I must be a glutton for punishment. Why else would I keep purchasing furniture that I am not fully satisfied with? I like to think that I see potential in everything…it might also have something to do with the fact that I want my affordable mass-produced furniture to be at least a little unique. Let us examine today’s project: Ikea Granas Chairs. [ooooohhh ahhhhhhh] This piece of furniture is actually one of the first joint-purchases that James and I have bought together, courtesy of our friend Chris (thanks Chris!). Despite the fact that the glass top makes me a tad nervous, though I’m not entirely sure why because we don’t have a toddler running around banging toys on anything, really the only thing I wanted to change were the chairs. Ahhh, the chairs. They are made of flax straw and never felt very sturdy to me, nor do they feel like indoor chairs. So with that I decided to brave the world of reupholstery again.
These chairs are simpler than the devilish Avington
chair. Really the only steps involved in this project are to cut off the flax straw, set a 1/2 inch piece of plywood on the wooden seat frame, cover in foam batting & staple, cover in fabric, staple, and drink a glass of celebratory chardonnay. Note: When you go to Home Depot to get the cuts of 1/2 inch plywood…you should be of the female gender so that they take pity on your lack of building knowledge and cut the pieces for you from scrap plywood and give it to you for free. And don’t forget to bat your eyelashes.
I did all these things, in order, and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I really like the chairs. I think they compliment our other furniture and are structurally sturdy. Full disclosure, I’m not through with all the chairs, I’ve only completed 2. Do you want to know the reason why? Because I’m mathematically challenged and didn’t get enough fabric or foam for all 4 chairs. I shudder to think of James’ reaction when he hears that we have to go back to Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Step 1: Stare at your project and work up the courage to reupholster again.
Step 2: Start cutting. Be prepared to not have a working pair of scissors after this.
Step 3: Take a break to photograph your progress.
Step 4: Look at the mess you’ve created! Quick, get the mini-vac out and clean it up before you pass “GO” and collect $200.
Step 5: Place the 1/2 inch plywood on the frame.
Step 6: Lay the foam out, flip the frame/plywood piece over, and staple foam to the frame.
Step 7: Staple fabric over foam batting.
Step 8: Attach the seat to the chair frame and admire your work and forget that you have any other chairs to finish.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to drink a glass of chardonnay!
Oh the tales I have to tell…see this? This is a red Ikea Hemnes Dresser. I bought this in December of 2008 and it’s held up pretty well, considering I’m the one who assembled it. But, there’s a problem: I hate the color red on furniture. This is something I can’t really articulate in a way that makes sense…but it’s the truth–I hate red. Almost as much as I hate the color yellow on walls (isn’t it funny that my 4 walls that surround me at work are yellow?). Anyway… I have this dresser and have wanted to paint it for many months. I can’t think of a better time than now!
For anyone who’s ever attempted to repaint or repair an Ikea piece you’ll know why I was a little leary. I absolutely love and adore Ikea (you my boo), but it’s obviously not the highest quality wood and the thought of painting this bad boy left me wondering how many hours I’d have to invest in this project. The nice thing about living in a big city is that our local hardware store has had many customers ap
proach them about the same thing I was attempting to do. Here was their advice: 1) Do a general sand of the entire piece (I exercised selective hearing and only did the trim), 2) apply primer to the dresser with a tinted water-based latex for the paint to adhere to (and to drown out that awful red), and 3) paint 1-2 coats of the intended semi-gloss paint color on the dresser and play the waiting game until you can use it again. Did I mention my bedroom was officially declared a disaster zone for 2 days while the paint dried? Oh yeah, and the same problem of the cat getting in the way occured on this project too. I was worried I would have a turquoise-streaked cat by the end of this.
Ugh, moving on. I love to paint so this project was very easy and enjoyable for me. I have yet to have any major problems with paint peeling off (knock on wood). My advice for anyone seeking to repaint their Ikea furniture it to go with the tried and true method of using a primer first and following that with your paint color. And without further adieu…. here’s my lovely new smurf dresser!I toyed with the color and actually decided on this sort of turquoise-ish hue after seeing the paint color used in my sister’s bathroom. I’ve seen it a dozen times before but for some reason this time it clicked on that floating light bulb over my head that this would be a nice color for my dresser. I ended up going a little lighter than my inspiration color but I am still very pleased with the end result. I think I enjoyed a glass of wine after I completed this project as well…hmmm, this might be a pattern… All I know is that in a contest between reupholstery and painting I will always choose painting!
var _gaq = _gaq
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);