Before and After | What Else Michelle - Part 2

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Painting a Department Store Furniture

I often find it hard to find suitable furniture in department stores. From SM, Landmark even Puregold and other small, “low-end” furniture shop, they all look the same. The finish is often laminate–same old maple brown, black and sometimes but rarely white. Like this shoe rack. There were no other choices but black. It would have worked well if I were going for a zen look or if I pursued my initial red-black-white color scheme for the living room. But like I said, I’m working on transforming our ground floor into something light and airy like a beach cottage.

I have to get rid of the large dark pieces especially this shoe rack, the TV stand and my two red sofas because they suck the light out of a room and I need pieces that would reflect light. And being cheap, buying new furniture is out of the question. So the solution, PAINT ’em!

Please read on to see what this shoe rack looked like before I painted it.

It wasn’t that bad-looking but I hate how boring it looked, so typically department store-ish…

I wasn’t sure before if I could paint laminated wood but thanks to google again, it can! All you have to do is clean the furniture thoroughly first if it had been with you for quite a long time. Dirt and grime are the worst enemies of paint. Once it is clean and dry, sand it a bit until white flecks appear. (I used 220-grit sandpaper, P10/sheet.) Be careful not to sand too much though. You don’t want to totally ruin the laminates and see the wood show. You just need to remove the sheen a bit so that the primer would stick to the surface. Once you’re done sanding, clean it again, prime it then let it dry completely. Buff the primed surface lightly again using 220-grit sandpaper.

This is how it looked like after priming it.

Now you can paint the surface using a paint brush (for the edges only. You don’t like brush strokes on the surface) and foam roller. You may need multiple coats to ensure good and even coverage especially if you are painting a dark colored piece with light paint like the shoe rack. For frequently used furniture like tables, you may need to add a few coats of polyurethane to protect the paint. I didn’t use one for this though.

Here’s a shot of my fickle-mindedness.

I like the dark shade of turquoise but it looked out of place. I was thinking of doing a white stencil design in the middle, hoping it could tie the look. FAIL!

And now my “brand-new” shoe rack…

I mixed the turquoise color myself using thalo green and thalo blue. I don’t have the exact proportion but to come up with this shade, it should be about 60% green 40% blue.  (plus tons of white, 90% white  6% green 4% blue) Just start with a teeny bit tinting color. Remember, ‘too light’ is easier to deal with than ‘too dark’.

Me, Bryce and Turtle goofing around. Did I tell you I love my new shoe rack?

Materials Used:

Sandpaper (220 grit) – P10/sheet

Foam Roller – P40-60

Paint brush – 3 for P88 (Saizen)

Boysen Flat Wall Enamel (for priming)

Boysen Quick Dry Enamel – P585/ gallon

Thalo Green and Thalo Blue Tinting Colors

Paint Thinner

Masking Tape

* Don’t mind the copy on the images. It was just me dreaming how it would look like featured in a magazine. Heehee!


A Breath of Color

Well, hello, August! It’s been raining almost non-stop for a week now and you know what it’s like to bloggers without external flash and those expensive, techy lighting equipment. Sad, sad season for taking photos…

Anyway, here’s another department store find desperately in need of a fresh breath of color. This is actually for my friend, Angel, who is moving into their new home soon and the kids’ bedroom needs a lamp. Of course, when she bought this in SM Dept. Store, I immediately volunteered myself to jazz it up. (A sweet entry addition to my blog. Heehee)

Now here’s the before and after picture.

The images were taken in our room, on my bedside to be exact (that’s my “mini-studio” because that’s the only place in our entire house that has good amount of sunlight.) I can’t wait to photograph the lamp in its actual place, Hannah and Abby’s bedroom.

The process is pretty much self explanatory but if you’re still lost, it’s just exactly the same as my yarn-wrapped container. I just have one additional step in the end.

Apply white glue all over the lamp (it doesn’t necessarily have to be Mod-Podge though), spreading it evenly using a brush to protect your lamp from dust and dirt.

TIP: Don’t skip the glue when wrapping the yarn around the shade. You might end up having some sort of problem in the end, like the rows of yarns moving out of its place and spending extra 30 minutes rearranging the yarns. That would be really, really, and I mean, REALLY, infuriating. Not that I’m speaking from experience… ok I am… Don’t do the same mistake.

Oh and brace yourself for more yarn-wrapping ideas. I’m totally addicted to this. 🙂


My First Chair Makeover

Presenting, my first ever total chair make-over!

Note: This is not a tutorial post but rather an enumeration of my mistakes. This is my first attempt without the help of a carpenter. (Ooops, I did ask our carpenter to do the paint stripping, but the rest it was all moi!)

It would have been an easy one if the chair’s paint weren’t too bad. There were about a hundred coatings of paint and were badly chipped off. Sanding it would have been a nightmare, which I tried at first but eventually gave  up and bought a paint stripper.

Mistake #1: I made a mistake of using lesser grit sandpaper, thinking the paint would come off easily that way. It did though, but I damaged the wood. Don’t make the same mistake! Use a paint stripper instead then sand the surface using 260-grit sandpaper once the paint has been removed.

Mistake #2: I used the wrong kind of brush for priming. I didn’t want to use spray paint as that would be too expensive and I don’t think this chair is worth it.  So, there were ugly brush strokes that even sand paper couldn’t make any better. Maybe I should use the smallest roller brush in the market next time.

Mistake #3: I was too excited to see the finished product so instead of applying several thin coats of spray paint, I sprayed until I can no longer see the primed surface. The result: paint drips! I sanded it off but they were still visible. Patience, Michelle…

Mistake #4: I used acrylic emulsion instead of polyurethane to protect the chair’s surface. Acrylic emulsion is used to coat latex paint (for concrete). Since the chair is wood, I’m not sure if I could use it. But the spray paint I used says Acrylic paint. When applied, it produced bubbles so I had to brush it continuously as it dries to prevent the bubbles from drying up. I was working on two chairs and I managed to take the bubbles out on the first one but I forgot on the second one because I coated my recently finished painting with acrylic emulsion. Talk about impatience again.

So there, despite the mistakes I did, the chairs turned out quite decent considering this is my first paint job ever. Here she is again…

I wanted the shabby chic look for this so I distressed it a bit, but no one seems to appreciate the distressed look here. Vintage is beautiful, ok? 🙂

These will be our new computer chair for now, but eventually, I’d like this to be in the dining room. I just need to look for two more similar chairs.

By the way, I don’t consider the computer chair and 3 chair upgrade a makeover because all I did was staple the fabric on top of the existing one. No hardcore painting and sanding involved like this one.


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