Brass Dining Chairs – Before & After

Brass Dining Chairs - Before & After // brittanyMakes


Brass Dining Chairs - Before & After // brittanyMakes


Brass Dining Chairs - Before & After // brittanyMakesYou guys are the greatest! Thank you for all the love over Friday’s post. Working with Domino is a DREAM, and I can’t thank you all enough because if it weren’t for you taking your valuable time and reading my blog and following me on Instagram (my media of choice), I wouldn’t have this incredible, life changing collaboration going on. I received such positive feedback on our dining room and the white floors, I’m really happy I shared the space. Not every home is polished and pristine, I’m happy I could share how we made our half-done space look pretty snazzy.

Now that you’ve seen the reveal! (If you haven’t, check the post out now!) It’s time to share the DIY behind this space. First up – the dining chairs!

Brass Dining Chairs - Before & After // brittanyMakesI bought the dining chairs from a salvage warehouse for $10/each. They were worth every penny for the brass base alone! What you can’t tell in this photo is just how awful they smelled. These chairs came from a smoker’s home, and probably sat in the smoker’s home for YEARS, and smelled like it too.  The original upholstery was grimy and they desperately needed to be redone. I feel like I always bite off more than I can chew when it comes to upholstery projects, but these chairs seemed straightforward enough so I wasn’t worried that I would be redoing 4 of them.

Brass Dining Chairs - Before & After // brittanyMakes

I removed the cushions on each chair first then went to cleaning up the bases.  It looks like these chairs each sat in some water at some point in their lives, the bottom of the base that touches the floor are tarnished, rusty and dull. I asked my Instagram crew for some advice on how to clean oxidized/tarnished metal. Some suggested ketchup, some suggested wool brush, some suggested lemon juice and salt, some suggested Bar Keeper’s Friend. I tried a few methods, with no improvement. I think they just need to be re-plated. I called around some local shops and it would cost about $100/chair for re-plating. As much as I would LOVE to do this, it’s just not in our budget. For now (and due to the ‘Domino’ time crunch), I left the bases as is. I’ll be sure to update you if another method works!

Brass Dining Chairs - Before & After // brittanyMakes


There are so many upholstery tutorials out there, I’ll spare you the details and give you a high level summary of what I did. Usually with chairs, there is an upholstery ‘equation’ so to speak: plywood + foam + batting + fabric + staple gun (I have this one) = a comfortable seat cushion. I bought new foam for the seat cushions since the ‘vintage’ foam was super stinky and flat.  The back cushions were in pretty decent shape so I left the original foam, sprayed with some Febreze and wrapped with new thick batting.

It took me quite a while to find a fabric I liked for these chairs. At first I was going to upholster them in a performance velvet, but decided I wanted a bit of pattern. I found this blue herringbone upholstery fabric at Jo-Ann’s (which I bought with a coupon). It was exactly what I was looking for! I bought 4 yards, although I probably only needed 3 1/2 yards.

Brass Dining Chairs - Before & After // brittanyMakes


Who doesn’t love a good before & after? Once I was finished with these chairs and brought them inside, my husband immediately said “wow! this is probably the first upholstery project you actually finished!” Ha! #whatajerk



Centsational Girl & Some Wicked Awesome Nightstands

Believe it or not, after ALL these bedroom posts, I’m still not done with the space.  Actually, I should say I wasn’t done, until now, considering I was on the hunt for the perfect nightstands.

Britt Nightstand 2


It was around this time when my favorite gal Kate posted a pic on Instagram of two midcentury nightstands she scored at a local thrift store for next to nothing.  It was pure coincidence that I happened to be the first one to gush all over them.  Kate ended up not having the right space for them, and suggested they needed a new home.  Without hesitation I agreed to give them a new home.

Britt Nightstand 1

The best part isn’t that these nightstands have a new home (my home!), the best part is the transformation – the before and after – and all the details can be found right now over at Centsational Girl.

I’ve been a big admirer of Centsational Girl long before I started blogging, and this little collaboration over a pair of nightstands is like a little dream come true! Kate’s work is so inspiring, go check out how she put her magical touch on these sweet nightstands.

And now, my friends, my bedroom is finally complete!


antique swivel stool redo

Hello! Happy Wednesday! So, I’m not going to lie to you folks, this post is a straight up one of those “hey! look what I did!” posts.  I found this lonely stool at the salvage shop by my office, it was too cute to pass up.  The only thing was it didn’t have a seat, just the empty remains of what was once a swivel chair.  So I did what you would do too, picked ‘er up, took ‘er home, and gave her a make over!



There’s really no tutorial needed for this lady, but if you want to know the secret to her beauty, first I traced out a piece of 3/4″ plywood for the base, grabbed some foam and batting and fabric, and stapled myself a luscious white seat cushion.  I drilled the seat in place, and since the stool still had its original swivel hardware, it’s now a fully functioning swivel stool!



The original wood was a bright cherry red.  I painted over it with Miss Mustard Seed’s Ironstone milk paint, 3 light coats, then distressed with a sanding sponge.  I finished ‘er off with some dark finishing wax.

I’m just happy to have something to sit on while I work on “low to the ground” projects, or a place to put my laptop when I’m sitting in my leopard chair!



a little peek

If you follow me on Instagram {my favorite venue for social media – sorry Facebook!}, you may have seen the progress of these chairs I’m working on.  I’m also working on a complete tutorial to share with you with the exact steps I took to re-do these chairs, but before that’s finished, I wanted to tease you with a little peak of my precious.


I can’t believe I’ve had these chairs for just about a year now. I got them off Craigslist just before we moved into our loft, with full intentions to tackle them sooner, but with all the other needs in our place they became low priority.  And of course, as it goes with most of my projects, I had a feeling it would hit me hard once the time was right to work on them.  I usually become obsessed with a project once I have a clear vision of the end product, and in a nut-shell, that’s what happened with these chairs.

I’ll have more to share later this week on these chairs. Sit tight!


Helping a patio in need

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed I was using the hashtag #helpingapatioinneed throughout the weekend while I was helping one of my best friends transform her patio.  The hashtag itself is a bit silly, but in reality it’s a major issue! There are so many patios in need out there and we must do something to help bring these spaces to life!

patio redo

After having many conversations with family and friends, I’ve come to realize “the patio” is hands down the most frequently neglected space in the home.  I hate to say I agree, but it does make sense that patios are usually neglected.  We opt to beautify our homes, our bedrooms, our kitchens, our living rooms – all the spaces we spend the most time – and it makes sense the patio is the last place we go.  Beautifying our homes can be an exhausting process, therefore it’s totally understandable that once we reach a point of comfort and satisfaction, the “oh we’ll get to it later” argument kicks in, placing the patio on the back burner.

vibrant patio transformation

One of my best friends, Annie, experienced this same situation with her patio space.  She was so focused on creating a home inside her walls that her patio and back yard ended up on the back burner.  Annie told me this weekend, after we finished all our work, that this was the first time she actually sat and ate a meal on her patio… and she’s lived in the house for almost 3 years!

Annie got the itch to do something with her patio space after seeing all the work we did on our Home Depot Patio.  I was recruited to help her turn this sad patio from an eyesore into a fun and vibrant space she can share with her family and friends.

Watch out friends, this before and after is going to knock your socks off.  At this point we had only used once resource: PAINT!

annie patio before after 1

OK, and tape, but just look at this transformation!

chevron patio floor

We primed the entire patio floor, which was originally a colorful mix of different cements and concretes.  Painting it one color completely transformed the space.  We took it a step further by painting a 2′ chevron pattern across the entire floor, which I think turned out a thousand times better than I imagined.  In painting this chevron pattern, we followed the same process I used on our hexagon patio floor from the Home Depot challenge.

Annie has a house (and garage) full of original mid-century furniture which was passed down to her from her grandmother, including this rad patio set.  The chairs and table were in great condition, they only needed a fresh coat of paint to be brought back to life.  First we sanded the table and chairs down with a sanding sponge, then sprayed about 3-4 coats of Valspar’s “brushed rose” spray paint, which is a light coral color.  We sprayed a clear enamel top coat on the chairs and table to help protect from weather, wear and tear.

mid century patio furniture makeover

As I mentioned, Annie has a garage full of amazing mid-century furniture, including these 2 hexagon side tables.  I spotted them neatly tucked under a table in her garage and frantically asked her “what are you planning to do with these?!” She replied, “oh I’m not sure yet.” My reply, “LET’S PAINT THEM GOLD!”

I think I scared her into agreeing with me.

hexagon side tables painted gold

We gave the tables one coat of primer, which we painted on with a brush, then 2-3 coats of Design Master Brilliant Gold spray paint.  I love this paint for it’s soft and warm honey gold tones that reflect perfectly in the outdoor light.

black and gold

Annie found this tutorial on Pinterest on how to make a garden bench from cinder blocks and 4″x4″ wood posts.  We hacked the idea and made 2 benches out of the materials, and made a cushion from foam and batting, as well as this gorgeous Robert Allen Kiki Pinata fabric from

cinder block bench

We also made over 20 pillows (with zippers!) for her home and patio.  All the fabric you see below was also purchased on

vibrant patio transformation

And just because this floor rocks my world, here’s one last view.

black and white chevron patio floor

I hope this transformation encourages you to take a tiny risk and spruce up that patio of yours! If chevron isn’t your thing, try stripes! Seriously, a little bit of paint goes a long way. You’ll be surprised how many people want to come over and party out at your house once you do 🙂


a french chair, resurrected


Happy belated Christmas everyone! Yep, I definitely got caught in the whirlwind tornado that is Christmas and wasn’t able to post a dang thing over the last week.  I had a fantastic holiday though, and I hope you all did too!  My plan for New Years is that I have nothing planned.   A weekend full of cleaning house, cuddling, and enjoying the last few minutes of my Christmas tree is all we have planned.

Before the Christmas tornado hit, I was able to reupholster a chair-in-need for a good friend!  This is a reproduction piece from the 90’s, hence the faded blue and peach botanical print… yum right? My  friend’s mom bought this chair as one of her very first pieces of furniture, the sentimental value in this piece is high and my friend wanted to do right by the chair and give it a fair make-over.

{

Pinterest Challenge – industrial drafting table

The Pinterest challenge is on! And what favorite pin inspired me the most? I revamped my industrial drafting table, I gave it some life with a fresh coat of paint and brought it back into the 21st century.  I love how a little paint can completely transform a piece, and my drafting table is a perfect example.

Here is the rickety old table in it's 'before' state:




I am such a fan of drafting tables, their x-shaped legs and exposed wheels tickle my fancy.  I knew the minute I acquired this table, it would need some love.  Some of you will hate me for painting the oak base, but I did it anyway…




Oh my! What a transformation!  I kind of dig the minty green top, but I plan to replace it with a piece of plywood and lather it in chalkboard paint.  Drafting table + graphite base + matte black chalkboard top = my tall, dark and handsome lover. 

I pinned a bunch of drafting tables over time, and realized it was time to spruce mine up.  Here are a few of my favorite Pinspirations…



You can find sources here: 1/2/3/4/5


What paint did I use for the base?  You guessed it…




You can probably tell I missed a few spots, the consequence of painting into the wee hours of the night. I really love the deep bluish gray graphite chalk paint, It's a very complex color.  I'm thinking of adding some dark wax to the base, what do you think?




I'm partying up at the Pinterest challenge link parties hosted by these fine ladies: Centsational Girl/Bower Power/Young House Love/Ten June



rocking chair revival

Let’s start with a nice little before & after shot…

rocking chair


My aunt and I went to Oakland’s annual White Elephant rummage sale last month, and we both scored some pretty fantastic items.  This incredible event is held (only!) once a year.  People from across the Bay Area donate everything from furniture, art, clothing, jewelry, dishes, house hold knick-knacks – you name it – and all proceeds from the rummage sale benefit the Oakland Museum of CA.

I fell in love with all the French-y cane and wing back chairs, which I’m still so bummed I couldn’t sneak home.  Next year. Next year.  My aunt, on the other hand, became immediately attached to this old rocker.  She had been hunting for a rocking chair for quite some time, hoping to find one to compliment her bedside table.  This guy fit the bill.  Unfortunately, he needed a little work…


{

gild a chair in gold!

Gild Chair 2

It all started with a trip to the thrift store…

Don’t you feel like all your posts and projects start out this way? You’re on you’re way home, innocently driving past your neighborhood thrift store, when you suddenly realize it’s been a while (a day? a week? a month?) since you’ve last thrifted.  You remember the thrill of the last item you scored, which makes you turn your car sharply toward the direction of the closest parking spot.  If you’re like me, you’ve already unbuckled your seat belt and opened your car door before putting the car in park.  Then, you walk to the entrance as fast as possible, just a hair slower than a run, I mean, you don’t want to look stupid running into the thrift store, right? You all know what happens next…

{

How to Restore a “Wrecked” Dining Table


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m started my morning off with a big cup of coffee, some Christmas music in the background (a requirement from the BF), and a slice of Pandoro, an Italian breakfast tradition during the holidays.

To begin this post, I was searching for the best adjective to describe the state of my grandma’s formal dining table; thrashed, battered, beaten-up, or wrecked came to mind.  My poor gram, she was already dealing with the stress of selling her vacation home.  The vacation home furniture had to be moved back to her house, and unfortunately during the move the table wasn’t covered properly in the moving truck and something sharp (a box spring mattress) made its mark all over the table.

Dining Table2


My gram was so upset when the table was pulled out of the moving truck.  She had planned to move this table into her dining room in time for a Thanksgiving feast.  The table she currently has only seats 8… this new table? It seats 14 people! It’s huge, 9′ long, 2 extra leaves and it seats 14.  The gash in the above picture wasn’t the only disfigured spot, here are a few of the other abrasions:

{
© Copyright brittanyMakes - Designed by Pexeto