Hi! We were in Ithaca visiting Sam’s parents this weekend and I found some pretty awesome stuff – in particular a pair of mid century side tables. Stay tuned for a post on those at some point, once I get around to fixing them up.
Once we got back, I decided it was high time to lighten up our living room. It is a room full of stuff I love, but somehow it was just off and I realized the other day that it is because there is so much red, black and dark brown, which are just not colors I love. My first fix was to pull out the red rug under the table. I got it for our bedroom in our old apartment and it didn’t work, but I held onto it and it landed in our living room. After a while I got a big sisal rug to go under it and went with a cool layered look, but instead it came off as dark and busy. So, I finally took it out and things were immediately better (phone pics, sorry):
Aaaahhhh, much better. But then it threw the other two glaring problems into focus. 1. The soot above the fireplace from when I almost burned our house down after owning it for 4 hours. Not exaggerating. No matter how small and burned down your first fire starter log is, DO NOT ADD A SECOND. Ugh. 2. The coffee table. To be fair, some neighbors from our old apartment left it out on the curb and we snagged it, but then left it in the not-enclosed garage there for a year so it is actually in pretty good shape, considering. Shabby chic looks great in some rooms, as does “well loved” furniture, but I don’t love the shabby chic style for my own house and it was really more well-neglected than well-loved. So at long last, I decided to paint it.
- Coffee table
- Random orbital sander
- Sandpaper – 100 and 150
- Primer – I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3
- Painters Tape
- Brush – my new fave is the Wooster 2 in. Shortcut Angled Brush
- Paint tray
- Paint – I used BM Ultra White and Pelican Grey, both in Semi-gloss
We brought the table outside and then I sanded. And sanded and sanded and sanded. The random orbital sander worked wonders on all of the chippy black paint on the flat parts. The rest was hand sanding which was hot and dusty and long. In the end, I had a black sawdust bathing suit “tan.” It was gross.
Then I wiped everything down and put on a coat of primer. I started with the roller but it wasn’t all that much more helpful so I bagged it and went with a brush from there on out. It wasn’t a perfect coat, I really just wanted to cover everything. I love my new little brush. It is great for cutting in and has a comfy rubber handle. I did one coat on the base and two on the top.
While that dried, I went to fetch the paint. Weirdly, Frager’s was HOPPING at 3:30 on a Tuesday. Finally, everything was mixed and I went home. I decided to mix in some Floetrol, which is supposed to reduce brush marks. I didn’t measure it out, just sort of eyeballed a little bit based on the instructions on the bottle and mixed well. I taped off the middle rectangle and the legs and then painted the middle, the sides and the drawer gray, and the edges of the top and the legs white. I put two coats of grey on the sides and four on top – I will probably go back and add a topcoat soon.
And some before and afters. I also went after the soot with some soapy water and a scrub brush and it went a long way.
There is still a ways to go in our living room, but things are slowly brightening up. There is just a ton of STUFF in there, which does not help, but once the study bookshelves are done I can redistribute and that should help too.