Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Up and coming summer/fall project!

We're heading back to Boston in just a few weeks... back to our little 100 year old cozy apartment! Jose and I have been thinking about what we can do to brighten up the place a little more when we get there. This time last year, we had no idea we'd spend so much time indoors (this was obviously before our first snowy winter!). We now realize it'd be a good idea to work on making our living room a little more bright and cheery (it's so dark when the sun sets around 4pm for 1/3-1/4 of the year!). By the way, that picture on the left, that's Boston... well, it's really the bridge we cross (on the T) to go from Cambridge to Boston.

Before we considered changing up the color scheme, we thought about just buying a new and bigger couch. Then we realized it'd be better to enhance the overall look of the apartment in a more affordable and fun way, by hand (we'll also buy a chair instead)! We'll make pillows, frame some of the colorful artwork I've collected, and paint some of our furniture. That last one is probably going to be the most challenging, since neither of us has painted anything before. But thanks to the internet (and the nice folks at Home Depot who gave us a few helpful tips), it isn't going to be a nightmare but an adventure... we hope :)!

I'm so excited! Now we have to decide if we are going to strip one of the items of furniture we have (a plain solid wood desk in our bedroom) or just sand it down before painting and priming it. Hmmm... I'm still a bit worried about using paint stripper, so we'll see how we move forward with that project. The other items are a little cheaper/smooth and made of mostly particlebored, so we'll only have to prime and paint those (says Home Depot).

Here are a few helpful furniture painting tutorials/sites that I've come across so far (feel free to share any tips if you have them! :).

By the way, I just emailed the blogger (Cindy) and asked her a few questions. She was nice enough to respond very quickly! I asked her about stripping (paint! :P silly!). She says she's read of people successfully painting furniture without stripping or even sanding, priming is the most important thing! She says the paint will chip if you don't prime first... good to know. Also nice to know I don't have to strip the desk, I think I'll just spend a day sanding it down.

(They chose to just sand and it looks pretty good to me :)

Artsparx.com is another great place to check-out...
Info on sandpaper

Tips from the folks at Home Depot:
For particleboard you can just prime and paint; be sure to use an oil based primer for particleboard, though. Water based can cause it to swell and bubble. Oil based by Behr/semi-gloss is a good one. If a hard veneer surface is involved, you can go ahead and use water based paints. But make sure the primer is also oil-based if you ware using oil-based paints. There are primers that say they don't require a sanded surface before applying, but it's a good idea to sand it a little bit anyway, to rough it up so the primer adheres.


Bri said...

If i were you, I would avoid paint stripper at all costs. It's terrible stuff! A light sanding and primer does the job right. Also, first coat with a brush, and then get a small roller to make sure it is smooth for the next coat.

Tracy said...

Redecorating can be expensive...and it's fun to use what you have and give things a makeover and see what happens! It can be an adventure...and doing it all with the one you love makes it all the more fun. :o) Have fun... And thanks for the great links, Sophie! Happy Days ((HUGS))

Sophie said...

Hi Bri, Thanks for stopping by :). Yes, I think we're not gonna go with stripper. I've decided that I like my lungs too much to expose them to those toxic fumes :P.

Tracy, agreed! I am so looking forward to painting with the hubby. It's a fun/affordable way to spice up our place while spending quality time together.

tallmisto said...

Yes, avoid stripping, but take the time for primer. I was so blessed to get my husbands grandma's kitchen table. I was curious as to the wood beneath so I stripped it. The wood was no bueno so it was all for naught. I just sanded and painted without the primer. I would have definitely taken the time to prime if I could go back. It's chipping a bit in places. It's not too bad because it's an old piece and it sort of adds some charm. Can't wait to see some pics!

Sophie said...

Hey Sarah! Thanks for the tip. Yeah, the only desk I was thinking of stripping isn't exactly the most lovely thing. I think it'd be a waste to do it, so I'm gonna jump straight to sanding and priming :).

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