DIY Lamp Redo Fail + Fix

I have so much to share with you (LA Secret Stair posts, art projects and of course, last night’s Newsroom Season 2 premiere party) but until those are ready, I’m going to share this DIY gem I completed a few weeks ago.

It all started with a trip to the sale section of Ikea (by the checkout). Usually Ikea’s damaged goods section is still over priced for what you get, but for some reason I always check it out.

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That’s where I found this simple lamp of beauty.

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This lamp was in good condition, it just needed some cleaning and the white lampshade needed to be recovered. It had been a display lamp, so you can imagine all the hands that touched it.

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I’ve not worked with lamps before, so I was in new territory. My brilliant idea was to spray paint it. Warning: this is not brilliant, it’s actually a bad idea. But go with me…

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So I taped off the inside and sprayed the metal hardware gold, to jazz it up.

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Doesn’t the gold look nice?

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I wanted a top stripe of gold, so after a layer of gold, I taped off the top inch of the lamp, and sprayed the bottom of the shade a teal blue.

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…I thought it would be a little more blue.

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Yes, I know, together it looks like a Green Bay Packers lamp. That was not my intention.

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My other fail is that when you light fabric sprayed with paint, if it isn’t perfectly even (which is crazy hard), it looks blotchy. Very blotchy. I did get compliments on it (while not lit), but it’s a lamp and needs to look good when lit.

Thankfully, when I fail at a project I always learn something from it (don’t spray paint fabric unless it’s a canvas on a wall).

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After a trip to the fabric district, I bought this beautiful gray/white fabric. I removed the green canvas (it was just glued in, so easy to remove) and replaced it with this new fabric. Now it’s a much more subtle lamp, which works better in the room.

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I had enough fabric left over to make a small pillow for my barrel chair. I love it! It helps tie the room in together.

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Finished: My Barrel Chair Makeover

As you know, I’ve been working on my Barrel Chair. Since I finished it this past weekend, I feel it’s only fair that I share this process with you. It’s my first reupholstery project and I even learned to use my sewing machine to tackle it. It was a lot of fun, but it’s also a weight lifted now that it’s done.

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Here she is above, the day I got her from Salvation Army. Isn’t she a beaut? She just needs some TLC.

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After looking around pinterest and google images for different type of barrel chairs, I did a mockup in photoshop and decided that above rendering was the way to go. I just need to fix and darken the wood, and buy a creamy white fabric to reupholster it. This way I could mix and match fun  pillows to add an accent color. Also, by avoiding a pattern, that would make my first sewing project way easier.

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I started by cleaning and taking inventory on what needed to be replaced. I also took TONS of photos as I dissected the chair so I could really understand how it all needed to go back together.

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I really paid close attention to details like what order were these materials placed? How are they connected? So first sewed then stapled? I made a little map for myself of what I thought the order of assembly should be.

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Stapled below, then stapled on top, then covered? I’m a fabric detective.

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Well that’s sneaky.. glue, staples and tread.

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CHAIR GUTS!!!

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All the insides. What can be saved and what must be tossed?

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Once the chair was fully detatched from the frame, I took it outside to spray.

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I used wood filler to smooth out the many notches and damages in the wood. I decided to skip traditional stain and instead spray paint it a chocolate brown. This was an excellent idea, as stain would have drawn attention to all the rehab work I had to do on it. After a couple coats of spray paint, the chair looked brand new. I then put a glossy coat of polyurethane over the whole chair to make it look shiny and clean.

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Next up, upholstery time! Get out those sheers! I was able to find a fabric I liked at Jo Ann’s Fabrics (although after my trip downtown this weekend, I wish I had looked at Michael Levines). I got tons of fabric because I assumed I would fail and have to start over.

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I decided to start with the backing, which was a lot easier than it looked.

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I also added a strip of piping to the front seat of the chair. This is how the last fabric had been applied, and I was set on matching it.

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Unfortunately, as I started attaching the back, I could see wrinkles because it wasn’t tight enough. When I tried to make it tighter, you could see the bumps of the buttons from the front. That’s when I realized I still needed a material (like what was originally on the chair) to sculpt the backing to be smooth. That’s why I went to Michael Levine this past weekend, and for $2.50 my problem was solved.

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I then came home and continued with the backing, making it extra tight and firm with the addition of the padding. Once I stapled it in and cleaned up the edges (above) it was really starting to come together.

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Now on to the bottom cushion and the piping!

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I was able to ruse the inside of the piping. And the bottom cushion, which I was SO afraid to tackle, turned out to be the easiest part of the chair! Just wrap and staple!

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Isn’t she pretty? I know the piping didn’t turn out perfect, and Im sure I made some other mistakes along the way, but she really came out beautiful. It’s so comfortable and fits in nicely in the house.

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Look how smooth that backing is?! The $2.50 foam really made the difference, and I’ve got plenty left over for future projects.

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Here’s a throw pillow we had around the house. It’s a nice size and the bright color stands out nicely. I’m thinking maybe my next ( or down the line) project will be making a pillow with some fun fabric I saw at Michael Levine. It’ll help me learn more about my sewing machine and you know how I love DIY!

Barrel Chair Update

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This past weekend I did some work on this nifty barrel chair I got a great deal on at Salvation Army (above). She was a beauty in the store and I knew I had to get her.

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The above rendering shows what I want the chair to look like eventually. I played in photoshop with patterns and colors and ultimately decided to go with a basic cream/white fabric and darkening the wood of the chair.

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This is my first upholstery project, so I was very careful taking the chair apart, knowing I would have to put it back together.

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After finding fabric at Joann Fabrics (with a 40% off coupon!) I started sewing the piping this past weekend.

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I even put the buttons(?) on myself! I’m quite proud of it, as well as nervous for the next several steps.

I shall update you as I continue my process. But right now it’s looking awesome, especially given I have zero upholstery experience. Although, I am LOVING my staple gun. Such a great stress release.