Archive for Furniture ReFurbish/Repair

Bookshelves You Can Make

MAKE BOOKSHELVESBookshelves You Can Make

Did you ever think there were bookshelves you can make? Well? Anyone?

This DIY home goddess did it, and so can you. Not only did I make these without a kit (no thank you, IKEA), But I designed them myself. I turned my library into a modern library, and so can you!

Chair Rail (or dado) was originally put in houses to protect the wall from damage when pushing away from the table. The standard was 36 inches from the floor.

Nowadays it is used more for architectural design and aesthetics, and they tend to be put wherever the designer wants them. The other problem is now they are not just thin, they can be almost any size.

Mine are placed with the bottom of the rail at 39 inches above the floor, height is 5 1/2 inches, and depth goes from 1/4 inch at the edge to 1 1/2 inches in the center.

Needless to say, when I wanted to turn my unused living room into a library, this created a problem. I wanted 3 full walls with shelves, but didn’t want to remove the railing, and tall bookshelves need to be anchored to the wall. With a 5 1/2 inch thick rail, this was not going to happen.

I decided shelves that came close to the rail would work, but could not find any that weren’t cheap looking for the right size. Nothing against IKEA and Target purchases. So I decided to go to Home Depot and build homey looking ones myself. Later on I will finish the room once I have designed small floating paperback shelves for above the rail. Read more

Refinish Furniture – Night Stands


Refinish Furniture – Night Stands

Don’t be a fool about anything! Especially something as small as a simple night stand! Gain the knowledge yourself!

Don’t believe everything an antique dealer tells you! Some of them are very knowledgeable, but as I have discussed before, some are quite atrocious, and are absolutely wrong. Grab some knowledge for yourself if you are looking for a specific style of furniture, a certain piece of glass bowl/pitcher or you are just replacing something that is worn out.

Refinish furniture

The Nightstands before. French Vanilla paint that was very hard to remove. I didn’t quite get it all off. Don’t paint furniture unless you are sure it will never be changed again.

I learned rather early on in life that some people just say things with a certain tone of voice that makes people believe them, whether they are right or wrong. Some people want to command attention, some want to fool others, and then there are those who have no clue they know nothing. I don’t know which is the worst offender, and personally I don’t care. I have been taken before by those who are out to fool others and I try again and again to not be swept up in all the excitement. I try to learn things for myself. Knowledge is power! Read more

Reupholster Chairs


Do you have some old chairs that you love, but the material has gone to pot? Have you ever looked to reupholster dining chairs? It can be very expensive. It is cheaper to buy new chairs.

reupholster dining chairs

This is the chair before

But what if they are heirloom chairs? Maybe not priceless in value, but in memories. Do you have the kitchenette from your grandmother? You probably would be disowned if you got rid of the set. But the chairs are in shambles. What is a goddess to do?

Reupholster them yourself, of course! It is fairly easy, and just takes a little practice. Most of these things were fairly simply covered, so it is easy to take it off and put new stuff on. You will have new chairs in no time!

Yes, the fabric used to reupholster can be fairly expensive, but it will be worth it in the end. Your best bet is to get 150% of the upholstery fabric you need to recover the chairs:

  • Size of the pad (should be the same size or slightly larger than the seat base for the chair).
  • Thickness of the seat base (you know, that piece of wood the legs attach to).
  • Thickness of the pad.
  • 3-4 inches extra for attachment.

IKMost fabrics in the craft stores that are acceptable run anywhere from $30-$50 a yard, for the stuff that will hold up under the strain of use. I would not suggest getting the fabric online, unless you are comfortable with the company. Go to a fabric store and look at the stuff in person. AC Moore, Joann’s Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or whatever hobby store is in your area. They all carry upholstery fabric in varying styles, colors, fabrics, and prices. You might have to order online, but you might find exactly what you are looking for in the store.

reupholster dining chairs

This is the chair after

If you need new cushions as well, get as firm a pad as possible. I had to replace mine, because the cushion was at least 50 years old. I made the mistake of getting the firm cushion, but I now see I really need two cushions for them to be comfortable for any length of time. Most craft stores do carry some battings; some of them are standard chair size. Check and see if those work before you buy some you need to cut yourself. I had to with these round chairs. That is not easy!

Airtex is a brand that is in most craft stores, and you can find their company on the web. Another one is Fairfield Poly-Fil.  Even if you get the high density, you probably should get two per chair, since they only come in 1″ and 2″ thickness. And they come in the standard dinette chair size of 15″x17″.

The only other things you need you might already have around the house, or you definitely know someone who has them.

Shopping List

  • Needle nose pliers to remove the old staples
  • A staple gun
  • Medium to heavy duty staples
  • A pair of scissors
  • A rubber mallet (to make sure the staples go all the way in, else they will stick out and catch your skin)

I am not going to tell you how to do it, because I am not that technical in my writing. But here is a link that is easy to follow if you want to do it yourself. This one includes instructions on using a lining, but that would be up to you if you want to go that far.

HGTV’s How to recover a dining room chair.

If I can do this, so can you. After all, we are goddesses in our own right!

Furniture Finish Touch up


Furniture Finish Touch Up

Do you want to do a furniture re-do, or just a furniture touch up?

Do you really want to do plastic surgery, or just give it some make up? Both can be done, but you want to examine the piece thoroughly and search your heart.

Furniture finish touch up

Doesn’t this look like the kind of table they used for poker before casinos were everywhere? I can just see it in a gentleman’s club, surrounded by cigar smoke.

When I found the table and chairs in Mid Century Furniture, I found my design calling. I didn’t like antiques as much as I thought I did. I knew they were kind of stuffy (IMHO), but I thought that it was cool to go green, and use furniture already made, was well used but well taken care of, and maybe had a story to be discovered or made up. But my eyes kept wandering to the retro look. The 40s-60s look. Who would have guessed? Well, I guess I should have! After all, in my basement, I do have some Poang chairs from Ikea (some furniture well made, some not so well made, IHMO) that are a replica take on the furniture style from back then, and I love them.

But I digress. This is a post about me putting make up on some furniture. I didn’t want to overhaul the pieces, I just wanted a furniture touch up. And here we go. Read more

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