Over a month ago I was contacted by La-Z-Boy and asked if I’d like to participate in their La-Z-Boy Design Dash. The idea was to visit my local showroom and design a sofa. Then I’d meet my sofa in High Point, NC and design a room around that sofa. The concept sounded like fun. And the idea of getting away for a few days for some R&R sounded great! Little did I know, that there would be very little rest or relaxation involved.
A week later I received instructions to go to the local La-Z-Boy showroom and design my sofa. As I approached the showroom I was hesitant. I remember the vision of my grandfather’s old slouchy recliner. I was suddenly filled with trepidation. How could I “design” a sofa with flabby rolls of corduroy? I grabbed the door and opened it, and what lay inside literally shattered any preconceived notions I had of La-Z-Boy!
I was stopped immediately by what I saw.
I had a breathtaking reaction to this chair:
Everywhere I looked there was more beautiful upholstered furniture. Read more
Happy Monday morning y’all! I’ve been working like a busy bee this past month. So many projects! I need to clone myself so one of us can work on the projects and the other can write the posts. (Luckily I had an extra hour yesterday thanks to switching back to standard time.)
One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is that I will be giving my first demonstration at the Raleigh Habitat for Humanity ReStore this Saturday at 1pm. If you are in the area, I’d love to see you. Here is the address and more information about the ReStore. I will be demonstrating how I turned a
truly nasty greased wall cabinet into this charming shoe storage bench.
I’m not the type who can throw something away, so when I removed the cabinet doors to make the shoe bench, I decided to salvage them and make message boards. The first one was transformed into a cute chalkboard frame.
The other one was turned into a — you guessed it — dry erase board! And of course (because I love you), I’ll share with you how I made it.
- Cabinet door (pre-primed and painted)
- Plexiglass cut to the interior panel dimension
- Scrapbook paper (choose a light color that dry erase marker will show up on top of)
- 4 Nail head trim tacks
- 3 Cup hooks
- X-acto blade
- Metal ruler
- Sharpie marker
- Drill and bits
- Scrap of wood
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Dry erase marker
- E-6000 glue
1. If you haven’t already: clean, prime and paint your door. It isn’t necessary, but if you want to give your cabinet door a new look, go ahead and paint it any color you like! The sky is the limit on color. I used American Accents Antique Black.
2. Cut your scrapbook paper to fit inside the cabinet door panel. As always, be sure you are using a fresh new x-acto blade and a metal edged ruler.
3. Mark a dot 1/2 inch from the corners of the plexiglass.
4. Drill a small hole through the plexiglass at each dot. Use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the nail on your nail head tack.
5. Lay your scrapbook paper into the panel, then rest your plexiglass on top of the paper. (I purposely didn’t glue the scrapbook paper so I could change it out when I want a décor change.)
6. Set a nail head into each corner hole in the plexi. Hold the nail with the needle-nosed pliers as you hammer each tack into the cabinet door.
7. If your tacks go through the back, flip over the cabinet door. Set the piece of scrap wood (red arrow) under the nail head and hammer the point of the nail to bend it to the side (so no one gets poked!)
8. Use a ruler to mark where you want your cup hooks mounted. Pre-drill holes for your cup hooks using a drill bit slightly smaller than the cup hook screw end. Then screw them into the holes.
9. Attach D-ring hooks to the back of the door.
10. Attach a dry erase pen to the board using string. Or if you find a marker with a magnetic cap, you can glue a magnet to the board using E-600o. Now you can hang the marker back on the board when you’re done writing a message.
That is how you can make a custom dry erase board out of an old cabinet door! I love how it matches the bench colors and can match anything I want it to by changing out the scrapbook paper. Shoot, I could probably put photos behind the plexi too!
I have a serious problem. I can’t bear to see a piece of furniture being thrown away. It could be the ugliest, most broken down chair and I still feel the need to save it from Mt. Trashmore. That was the case with “Daisy” this poor ugly chair that I found on the curb awaiting the trash trucks a few weeks ago. I threw her in the back of my car and brought it home.
|Two missing parts|
Only when I got home did I assess her condition. Moldy seat, chipping and peeling paint, structurally falling apart, cobwebs, missing parts…
|GROSS! Stained and moldy seat.|
…and then a dead roach dropped out! Ewwww! I must be insane. But, I still saw potential through all the disrepair.
This chair had some serious structural issues. I knew it was a case of tear her down and rebuild. This intro kept playing in my head the during the whole process:
I pulled apart the chair (mostly with my bare hands and then with some assistance from a hammer.)
Until I was left with a skeleton of a chair.
I stripped the paint layers off the chair using the same technique as I did for this chair (see details here.) Unfortunately this chair had 5 layers of paint, therefore it took several hours and several re-applications of Citri-strip to get down to the wood.
If you remember, there were several missing parts on this chair. I had a lightbulb moment when I realized that I could used the spindles from the chair back for the missing parts to connect the legs.
|I removed the back spindles.|
|Almost a perfect size and I had two of them!|
I cut down the spindles on the miter saw (but these could easily be cut with a hand saw).
And then notched the ends so they would fit into the holes on the legs. (I did have to enlarge the holes on the legs slightly using my drill and a 3/4″ spade bit.)
|Notching the spindles. Cut around the diameter, then cut from the end in towards the first cut. Repeat on all sides.|
After dry fitting all the pieces back together, I used Gorilla glue to glue the chair back together.
I clamped the chair tight by using rope to wrap around the chair.
Daisy had also lost one of her decorative corner finials. So, I bought two new finials at Home Depot for $5.
In order to screw on the new finials in, I had to plug the hole with wood. (As promised: a tutorial on filling holes in wood.)
I also filled the holes where the spindles used to be with wood putty.
Next, I primed Daisy. Just a side note here, one reason the original five coats of paint on Daisy were peeling and flaking is that the proper prep work wasn’t done. No sanding to scuff up the glossy polyurethane and no primer. It is so important to sand (rough up your surface) and use a primer. If you cut corners here, you might as well kiss your beautiful finish goodbye in a few years. Especially if the chair is exposed to the elements.)
Finally, I added two coats of white paint (sanding lightly between coats.)
The chair seat was in really bad shape. Therefore I decided to cut a new one out of plywood using my jigsaw.
|Trace old seat on plywood, use ruler to make straight lines, cut out seat using jigsaw.|
I checked my fit and then re-upholstered my chair. Check out this post to see how to re-upholster a chair seat.
Then for the finishing touches or the frosting on the cake. You can definitely do this step! The inset carving controls your brush for you. Kind of like bowling with bumpers.
And my chair is finished. Isn’t she beautiful!
Hard to believe that 48 hours ago this chair was definitely worthy of Mt. Trashmore.
The chair is super solid now, and doesn’t move at all thanks to the Gorilla Glue.
How about one last look at the before and after pictures?
If you stuck through my ugly post yesterday. I have some pretty pictures for you today!
Two years ago I happened upon a cute little bench being thrown out with a neighbor’s trash. (I am addicted to trashed furniture. In fact, I have a NASTY chair in my garage that needs a lot of help structurally and asthetically.)
The roadside bench was painted a very blah beige color. I brought her home and gave her some decorative lines and a monogram. At the time we didn’t have anywhere to sit in our mudroom, so this little bench served the purpose well. Later I built a big mudroom hallway bench with built in shoe storage (I promise to create a tutorial for that at a later date.) So, this little bench was moved to the guest room where she sat by the window until this week.
The first thing I did was give her a little rub down with some sand paper. Then I laid down 3 coats of fresh shiny white paint (leftover from trim and moulding painting).
I used some old foam I saved from our move (only 3+ years ago). This foam was the packing material used to ship ice cream cones! I received it from a nice woman off of FreeCycle.org and thought it could be used for a cushion at some point.
I cut some batting to fit over and wrap around the foam (so as to hide all the seams in the foam).
Then cut the arms off of an old t-shirt of Pretty Handsome Guys (don’t worry, he had already said goodbye to it.) And cut up the sides so I could use just the back of the shirt.
And finished off with the decorative fabric cut slightly larger than all the other layers.
I carefully folded my decorative fabric under being sure that I had the old t-shirt hidden in the fold. And put in two staples with the staple gun to hold the fabric on the one side.
Moving over to the other side, I cut the t-shirt, batting, and decorative fabric down to size being sure to leave about an inch excess on the decorative fabric.
Then I repeated the same fold under and put in two staples.
Now for the bling! I had plenty of leftover nailhead trim from this project (check that link out if you need a better tutorial on adding nailhead trim.) I began at the corner of the front of my bench and added the starter nail.
At this point my 6 yr. old had come over to my side telling me how bored he was and, “What can I do now?” I asked if he wanted to help me hammer. Once I started each nail, he was able to hammer it into the nailhead trim for me. (I did have to finish a few off myself.) We worked together adding the nailhead trim to the front and back of the bench.
Before adding the trim to the sides I neatly folded and tucked under all the layers (cutting excess off when necessary.) Until it looked like this. Then I added the trim on top to hold the fabric in place.
And there she was, my beautiful cushioned bench for our guest room. I’ve been busy trying to finish a few projects (rebuilding a curbside chair and making a night stand from a door and picket fence) in this room before my best friend from high school comes to visit. Nothing like a visitor to get your DIY butt in gear!
If you are coming here from a link party, this is the final post on my Extreme Rattan Chair Makeover. Click HERE if you want to see the transformation from the beginning. This chair started out as an U-G-L-Y silver painted dining chair that I scored at a yard sale for $5! I handed over my Abe Lincoln and ran before the owner could change her mind. Let’s learn about adding nail head trim now.
Today I will show you how to upholster the front and back of the rattan chair, add nail head trim, and then you can see the final results! Can’t wait, can you?
Well, grab your tools and let’s get crackin’.
- Nail Head Trim* (Purchased every third hole style trim. It cost $1.25 per yd. on Amazon.com)
- Decorative Nails* 7/16″ x 1/2″ – French Natural (sold in bags of 50 nails for $1.70)
- Rubber Mallet
- Wire Cutters
- Posterboard or Tracing Paper
- Spray Mount
- Hot Glue Gun (with glue sticks)
- Screwdriver or cordless drill
* Just a quick note that I measured the areas on my chair using a sewing tape measure so I knew how much trim I needed. Then made sure I had enough decorative nails to fill in every third hole. Always order a bit extra in case you make a mistake or if you miss measure. Plus, as I will show you, I had to end some sections early and add extra nails.
First thing I did was make a template for the back of my chair. I used a large sheet of poster board (the cheap kind you can buy at the drug store works great!) I used my finger to press hard on the paper and the edge of my chair back opening. When I removed the posterboard, you could see a faint score line. I then cut out the template. (You could alternatively tape several pieces of tracing paper together and draw around the chair backing.)
Then I fit my template into the back and made any cuts until my template was perfect. Next I traced my template onto thicker cardboard and cut out the cardboard for my chair back.
So, next I pulled out my spray mount, after putting a tarp down on the garage floor that extended about 4 feet in every direction from my cardboard. (Did I mention that spray mount can also travel when airborne? Be sure to cover a larger area than you will be spraying and prop up cardboard or more plastic if you are spraying near something you don’t want the spray mount to adhere to.)
I sprayed a light coating on one side of the cardboard. Then laid it on top of the fabric (Next time I will replace the fabric with the batting – having learned my lesson.) Make sure your fabric (batting) is stretched out so there are no wrinkles. Now, if you are using batting, you will want to get your fabric and lay your cardboard sandwich on top of the fabric.
Now it is time to glue the fabric to the cardboard backing. Heat up your glue gun, and run a bead of glue along one edge of your backing. Fold the fabric over the back (being careful not to burn your fingers on the hot glue like I did) and press into the glue. Carefully fold the fabric around your edges.
At the top of my chair was a heart shape, which required that I cut a few slits into the fabric so I could fold the fabric into the cardboard notch.
You are almost ready to insert your backing into your chair. Before you insert the backing, run a line of hot glue all the way around the back of the chair where the rattan meets the chair frame. Then I set my chair back in place. This is where I realized that I should have added the batting. You can see two slight horizontal lines at the top and middle where the cardboard had a fold in it. So, I hope you can learn from my mistake. Although, I really don’t think it looks too bad (does it?)
Nailhead trim time – Make her glamorous!
I pretty much repeated the same process for tracing the back (pressing my finger on the edge of the rattan area.) The front of the rattan was wider than the back. The good news is that once you have your template cut out of posterboard, you can go right to cutting the fabric and batting, instead of cutting a cardboard backer. I used two layers of batting for extra cushion. But, I could have used more.
Cut your fabric about an inch wider than your template on all sides. Trace and cut your 2 + layers of batting to the exact size of your template.
Now you are ready to put your fabric and batting on the chair. I laid my chair down on its back so I could work with gravity holding down the fabric and batting. Starting in a corner, gently fold the excess fabric around the batting and lay your nailhead trim on the edge of the fabric. Use your rubber mallet to hammer in the first nail into the first hole in the trim. Continue along slightly bending your trim to match the curves on your chair.
When you reach a corner, you will need to cut your trim. If you can’t end with a nail hole at the corner, you will want to cut your trim at a hole and add a nail or two next to the hole to finish at the corner. This will ensure that you don’t have the excess trim popping up or catching on anything. Then I cut two extra nail head bumps off my trim so that I could start with a hole again.
Work your way around the whole back of your chair until you have completed the nailhead trim border. I also chose to add nailhead trim along the edge of my chair below the chair cushion. Why not?! At only $1.25 per yard, it has big bang (or should I say Bling!) for little bucks!
Now the moment you have all been waiting for. Time to re-attach your seat cushion to the chair. Lay your cushion back in place, and locate the four mounting screw holes underneath. Use your cordless drill (highly recommended over the screwdriver) to screw in the mounting screws.
Then, set your chair upright and swoon over your “ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan!” Isn’t she lovely!