on your piano stool... I've never completed a project I started with paint !!
    however..... quick line to tell you my wonderful parcel arrived from Carole at Serendipity... and my parcel to her is ALMOST in the mail♥♥
    thanks for organizing.

  26. Ooh I love the stool and if I could get the energy together to paint and recover it I would give it a whirl - I actually think it would make a great storage container for tights or scarves in the bedroom or for multiple remotes and gaming thingys in the lounge.

  27. Adding my 2 cents others said, I'd also not paint that wood. I like painting furniture and have a project on the go right now but that stool has a very defined retro-modern style and painting it might make it look very gawky and homemade-ish.

    If it were me I'd wax it and only change the fabric and that's not too huge a task. A staple gun is the best way for that. Looks like you might have to take that lid apart to do it properly.

  28. Hello! Didn't realise you'd been away too. Welcome back. Nice stool. I hate painting too and am very lazy really (plus have the small children - my excuse for everything). I would keep the wood but then I like wood and staple gun it to within an inch of its life with some gorgeously retro/vintage floral curtain fabric (but that's just me). I'm sure you'll make it look fab x

  29. I cannot wait to see what you do with it - I really love seeing before and after pictures! Hurry! Hurry!

  30. I like the wood too, I'd leave it. Maybe give it a rub down and soak with some Feed-N-Wax. I'd change up the fabric with something fun like:

    I can't wait to see what you do! I'm looking forward to the "after" pics. It's really an adorable (and practical) little stool.

  31. I dont know about furniture yet, still in that studenty mode where I am just happy to own some furniture of my own full stop, let alone knowing what to do with it. My hubby likes to spray paint everything black but if you don't live in a caravan you will probably like me, think its a rather crap idea too. After my stash of magazines I found this week am thinking would be nice to paper mache something in vintage adverts, but ripping them all up would be so hard!

  32. Chalk Paint it! Love the paint, so quick and easy to apply. No sanding or priming. Just give it a dust and start painting. Two coats max. should cover it.

    The paint is somewhat pricey but if you add up what you save on primer and top coat and time, it's well worth it.

    From one pot of paint (£17) I've painted a dresser, a side table, an occasional table and a hall table. All with at least two coats of paint. The side table I started and finished within two hours.


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