Dining Chair Redeux

I found these dining chairs in the summer and have been working on them when I have the time out at the acreage. The nice thing is having the space to work on these projects without having to clean and up and put away every day, I can just leave as is until I next get to them without infringing on any space while we make a mess throughout the house. So I finally got them all finished up after a few months only to have fallen in love with them and trying to think of ways to use them in my home….maybe the craft room? However, with that beautiful white fabric, may be susceptible to dusty hands!  I decided to keep for now and see how the house comes together and if there’s a place for them. If not, they will go up onto the website or be included in a Spring sale. These were tough…lots ‘n lots of staples to pull, gluing and tightening, painting a few layers of cream with antique glazing, then the task of upholstering by myself in a nice heavy linen/cotton french fabric. It was well worth the effort as they’ve come out beautifully.

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Quality Control for Shabby Chic

Good day everyone! I wanted to talk about QUALITY for a moment regarding SHABBY CHIC furniture! I was shopping recently in the U.S. and brought back a number of items I found from the trip. I just love looking for new projects and sometimes I purchase stuff that is in relatively good shape but not quite up to the standards I put on myself and the pieces I refinish. Now sometimes the price reflects the quality of the item and there is a fair price on it. Other times, I notice that there are a lot of expensive items put out there that just fall short of what I would put in my house as far as quality goes.

I ALWAYS use one guideline for myself, and that is if I won’t put it in my house, why would you want to put it in yours? After refinishing this particular project I thought it would be good to reveal what exactly I do with my projects to have them qualify to the standards I set.

The item has to be CLEAN: no cobwebs, dust, grime, rust, cup rings or any kind of grit or dirt. The item is STURDY: no wobbles, weak spots, or shortcut fixes that will eventually weaken and break. If painted, I do a process that ensures that there will be NO CHIPPING. I sand all pieces thoroughly to assist the paint to adhere to the surface. In most cases it is PRIMED. I sand between each paint coat so you get a nice smooth finish. Plus I CLEARCOAT every painted piece with a satin finish to protect from scratching and powdering off. The UNDERSIDE of any one piece whether it’s a chair, vanity, sideboard, table, etc. is well done so that if you flip it over, the bottom surface doesn’t look like an unsightly mess. If the piece is UPHOLSTERED, I make a judgement as to the difficulty of the item and whether I can upholster it myself. This saves a lot of money as you know upholstery can be quite expensive! If I can’t do a particular project myself, I hire a professional. Again, I won’t put out anything that is a COMPROMISE to quality. I do not mark up any upholstery expenses (I do the drop off, pickup and fabric choice at no charge for my time). I truly believe in passing on every penny of savings onto the customer wherever possible.

Here is an example of a vanity I purchased that was already done in a shabby chic finish. Upon close inspection, I found it was lumpy (dirt had not been cleaned off), the paint was peeling (no primer was used), it smelled (like a barn!), the mirror was unusable (deteriorated), the underside had cobwebs and grime…so you can see it was not even close to a pristine piece of furniture…I took this piece and put it through a proper, detailed refinishing process so that it is now 100%, right down to replacing the mirror and painting the insides of the drawers.

I hope this post helps you understand the steps taken to bring you the best product possible! I take a lot of pride in my ability to always bring you the best of what I do, complete with a GUARANTEE of quality.

BEFORE refinishing (looks ok doesn’t it? But I guarantee when you get it home, all the issues I listed out above will rear their ugly heads!

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AFTER refinishing:

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Craft Room Progress

Today I made some progress on my craft room development by creating some new drawers for the storage area. We salvaged the vanities from the original house and placed them in the loft where the craft space exists, but the drawers were kind of boring and lifeless. The add some excitement, I put two coats of dark brown on the base of the drawers and then covered with a creamy topcoat, then sanded through. For a fun, slightly industrial look which I thought would be a nice departure, but complimentary to the interior shabby chic theme, I found these old faucet handles at a salvage shop and fashioned them into pulls for the drawers! They look really great! After the boxes are attached to the wall and the toe kick and side panels are installed, I can finish the entire piece. We also salvaged a 100 year old laminate beam from Vancouver to make the top surface which I will show when it’s finished! Stay tuned 🙂

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