Friday, January 30, 2009

Momma needs a project.

Wanna look at some of my fantastic photography? Okay! Here we go.....

This is the bench that sat on my porch that my cats used as a litter box. I bought this in an unfinished furniture store back in Missouri. It's a very poorly constructed piece of doo-doo that we have had to nail back together, but it works. You can't tell from this picture, but I pickled it to match my hutch. Basically it looks like a cheap pine bench. Um, because it is a cheap pine bench.

This is the little rug that sits by the door which is by the cheap pine bench. Take in the colors, we'll come back to it. What do you mean you can't see the colors. You got somethin' to say 'bout my photography? Sigh... moving on.



Bench. Rug. Wall color. Table legs. Got it all? Process it, there is a big decision coming up.


This is one of my dining room chairs. What do you think? It's got that rustic look right? One of our friends sat in this chair and watched a movie. How uncomfortable do you think he was? What kind of a host lets their company sit in this chair while she sits in the cushiony chair with her feet propped up? That would be me. The really funny thing is, that he thought he broke the chair. I didn't tell him it was already like that, I was hoping he'd offer to fix it.....after all he was sitting in it and it's broken. Right?

This is another dining room chair. I think my chairs are on their last leg, uh, except their legs are fine, so I guess they are on their last seats. Time to do something.


I also have this chair. It doesn't match the others, but I like it. I can't imagine trying to repair this one.

Okay, so now I need your help because look at this mess. Goodness.

1. Should I paint or stain the bench?
2. What color? Go back to the rug/wall/table reference.
3. Should I repair the seats with the same weave and color or go all crazy and paint the chairs seven different colors and then prop them up on stilts?
4. Rechelle, I really want to know how you would handle this.
5. Who uses broken furniture in their house all the time?
6. Who thinks I'll get this done before I die?

41 comments:

Melody said...

I would stain the bench the same color as the table and chairs (in theory mind you, I haven't redone my much abused wood floor in 6 years even though it really needs it....)

I would try to weave the chairs and if it was difficult take it to someone else to weave, or put a seat on it and pretend it was supposed to be like that.

Aren't you glad you ask my opinion??

DVM's Wife said...

Every one of my kitchen chairs needs to be burned to a crisp, due to their foreseeable future of causing a liability with a possible victim. However,since my husband just bought me a new laptop and very much needed vacuum for Xmas, I can't afford new chairs.
Keep the old chairs. They "fit" in your homestyle. They show character!

Erica said...

Keep the chairs, paint them all a different, complementary color. Paint the bench. Matching stains is always a pain.

My chairs don't match. I like it that way. Things can be imperfect and still beautiful.

Molly said...

This is like my house! Have the seats re-caned. Paint the chairs the different colors in the rug. Paint the bench one of those same colors.

I bet you can take the chairs to a local tech school to get them re-caned and save money.

HOA Mgr Lady said...

I say do the quickest and the fastest and the cheapest to just get it DONE.
THEN if you want to get all artsy fartsy go back and paint the chairs all different colors. However I do NOT know what I am talking about.

Andi said...

I agree with Erica, paint the chairs to match the bench, or mismatch everything. I'm not a big fan of staining to match, as it requires a big, long, set of decisions to make, and it still may not match. You could even buy colored stains.

Recaning the chairs? Yes, you could probably do that. However, I, the queen of lazy and cheap, would probably clip the cane that's shredding, and stick some cushions on them. If you can't see a hole, it's not there!

Have fun! And remember, your house reflects your character. Are you interested in giving the appearance of perfection? Or would you rather be warm and welcoming and be yourself, which leads to others feeling more welcome. That's why I refuse to make my home a haven of perfect decor (this is my story anyway) I want anyone to feel comfortable coming into my house, and inviting me to their house!

Hey, look! I just did a whole stinking post on your blog! Sorry! Good luck!

Jenni said...

Barn Red for the Bench. Painted then Clear Coated. For me , I would go for a strong contrast using a high gloss cleat coat. This would show a contrast in texture with your existing wood chairs.

Dawn said...

Are the chair comfy? I'd say paint em all different colors for funness and have the seats re-caned. And the bench....hmmm.....How bout staining it to match the table and stenciling the design on the rug on the top....but then I just suggested painting the chairs...so maybe you should paint it to match the chair (or not match :)) and then, and then, and then, when you realize you are never going to get any of this accomplished, forget Dave Ramsey and go buy new ones!

Dinah said...

I would paint the bench one of the colors from your rug. I think staining a pine bench would be a waste of stain when it could be painted a fun color!

As far as your chairs go, if they were mine, I'd paint them a coordinating color and replace the seating - either make a pretty seat cushion that would tie all your colors together and hide a utilitarian seat, or have them rewoven. If you're going to re-cane them I'd have someone else do them. My dad (88) recaned 6 antique chairs and made 2 rocking chairs with cane seats and hated every minute of the caning process, bless his heart. He said it was really hard on your hands and not as easy as it seemed when he started the projects.

Good luck!
Dinah, IN

Lacey said...

I've been lurking through your blog for about a week now (it's been a wonderful comedic reprieve this dreary January) and I feel compelled to leave my opinion because I'm a first child and I like to leave my opinion. I think the bench should be stained mahogany to go with the deeper reds/pinks in your rug. Your chairs should all be painted a cheery pastel and then lightly sanded to look antiqued. Sew some very colorful and not matching chair cushions and then you can repair the seats without worrying about the craftmanship (other than being sturdy!) I'm projecting my project ideas onto you, because I have similar issues but no resources and very little motivation to fix mine. I'd much rather sit back and enjoy your hilariously detailed posts of remodeling YOUR chairs. To make you feel better, our dining room chairs were decoupaged with magazine cut outs of surf pictures and sayings like 'never grow up' plastered all over them and given to us as a wedding present (we were 20 when we got married). They're really low on my list of things to replace unfortunately. I'm really excited to see what you end up doing here!

Rosie_Kate said...

If it were me, I would prolly do something with them like I did to my barstools--
http://paintsplashes.blogspot.com/2008/09/bar-stool-b.html

But you know what I found out about that method of refinishing? When a kid dumps milk on them? They're pretty durned hard to wash.

Sharon said...

We had those rush seat chairs at home too. My parents had the seats replaced once then took a class so they could repair the chairs themselves. But we had grown up by then so they never needed to show off their repair skills.

For the bench, I would love to see it stained in black. I know you won't do it. What about the blue that is in the inside of the hutch?

Lynn in WI said...

Seems like painting those chairs would be a royal pain. If it were me, I'd throw some colorful, tailored (nothing frou frou) on top of the broken seats and call it a day.

Painting the bench, however, would be easy. I agree a barn red would look great with your wall color. What is that, by the way? It looks very similar to my living room which is a Martha Stewart color called Oolong. I lurve it so much.

We just painted some pine benches in an oil-based porch paint (barn red) from Benjamin Moore. Even though they sit on our back porch, we liked the idea of them being protected from the elements with the porch paint should we ever decide to move them outside. Just a thought.

Keep us posted. I live for before and afters. :)

Rechelle said...

April - your weak and shaky sister re-rushed a rush bottom chair once. It wasn't even hard. In fact - A BLIND MAN told me how to do it. I should tell that story on my blog. I would paint the bench in whatever color makes you happy. It doesn't matter. It is a small cheap piece. If you hate it, you can paint it again. I would not try to match the bench to anything because matching is boring and not at all European. I know you are all about the European. Pick something springy for crying out loud! Don't paint the chairs. For Chrissake!!! don't paint the chairs!!!!

beth said...

The bench should be painted black and distressed. Discreetly duct tape the chairs and put lovely cushions on them. Do not paint the chairs.

Jenni said...

Please have some stilty leg extenders for your chairs or benches if I ever come to visit. I'm afraid of being looked down upon in The Land of the Giants. Do you people realize that you are very tall? I feel like an Oompa Loompa just looking at photos of your family. It's giving me a complex. (But it might be kinda cool to be an Oompa Loompa and live in a chocolate factory. Don't you think?)

Now, about those chairs. I think you should paint them white or some very soft pastel that is almost white. The chairs can be different colors or the same color. Instead of woven bottoms, nail some plywood in there for a seat. (Do this before painting probably.) Don't ask me how to do that part, the how of such things is the husband's department. Sew cushion covers for the chairs from salvaged bits of antique quilts. I saw some chairs like this at an herb sale at the Sedgwick County Extension Office this past spring. They were so beautiful I wanted to buy them and take them home even though they would not go well in my house at all. Good thing I didn't have any money. I still dream about those chairs, though. They would look great in your dining room or on your porch. Paint the bench similar to the chairs.

jo said...

Because I am a perfectionist, I would see if there's a carpentar who could put wooden seats on those chairs. I have to believe there is someone who could do that. Then I would get either matching or coordinating cushions for the seats. I wouldn't paint them because chairs are a huge pain to paint. I love black, so i agree with Beth - paint the bench black. You can't go wrong with black. I wouldn't distress it tho. Black is a hard paint to paint with, I have found, since i just did a lot of black painting in my laundry room. It doesn't look good wet but dries beautifully. Sand with 320 grit between coats, after priming and sanding first. I use 3 coats. Have fun!

jo in mn

Karen Deborah said...

Cindy at My Romantic Home has gobs of inexpensive how to ideas, she's brilliant actually. Matching stains is virtually impossible especially with the white already on it. PAINT and use color. All your colors are fairly muted. I would pick a color from the rug to accent the walls and whatever else you like in the room. I'm sorry not seeing the black or a blue either one. Maybe a shade of green. The chairs would look cute painted,all the same color, sorry Rochelle. Check out the Pottery Barn with all their cute kitchen ideas. Personally and on a budget the caneing thing would be out of the question. You could probably come up with a better fix than duct tape though, maybe a plywood base cut to fit, you are married to the architect, and a padded seat. The cool thing about padding the seat will be yet another opportunity to add some pattern and color. My living room is a paint color similar, I have a lot of rust, and dark brown accents but there isn't any pinky purple in my rug. If you write to cindy she may come check out your post and advise you she's really nice that way. She lives in a townhouse and is a single mom. She has decorated the entire place with 2nd hand finds very inexpensively and it's beautiful. It's not necessarily my style or yours but she has learned a lot about painting furniture and fixing thing up, great resource. Your white hutch might look pretty in a color too with the blue left inside. Cindy shows a cool antiquing process.

Ps, sorry for the book response. The bench looks pretty cute in the photo.

Jim said...

From a guy so be careful..I agree with your sister, do not paint the chairs....and caning is easy, go for it.

Try a color from the rug for the bench, then if it doesn't work easy also to redo.

Linda said...

What if you painted each chair a different color and then the bench another different color from all the other colors, and then re-seat/weave/thatch/whatever-you-call-it to the chairs in even more different colors, but make sure all the colors mingle well, but don't match.

See what I'm saying?

Sarah said...

I just wanted to say that my dining room chairs look like that. I have grand dreams of taking off the caning and replacing it with fabric, but then I wake up and start laughing at myself.

Jennifer said...

well, after all those clever and helpful comments, i'm not sure that i can measure up now... i would say definitely paint the bench- something dark. don't try to match the stain. too much PITB. don't paint the chairs. but maybe some cushiony thing, tied on? chairs on stilts- now that i something that i would like to see. but not sit upon...

Rhea said...

Don't ask me.

Purple sounds good.

When in doubt, purple with lime green spots.

Tonya said...

I would paint them all different colors. I would not recain the chairs I would do wooden bottoms and colorfull cushions and maybe a large cushion for the bench too. I would say solid color cushions in different colors and do like a pink cushion on a green chair and a green cushion on a pink chair not that you have to use those colors but I think you get my idea. Anyway good luck and be sure to post a pic when you are finished with them

Gladys said...

Paint the bench a dark brown or reddish brown color. Re-seat your chairs with just a simple weave. Then go buy some cusions to put on top of them. It will make them last longer. I bought some at Ross for 1.99 each and they are great. Each seat is a different color and if someone spills on it no big deal I sprayed them with Scotch-gaurd and I just wipe them off.

jancd said...

I would not paint the chairs. Cut a thin piece of plywood to fit the chair seats, nail them on, and cover with a nice cushion. Sturdy and comfy.

Lisa said...

WOW, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I'M TIRED ALL READY. ANXIOUS TO SEE YOUR RESULTS. HUGS FROM MAINE http://sophie4me.blogspot.com/

Cynthia said...

uummmm, I would help you but I will remind you of a post I did a year or so ago about my unpainted, temporary 10 year old benches that my husband made.

nuf said.....

Cynthia said...

eeeek, I just read everyone elses comments. DO NOT PAINT THE CHAIRS ALL DIFFERENT COLORS!

Could you hear that? That is entirely too untidy! I kinda agree with Jo. Get wooden tops for teh chairs.

My word verification is:

CUSLAT

I do not cuss a lot! I never cuss at all, I am Mormon for gosh sakes. Jeepers.....

Fran said...

does that bench smell like cat pee? if it does, throw it back outside, use it for your chickens, give it to a neighbor, just don't keep it in the house! Don't paint the chairs, but do get those seats fixed and send the bill to your friend who thought he broke the one. I love the rug!

E-jayjo said...

I'd paint the bench black. I've heard having chairs like that repaired is expensive...so good luck and maybe you can do it yourself.

Cathy said...

My humble opinion--paint the bench to match/complement the rug and wall color. I wouldn't paint the chairs, but I wouldn't recane them either. Make cushions--or have someone else make them. And if you go with stilts, could you please have them disproportionately sized, like Rechelle's hutch? =)

Renovation Therapy said...

Collect a BUNCH of old leather belts at tag sales/goodwill and redo the seats yourself. Weave the belts back & forth like a basket. My friend Debbie did this and it looks so awesome...

Paint the bench.

tims_mom said...

stain the bend to match the table and chairs. Have your handy dandy architect husband put a piece of wood on the chairs for a seat, and then you could always make (or have someone make) cushions to put on them, and bring in the color of the rug.

Leah said...

I do not think you will get this done. Sorry.
If you were to do it, I think you should stain the bench the same as the table. I think you should weave the chairs as they are and find some cute comfy chair cushions ... that will make them more comfortable (obviously) and keep them from wearing out so fast. I think.
Have a loverly day!

Anonymous said...

Paint the bench black. Black anchors a room and you won't get sick of it. If you stain it it will still look like a pine bench. A friend of mine painted a bench red and then black. Then she distressed it so that some red came through. Looked good.

Joy said...

Absolutely NO idea. And, no, I don't think you'll finish this huge overwhelming project. Oh wait, that's me speaking for me! Sorry, uhhh...

what they said. But don't paint the chairs. And just throw thrift store pillows on the cushions and wait til they won't even hold those til you have to do something else.

The bench.... you wanted it to look like a cheap pine bench, right? Guess what - it does! Why do anything with it??? ;)

Lily said...

Remove the caning from the chairs and put in a wooden seat, paint the chairs and bench dark red, and if you want comfort (I wouldn't, but then I have preschoolers!) put pretty cushions on them. Make sure the cushions a) tie on (so they don't slide off) and b) have washable covers.

Anna Sophia said...

Paint the whole set black and just get cushions from Wally World to put on your chairs. Easy Peasy Lemon Squezy! And it'll look good! I promise!! :-)

Karen Deborah said...

So is the next post what you have decided to do? I love the quilted cushion idea.

Mae said...

Oh dear. Painting finished wood is the worst. I did it and it didnt take long for the paint to get gummy and peel off. I even sanded and primered and did all the right things. I hate woven chairs because they are nasty to sit in with fine material or shorts...waffle butt. I'd say, leave the chairs the stain color, upholster them and be done with it. Then bench... cant you just get something off craigslist that will match the chairs more and put the doo-doo bench back outside?