I have a lot of “business-y” things on my to-do list for the month, so it’s important that I balance it out with creative work…projects that are fun for me to work on, take pictures of, and share here on the blog. I’m trying to resist the urge to buy new things and, instead, work on pieces that have been hanging out in the studio for a while, waiting for a makeover.
So, Kriste, Katie (I’ll tell you about her in a minute) and I have been picking away at the sofa for a couple of days, stripping off the circa 1980’s blue and mauve fabric that is reminiscent of fabric you’d find on dentist office chairs.
It looked okay at a quick glance, but it was stained and the cushion fabric is worn in several places. It’s a fantastic Belgian-made sofa with a sturdy frame and good guts, so it’s definitely worth the time to save.
She’s all in her skivvies now and ready for me to start the fun part. Well, I don’t know if any part of upholstery can really fall in the “fun” category, but I do love when the transformation can start.
I decided to paint the frame in MMS Milk Paint Linen. It’s a creamy off white that I felt would work nicely with the fabrics I selected for this piece. I brushed on a somewhat sloppy coat, because I had plans to heavily distress it to allow some wood to show through, highlighting the carved details.
I didn’t use the Bonding Agent or sand prior to painting. I just brushed it on to see what happened. I did get some random chipping, which fit perfectly into my plan.
I distressed it with a mix of a heavier grit paper (80) and a medium-fine (120).
I’m going to apply some Hemp Oil to hydrate the exposed wood and make it look a bit more finished.
In typical miss-mustard-seed-fashion, I am upholstering the front and cushions in antique hemp sheets.
Instead of trimming it in gimp or double-welting, I am going to use a braided jute trim…
…and I’m going to back the sofa in some tightly woven burlap…
I think it will add a nice texture and contrast and it’ll balance out the cost of the hemp sheets, since it’s less than $6.00/yard.
This project is going to be a beast, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
I’ll share some tutorials along the way, specifically on the tufting, which isn’t as complicated as it might seem…
About Katie… she lives down the street from me and we’ve e-mailed before and even had the same baby sitter, but we’ve never met. A few weeks ago, she knocked on my door and expressed an interest in working with me. She just wanted to be around creative people to awaken her own creativity.
We’re trying to list more in the online shop and make more of our ideas happen, so an extra hand around the studio would actually be helpful.
Katie started this week and I threw her right into the fire, dissecting furniture. She joked that it was her hazing. I figure if someone can have a good attitude while stripping a piece of upholstery, she’s going to be awesome to have around. And we didn’t leave it all in her lap. Kriste and I worked on it, too, which was definitely the way to tackle such a large piece. None of us got to the point where we were totally sick of it.
Katie has a background in decorative painting and fine art (she showed some of her samples and paintings today) and I am really excited about the ways we can use her skills to complement our team. She has never used milk paint, though, so I have the treat of introducing her to it, which is a fun thing for me.
Tomorrow, it’s back to organizing and cleaning out the basement, which is really coming along…