Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello, My Name is Katie and I'm a Perfectionist

Remember those canvases I painted a couple weeks back? I was pinspired and I think I rushed into it.

I liked them (a tiny bit), but I didn't like them for the room. I probably could have lived with them (unhappily) for at least a while. Then, one Saturday morning I checked out The Estate Sales Network. I came across these gems here:

Online, they looked promising. I enlisted the help of my cousin, Kim, her boyfriend, Eric, and Eric's bigredtruck. When we got to the house, we had to take off our shoes. Thoroughly weirded out, we entered the expansive ranch. Based on the photos online, I knew they were in the basement. After a little searching, I headed down. I was welcomed by these babies. Just like most everything else in the house, they came right out of the 1970s. While they're well over 30 years old at this point, they are in wonderful shape. They show little signs of wear and tear, and the cushions are still very firm. The color made me smile. After much debating, and a little bit of haggling, I bought them for $50 a piece.

Once we got them home, they went straight into the garage. I was afraid to leave them outside for too long, but I didn't want any mustiness finding its way indoors. Finally, I borrowed a carpet/upholstery cleaner, cleaned them, and brought the new additions inside. Once inside, my artwork definitely didn't jive.

I don't have a picture that features the art and the chairs, but you can probably see that they just don't look right together. However, the chairs do look pretty snazzy, don't they? I think so too.

Anyway, after days of thinking and stewing over those darn paintings, I finally settled on an idea. I considered covering the canvases with fabric similar to this:

Design Dazzle

I also considered painting the canvases white and using metal repair tape to create something special like this:

Metal living room
Better Homes and Gardens

I really like the way that one looks, but I wasn't sure I could pull it off well enough to be happy.

Very briefly, I considered purchasing something in a store. I found some pretty cool mirrored accents at Pier 1, but at $40 a piece, it wasn't really an option. Plus, I really enjoy the DIY process. I love the feeling of gratification I get when a project comes to a close and I really love it. Buying something was off the table.

Finally, I took a trip to Michael's and bought some Martha Stewart stencils, a couple of tubes of craft paint that would coordinate a lot better with the room, and some decent brushes meant for stenciling. I have always avoided stenciling in the past because the paint always seems to bleed. Because this was my last ditch effort at a DIY miracle, I decided to give it a try. I think the decent brushes made all the difference. Sponges are cheap, but they collect so much paint that it makes it hard to maintain a clean project.

After several hours of work (about 4 total), I ended up with this:

Holy cow, am I a happier camper! You might be able to pick out a couple of bleeding mistakes here and there, but overall, I'm satisfied. I used Martha Stewart's Aquarium in pearl finish, Green Olive in satin finish, and Gray Wolf in satin finish. The blue one looks so much better from the side. Because of the glare from the window, the luster catches the light and it's hard to see. Part of me wishes the green one had the same pearl finish as the blue or that the blue one had the same satin finish as the green, just for the sake of consistency; but variety is the spice of life, after all. I'm considering taking a trip back to Michael's to see if they have a clear-ish color in the pearl finish so I can go over the green canvas completely. I'm afraid I'll ruin it. We'll see. For now, it'll do.

Our office/craft room is coming along. Here's what's left on the to do list:

1. Sew curtains. There's always the option to buy, but I'm into the DIY lifestyle these days. Plus, putting a hem or two in a panel of fabric should be easy as pie.

2. Hang curtain rod and curtains.

3. Stain the table in the middle of the chairs darker.

4. Stain the 1940s library file cabinet I Craigslisted (yay!) darker.

5. Fill the shelving units with more TJ Maxx froo froo, as my mom likes to call it.

I can't wait until it's all finished so I can take pictures of the whole shebang. I hope y'all are excited too!


  1. Katie I LOVE it! I agree, so much better and they really coordinate with the small ones on the other wall. I think the "original" were really cool, but these actually rock! :)

  2. Also have to add, I love your headline....I am Katie and I'm a perfectionist! Who da thunk! :)

  3. Thanks, Mom! :) I think it looks soooo much better too! Remember when we were redecorating my room and I was worried about the wallpaper being perfect?

  4. Awesome deal on those chairs. I love your art too. Stencils are so easy to use!

    1. I know, right? Stencils are super easy...once you get the right brush! Thanks for checking me out! :)


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