Mar 122015
 

Let me begin by saying, I am not an expert at framing walls. Definitely a beginner. Before the basement project I had never done any basic framing, much less working from scratch. In this project we put in several walls and two doorways, one on a diagonal and one pocket door. We had to match up two walls in the stairway with the existing walls. It was pretty much a learn as you go thing for us, so take what I write and the accompanying pictures with a grain of salt. We are first-timers and sharing our experience. I had a hard time finding methods or tutorials for this online, so here’s what we did!

About a year ago we began with our basement project. Our goal was to split our basement in half. One side would be a useable family space (Dylan calls it the man-cave, but it’s family friendly!). With our family growing, our guest room got the boot…it became Jules’ big girl room. So the “finished” side of the basement would also serve as our guest room with a Murphy bed (a bed that folds down from the wall). The unfinished side serves as storage, laundry room, and workshop, as well as housing our water heater and furnace/AC.

Before we did anything to it, our basement was one large space with the staircase coming down in the middle. No built-in storage besides a few awkwardly placed wall-mounted metal cabinets. It has poured concrete walls, which are usually pretty good at keeping the basement a dry space. Ours has a couple of places where water seeps in, but it they’re on the workshop side and it drains near the laundry space. In the year and a half we’ve lived here before starting this project, the future “finished” side hadn’t gotten wet, so we felt okay about putting in a dividing wall with sheetrock.

Basement Framing 1 (naptimediy.com)

The staircase was serviceable, but ugly. We knew we’d be replacing the treads and risers, but first we had to put in walls.

Basement Framing 2 (naptimediy.com)

From the view below, it’s easy to see where the future walls would go. See where the floor had been painted red? That’s basically the part of the basement that we would “finish.” Here’s a little (not to scale) sketch I made of our floor plan…the “finished” side is on the right.

Basement Layout (naptimediy.com)

I keep putting “finish” in quotes because we didn’t plan to fully finish that part off with sheet-rocked walls and ceiling. We put in a dividing wall in the basement, but for the exterior walls we painted the concrete and we left the ceiling exposed because it was already only about 7.5 feet high and we felt that putting up drywall would make it feel even shorter.

Basement Framing 4 (naptimediy.com)

 

Basement Framing 3 (naptimediy.com)

First we took off the stair treads and risers. We cut down the treads to just as wide as the stringers (we kept using them during construction) so we’d have space to frame the walls, then install and mud the drywall.

Basement Framing 5 (naptimediy.com)

Here’s our first wall! Using a plump bob, we dropped a line from the existing wall on the top half of the drywall, accounting for the 1/2 drywall we’d be adding on the stair side.

Basement Framing 6 (naptimediy.com)

Here’s that same wall in place with sheetrock up. We had to cut out the top rail for the furnace, but we did go back and sturdy it up with a horizontal bracing just under the air duct. The horizontal pieces on the left were put in so we’d have a place to screw in the drywall.

Basement Framing 8 (naptimediy.com)

You can see that the bottom half is green. Green drywall is made to be mold resistant, so it’s used in places that might encounter some water (like bathrooms). While we haven’t seen any water make it this far into the basement, just to be safe we used green board all around the bottom.

Basement Framing 9 (naptimediy.com)

Here’s a view toward our diagonal door to the workshop. Originally we thought we’d have the doorway in line with the wall down that side of the stairs, but because of the low ductwork and pipes, we had to move it to the right. It turns out a diagonal door works better because we have enough room for fairly deep storage along the front wall of the basement, even deep enough for our large rubbermaid totes to fit. It also makes it easier to get large pieces of lumber into the workshop.

Basement Framing 10 (naptimediy.com)

On either side of the diagonal doorway we used two vertical studs to support the weight. To sister the diagonal doorway with the short walls on either side I ripped a 2×3 with the circular saw set at an angle to fill the gap, then Dylan used long screws to join them together. Below you can also see that there is a 2×4 on the floor of the doorway. One tip I read when researching how to frame doorways was to cut a 2×4 the whole length of the bottom and to cut halfway through the bottom of the 2×4. Frame the doorway then cut out the bottom 2×4 with a Sawz-all easily, because the bottom half is already cut. This helps make sure the door opening is square, not twisted.

Basement Framing 11 (naptimediy.com)

Once we finished with that side of the stairway, it was time to deal with the other side. This side we opted to leave open about halfway down. The space under the stairs we planned to use for storage we wouldn’t need to access often, like Christmas decorations.

Basement Framing 13 (naptimediy.com)

After framing that wall we had to drywall both sides because it’d be visible from both sides. With the angle it was easiest to clamp the drywall to the studs and score along the angle before removing the drywall and cutting it to fit.

Basement Framing 15 (naptimediy.com)

Okay, so how did we actually install all of these walls? We measured and built each wall to fit, then screwed them into the ceiling joints and adjoining walls, then used concrete anchors into the floor. Once we got on a roll it wasn’t too hard. First we drilled through the bottom 2×4, then used a hammer drill to drill into the concrete, and finally used concrete anchors to tie the wall into the concrete.

Basement Framing 16 (naptimediy.com)

Simply hammer the anchor into the hole.

Basement Framing 17 (naptimediy.com)

Then put on a washer and twist on a nut, using a socket wrench to tighten it up.

Basement Framing 18 (naptimediy.com)

This wall isn’t going anywhere! If a tornado came through here, it might take the house, but these basement walls aren’t going anywhere!

Basement Framing 19 (naptimediy.com)

Here’s the door we used in the diagonal doorway. It’s an exterior door we got from the Habitat ReStore. After getting it mortised for hinges and swinging well, I took it down and painted it white.

Basement Framing 20 (naptimediy.com)

After all of that we took a break for a bit before finishing up the last couple of walls (which include a pocket door). I’ll be back sometime with that update!

Jan 092015
 

Hello! I’m back! My last post was at the beginning of last April, so it’s been 10 months! Yikes, what a vacation.

I haven’t been sitting on my hands during my absence. The biggest project I’ve worked on is…adding to our family!

We're eagerly anticipating the arrival of a little BOY in early December! Jules will be a great big sister!

A photo posted by Ashley_NaptimeDIY (@ashley_naptimediy) on

We found out in July that we were having a boy! Then we took took the next 4 1/2 months to decide on a name for our little boy. When this picture was taken at 39 1/2 weeks, we still weren’t 100% on his name.

39.5 weeks!

A photo posted by Ashley_NaptimeDIY (@ashley_naptimediy) on

Micah Charles arrived on December 11, five days past his due date.

Micah's birth 6

I was scheduled to be induced that morning, but thankfully labor started spontaneously the night before! After 6 hours of labor and 11 minutes of pushing, he was born at 7:31 am. This big boy was 9 lbs, 14 oz, 22.5 inches long. I had no idea he’d be so big!

Micah's birth 1

Jules loves him so much and has been super helpful with him.

Micah's birth 7

She wants to help change every diaper, pat his back to help him burp, and put in a pacifier when he’s fussy. Jules has shown so much of her caretaker nature in the past month and we’ve been very grateful at how eagerly she’s accepted “her” new baby into the family!

"Can I hold baby brother? Does he like me so much?"

A photo posted by Ashley_NaptimeDIY (@ashley_naptimediy) on

Yet again I see how attractive it is to see the man you love be captivated by his child.

Micah's birth 2

So Micah was my main project in my 10 months of silence.

Micah's birth 4

Oh, those tiny feet!

Micah's birth 3

I’m thankful to have experienced another (mostly) nausea-free pregnancy this time around, but I was so tired (especially at the beginning) that I wanted to use my energized hours working on projects instead of blogging. I still like sharing what’s happening here, though, so I’m back and ready to continue my very sporadic posting.

With such a long absence, I have a backlog of things to share (though I admit that I wasn’t very good about taking pictures so we’ll see what I’ve got to work with!). The biggest things include a new back deck, small reclaimed brick patio, partially finished basement, and a built-in dresser in our bedroom.

Micah's birth 5

I’m not sure when I’ll get back here with the details on these things, but I’ll try to do it soon! I’ve learned that I like having things documented here, partially because it helps me remember details later on, like what paint or stain I’ve used on projects.

Apr 072014
 

I’ve been MIA for awhile here, mostly because we’re knee deep in the planning and beginning phases of a few big projects. We’ve spent lots of time researching and planning them, so by the time I finish with that I haven’t felt like spending more time on a computer. I have a bunch to catch up on here on the blog, though, so I’m going to try to post a project or update at least once a week! 

After building the new coat rack, the plain closet door stood out to me like a sore thumb (and creamy yellowy front door and wall, but we’ll get to that another day). Not to mention what I normally saw…the mess inside!

Coat Closet Before

We have plans to replace the closet door. We actually bought it last year when we bought some other doors on Craigslist, but it’s patiently waiting its turn to shine in our basement. Until we remove the carpet I won’t put in the new door, because I don’t want to cut any of it off the bottom. And I won’t remove the carpet until we can refinish the hardwood flooring sometime this spring or summer. Jules thankfully has never slipped or fallen down the stairs (which is more than I can say for her mother), but until the flooring refinishing day comes I want some padding at the bottom, just in case.

Anyway, the closet has been a mess since the day we moved in and I’ve been wanting to tackle it for awhile. After a day of work, I turned it around.

Coat Closet 8 (NaptimeDIY.com)

Now, normally things don’t get done here in a day. Almost ever, actually. But I had already bought new coat hooks and a storage shelf and had the primer and paint on hand, so I was prepared as possible.

First I removed the door and prepared it for paint. Unfortunately the white paint was chipping. It clearly hadn’t been properly applied (with primer under) because I literally scrubbed off what you see with a dish sponge.

Coat Closet 1 (NaptimeDIY.com)

The scrubbing took longer than I wanted, though, so I took it to our workroom and made short work of it with our electric sander.

With the peeling paint removed, I primed the door with no-VOC primer. (This was my first time using it and I love it. Pretty sure it was Zinsser, but I’ve already used the whole gallon on various projects so the can isn’t around anymore.) The priming coat was followed by my first ever use of chalkboard paint. I’m not sure I’d paint a nice door with chalkboard paint (actually, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t) but since this one has an expiration date, it’s nice to be able to have fun with it. I don’t have any pics of it until it was back on the hinges, so just wait until the end of the post.

While the door was drying I primed and painted the closet. There aren’t many home improvement projects less rewarding than painting a white closet white. Although to be fair, the “white” closet was far from white to begin with, so it’s much brighter now. I painted the walls a flat white paint (same as I use on ceilings) and the trim-work with our semi-gloss trim paint (Du Jour by Valspar).

Coat Closet 2 (NaptimeDIY.com)

Before loading everything back in I wanted to give the closet some spice. It’s so much more fun to look over and something fun than plain old white. I remembered seeing Mandy from Vintage Revivals use Sharpie paint pens to “wallpaper” her walls. A couple of bucks later I had two gold Sharpies just ready to “wallpaper” my closet. I decided to follow Mandy’s example and draw triangles to keep things interesting yet simple.

First I drew horizontal lines, beginning just under the shelf, 9 inches apart. Then I made tiny marks 6 inches apart on each line. Starting on the right, on the top line I made marks at 6, 12, 18, etc. inches from the side wall. On the second line I made marks at 3, 9, 15, etc. inches. Connect the dots and the triangle pattern was formed!

Coat Closet 3 (NaptimeDIY.com)

The whole process is pretty easy. Of course I was bound to make a mistake somewhere, though. And of course, that mistake happened in one of the few still visible areas after all of our stuff was put back in the closet. Someday I’ll go back and prime/paint over the errant line.

Coat Closet 4 (NaptimeDIY.com)

Since I know us (and we are too lazy to consistently use hangers) I installed coat hooks on the back wall for our less used coats. The most frequently used ones we keep on hooks by our back door. I also installed hooks at Jules’ height for her (and future kiddos’) use.

I only installed coat hooks on the right side of the closet because the left side houses our jogging stroller. The stroller is another reason hangers weren’t working out…the coats were always in the way of getting the stroller in/out of the closet. Above the stroller I installed a wire shelf I found on clearance at Target ($3 down from $12). I originally planned on using the shelf when I reorganized my craft/fabric closet, but it didn’t fit the way I wanted.

Coat Closet 5 (NaptimeDIY.com)

Because the width of the shelf is 24″ (exactly the depth of the closet, ignoring the door trim) I had to hammer it into place, but once in place, it was a perfect fit. On top of it we have two Dollar Tree bins (which fit perfectly, I might add) and our library book bag. The bins still hold our winter gloves and hats. I wonder what they’ll hold now that warmer weather is coming?

Coat Closet 6 (NaptimeDIY.com)

On the right side of the closet I installed wire hooks ($1 from the Dollar Tree…I think they call it a belt hanger?) for my most frequently used scarves. I have more, but they’re either in a navy bin on the new wire shelf or in my closet upstairs. Since the closet redo, however, I haven’t had to dig any out from other places. Maybe it’s time to donate the ones I never or rarely wear?

Coat Closet 7 (NaptimeDIY.com)

The top shelf houses our snow boots (unless snow is on the ground, which means they’re by the back door), my only pair of fashionable boots, my crochet bag, and our picnic blanket.

Coat Closet 9 (NaptimeDIY.com)

I’m finally posting about this project nearly two months after completion and I’m proud to say it looks pretty much the same. There are a couple more jackets hanging on hooks, but everything is still organized and pretty. This closet is in an easily visible place in our house, so it nice that it isn’t an eyesore regardless of whether the door is open…

Coat Closet After (NaptimeDIY.com)

or closed…

Coat Closet Chalkboard

I took that pic before we could draw on the chalkboard paint (the can recommends 3 days for the paint to cure before drawing on it), but trust me, we’ve used it plenty since and it’s been great. Jules is really into drawing right now so it’s nice to have another form in which that can take place. We keep our chalk on the new coat rack ledge and she only draws with supervision at this point, since she still likes to turn to the side and draw on the wall or baby gate.

Mar 082014
 

My journey with power tools began shortly after getting married (almost four years ago already!). My story isn’t very different from many other DIYers. I wanted a solid wood nightstand, but didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for one I liked. I stumbled upon Ana White’s website with tons of free plans and suddenly thought I would just build one myself. I built it entirely by myself and when I was finished, built a matching one for Dylan because he liked it so much.

Since that first build I’ve learned so much more about tools and building furniture than I ever thought I would. I can’t imagine going a week without making sawdust now.

A few weeks ago I dug out another plan from Ana White I’ve been dying to make. We don’t have space in our house for a mudroom, but a skinny little shoe dresser? I knew we had the perfect space and if it would help corral our shoes? Winner.

Oh, man, can’t wait to refinish those floors…just ignore the stains!

Shoe Dresser (NaptimeDIY.com)

I modified the plans quite a bit. I made the dresser 36″ wide and 45″ tall (40″ is the dresser, the legs add 5″), though the depth is still about 8″ as in the original plan. I also added a short third “drawer” on top for small kid shoes. To complement the living room built-ins I used lattice strips to give the drawers and sides shaker panels. The shoe dresser also received a stained top (Jacobean).

Shoe Dresser 2 (NaptimeDIY.com)

I didn’t want the legs to be plain 2x2s, so I used my miter saw to cut off a bit of an angle, then smoothed it out with my stationary belt sander to make them circular at the bottom, square at the top, with slightly rounded edges. I felt like it helped up the fancy factor a bit. Because the dresser is attached to the wall studs, I only needed two legs.

Each of the large drawers can hold 4+ pairs of shoes. I imagine in the summer when I have more flats and flip-flops out, I’ll be able to stash a lot more. For now it just has lots of athletic shoes. The small drawer could also hold four or more pairs of tiny kiddo shoes, once I can put snow boots away for the season.

Shoe Dresser 3 (NaptimeDIY.com)

In case you’re forgetting what used to be here, we had a classic sofa table. We still like the table, but it wasn’t making the most of the space, so hopefully we can find another use for it.

Living Room Tour 17 (NaptimeDIY.com)

 

Here’s the living room after the addition of the shoe dresser and the coat rack. Next up? The coat closet at the bottom of the stairs. Stay tuned!

Living Room with Shoe Dresser (NaptimeDIY.com)

Mar 032014
 

Remember that awesome Be Bold Challenge we celebrated last week with a link party? I was so blown away by some of the projects I saw! I may or may not have already started some around the house that were inspired by some of them…

After clicking through to look at all of the projects, I pulled out a few of my favorites and compiled them here. There were so many amazing ones, it was hard to choose!

Bold Green Entry Table from Somerset Lane

 

Upcycled Couch from My Soulful Home

 

 

Ikea Hack–Replacing Legs on an Ikea Couch from The Blissful Bee

 

Building a Bunk Bed from Our Home Notebook

 

Reclaimed Wood Herringbone Ceiling from Make Me Pretty Again

 

 

Navy Big Bang Theory Inspired Door from Desert Domicile

 

 

Chevron Living Room Chair Redo from All Precious and Pleasant

 

DIY Vanity from Always Nesting

 

 

The Barnwood Treatment from Simply Reinvented

 

 

Thrift Store Dresser Redo from Our Pinteresting Family

Feb 262014
 

Our living room has made some major steps up in the last couple of months (thanks to the new fireplace mantel and built-ins!), but one corner has been ignored. This space behind our front door also serves as a landing of sorts for our stairway.

Coat Rack before 2 (naptimediy.com)

I thought it would be perfect for a coat rack! We’ve been having people over more frequently (the downside to investing in a fixer-upper is feeling like you can’t have people over the first year because your house is a wreck) and have no where to hang their winter gear while they’re here. I bought some coat hooks at Lowes one day (all of the wood we had on hand in our workshop) and decided making a coat rack would be my project for that day’s naptime.

I began by using my Kreg jig and glue to attach a 1×3 ledge to a 1×8, which served as the anchor for the coat hooks. I made our coat rack 52″ long because of the size of our space.

Coat Rack construction 1 (naptimediy.com)

Next I added a rim (made of 1 3/8 inch lattice) to the front and exposed side of the ledge, using glue and some brad nails to hold it in place. I wanted something that would keep picture frames from scooting off the ledge. It also made it a appear bit more substantial which always helps things look nicer.

Coat Rack construction 2 (naptimediy.com)

All that was left was to add a bit of trim under the ledge to pretty things up. I layered a piece of 1 3/8 inch lattice under some small decorative trim. With everything assembled I filled all holes with joint compound, including the knots in the wood.

Coat Rack construction 3 (naptimediy.com)

When the joint compound dried, I sanded the coat rack with 150 grit paper, primed and painted it with our semi-gloss trim paint (Du Jour by Valspar).

Next up was deciding where the coat hooks would be on the board. I just played around with what looked best, then measured to make sure everything was even.

Coat Rack construction 4 (naptimediy.com)

I found these black coat hooks at Lowes. They were in the hardware section, but not the same aisle as the rest of the cabinet hardware and hooks. Best part? They were more attractive than the other ones AND cheaper. Win win.

Coat Rack construction 5 (naptimediy.com)

I marked the location of the two screw holes for the coat hooks and predrilled. Then I added a third hole (centered and above the other two) where I would drill through the board to attach it to the wall). This way it the coat rack was secured to the wall, but still able to be removed fairly easily should we ever decide we don’t want a coat rack there. Plus no filling holes is always a positive in my book!

Coat Rack construction 6 (naptimediy.com)

After making sure it was level and at the right height, I screwed the coat rack into the wall. I was lucky and hit two studs, but if your location doesn’t work out like that, I suggest using an anchor or toggle bolt.

Coat Rack construction 7 (naptimediy.com)

I hadn’t attached the coat hooks yet for two reasons. First, attaching the rack to the wall first allowed me to hide those screws behind the coat hooks. Second, most coat hook screws are 1 inch long and the wood is only 3/4 inch thick, so part of the screw would stick out the backside, keeping it from being flush to the wall. This way it still goes all of the way through the wood, but the excess length easily goes into the wall behind the wood.

After attaching the coat hooks I rounded up some art and frames to rest on the ledge.

Coat Rack (naptimediy.com)

I LOVE seeing these photos and art pieces from the living room and when I come down the stairs; they hold so much sentimental value.

Coat Rack 2 (naptimediy.com)

The photo on the left is an old school picture of my dad reading to me (One Fish, Two Fish, if I’m not mistaken by the picture) when I wasn’t much older than Jules is now. The painted bouquet of flowers was Dylan’s gift to me for our first Valentine’s Day together. I’m a math nerd (I was a high school math teacher before staying at home with Jules) so the flowers are made entirely of tiny numbers. Isn’t he both talented and clever? I still love it, six years later.

Coat Rack 5 (naptimediy.com)

Next is a photo of Dylan with young Jules, followed by another piece of artwork Dylan made for me for my birthday shortly after we were married. We try to make our gifts to each other. Sometimes we buy gifts, but as we get older we find that we don’t need (or want) as much stuff, so a nice handmade gift is a nice gesture.

Coat Rack 6 (naptimediy.com)

We’ve had several chances to use the new coat rack since it went in and still love it. Generally it is empty of coats unless we have guests, because it helps keep the living room feeling clean and uncluttered.a

Coat Rack 3 (naptimediy.com)

Seeing these pictures is making me start another to do list to finish it off:

  • paint the inside of the front door
  • paint the coat closet door
  • paint the stairway wall white
  • pull up carpet (eventually)
  • refinish floors (eventually)

Coat Rack 4 (naptimediy.com)

Linking up to: Work It Wednesday (The Happy Housie)

 

Feb 242014
 

be bold challenge with border

Happy Monday! After a long month of anticipation, the day has arrived that we can all flex our bold muscles and celebrate in our risk-taking results! 

Beautifully Bold DIYs

Just take a look at what my creative co-hosts have come up with!

colorful bedroom, herringbone wall, split wall art

Colorful and Eclectic Master Bedroom from 52 Mantels, Herringbone Stenciled Wall from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body, Split Photo Wall Art from House by Hoff

tvstand, plank wall, bedside table

Dresser to TV Stand Transformation from Just a Girl and Her Blog, DIY Plank Wall from Lovely Etc., West Elm Wood Tile-Inspired Bedside Table from May Richer Fuller Be

dyed chair, built ins, drum pendant

Dyed Wingback Chair from Naptime DIY, Industrial Pipe Built-Ins from Primitive and Proper, DIY Drum Pendant from The Blissful Bee

flag dresser, felt banner

Flag Dresser Transformation from The Happy Housie, DIY Felt Banner from The Wood Grain Cottage

Now it is your turn to link up your own beautifully bold DIY projects. Remember, the challenge was to do a DIY project that is a bit of a risk. Perhaps using a new power tool you’ve been afraid of, trying a color you usually avoid, doing something you’ve never seen anyone else do, or just trying something you’re not entirely sure will work. Every project you link will be seen on all eleven blogs hosting the party.

Also, you are going to want to follow our new Pinterest board: Beautifully Bold DIYs. It is going to be full of awesome bold projects including lots of our favorites from the link party.

The rules are simple:

  • Please link up only your best, most risky Bold DIY projects. The ones that scared you a little. Please do not link up giveaways, etsy shops, or any other links that are totally not bold DIY projects.
  • Please link to your specific post, not your homepage.
  • Please include a link back to the party somewhere in your post.
  • By entering a link, you are giving us permission to feature an image on our blogs. Proper credit and links will always be given.


Feb 212014
 

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had been challenge by Carrie of Lovely Etc. to take a risk with her and nine other great bloggers. I had a couple of ideas in my head for this challenge.

How to Dye a Wingback Chair, before and after

Like I said, when I first began thinking of a project to take a risk with, I had a few options. Ultimately I landed on one that I’ve put off for nearly a year. Let me tell you a little story. You can skip down if you just want the short tutorial. *Tear*

Last year we installed hardwood flooring in our two upstairs bedrooms so we could move up there, freeing up the two main floor bedrooms. I took over one as my craft room. I tried to call it a studio for awhile because it sounded less frivolous than “craft room” but it just never took. Too fancy for me, I suppose. I digress.

With this new space I was on the look out for a reading chair for a corner of the room. The room isn’t large so I knew I’d need a small-ish chair. For over a month I trolled Craigslist for a wingback chair in good condition that cost almost nothing. I’ve reupholstered a few things, so I assumed that whatever dated chair I acquired would need some work. Finally I found one for FREE. It satisfied my criteria. Cheap? Yes. Good quality? Yes, it was from one of the nicest areas of St. Louis, which made me sure it had been cared for (pet free, non-smoking, etc.). Quality fabric? Yes, it was solid colored velvet. I could over look the mauve color and minor imperfections. It would do until I could reupholster it.

I picked it up and it didn’t take long for Dylan to decide it was his favorite chair because it was so comfortable. After some furniture shuffling, it became part of our living room collection.

So here we were with a comfortable, not bad looking (but not great looking) chair. The only problem was the mauve color. It wasn’t offensive in any way, but it also didn’t go with the rest of the space. Our living room is basically gray, teal, and lime.

Last year I painted an upholstered chair (it turned out quite well, I’ll have to blog on it soon) but I didn’t want to do that to the wingback. Painting upholstery makes the fabric a bit stiff and we liked the softness of the velvet. Short of reupholstery (which is a large undertaking for this kind of chair, which originally reclined) I wound up with the option of dyeing the chair.

While researching this option I found lots of horror stories of dyeing furniture. One person dyed their couch a vibrant purple color. Although it turned out beautifully, it also meant people had purple backsides after sitting on it. I didn’t want to risk ruining Dylan’s favorite chair. Though it was free, I knew I’d have to spend more time finding a “new” chair to replace it if I ruined it. So I put it off and we lived with a mauve chair.

When Carrie brought up this challenge, the word “risk” caught my eye and I thought of this project. I had the dye, I had the chair, I just didn’t have the guts to try it out.

how to dye a wingback chair (naptimediy.com)
Turns out, this was a pretty easy project! After putting Jules down for the night I put drop cloths over our living room floor, turned on the Olympics, and got to work.

For the first three coats I mixed 2 capfuls of liquid black Rit dye with 2 cups of HOT water. I put the dye in a cheap-o Dollar Tree spray bottle and sprayed down the whole chair. I ended up refilling the bottle twice, for a total of 6 cups of dye. It only took about 45 minutes total. I let the chair dry out until the following night, when I repeated the process.

Dyeing Wingback Chair 12

After three coats I was less than impressed with how things were progressing. The chair was darker, but nowhere near as dark as I wanted. For the final coat I doubled the amount of dye I used. I suppose this was the trick to darkening the upholstery up, because that fourth coat gave the chair a major color change!

Dyeing Wingback Chair 16

So, what is the result? Success or failure? Well…mostly success? The chair doesn’t dye our clothing, which was my biggest concern. It didn’t get as dark as I was hoping. At night it looks almost black, but during the day it has definite pink undertones. WAY better than before, though! I think the moral of the story is that dyeing upholstered furniture works best if your goal is in the same color family as the original color.

Dyeing Wingback Chair 17

Remember what this view looked like a couple of months ago?

Living Room Tour 17 (NaptimeDIY.com)

It’s not totally perfect, but for less than $5 in supplies, I’ll take it. After this project, I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for other furniture I can dye. I only wish I’d tried it sooner!

Dyeing Wingback Chair 15

Don’t forget to finish up your BOLD project this weekend so you can join us on Monday for our link party!

be bold challenge with border.

Feb 202014
 

My partners in crime diy have been busy this week posting their BOLD challenge projects. Mine will be up on Friday, so don’t forget to check back in for that!

Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog made a brilliant blue TV stand out of a dresser.

Cassie from Primitive and Proper made some awesome industrial pipe built-ins.

April of House by Hoff made a large scale picture wall art for only $10.

Chaney from May Richer Fuller Be updated her nightstand (without power tools!).

Amy from The Blissful Bee made her own pendant drum shade to cover an eyesore light fixture.

Tasha from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body stenciled her entry wall with a herringbone design.

Cassie from Lovely Etc. updated her entry wall with weathered planks.

Check back on Friday to see what I’ve been up to! Monday will be the huge link party to celebrate what everyone has been working on to bring some risk and boldness into their lives.

 

Jan 312014
 

Hello, everyone! Sooooo, a couple of nights ago I spilled water on my MacBook. Boooo. It has been in rice, but I kind of feel like it’s just an expensive paperweight. I’m hoping and praying that more drying time will do the trick. At the very least I hope I can get everything off my hard drive…it’s been a very long time since I backed up my computer. So pretty much I’ve made every amateur computer mistake.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll still be able to post until I get things figured out, but while I’m typing on an ipad I’ll certainly not be very wordy.

The past week I’ve been working on improving my project gallery. Thankfully I got most of it done before my computer incident, so I finally finished setting it up! So check out the “Project Gallery” tab at the top and if a link is broken, please let me know. After looking at stuff a while my eyes started to cross so I published it.

I’m hoping my computer is miraculously restored to its previously working state so I can get back to things next week!