Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

Oak Staircase Complete

I did manage to finish the staircase and completely forget to do a post about it. I first wrote about staining/painting the staircase here.

I finished it just before Christmas and this is how it turned out.


The giraffe belongs to the Mr. He won’t let me get rid of it. Not going to lie, this project was a LOT of work. Very time consuming but so worth it, I think.




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DIY Upcycled Bathroom Storage

This quick upcycle is a fantastic example of what you can do with a little bit of creativity and a couple of old pieces. I am so excited to share this with you as this project was completed by my DB (darling brother!) Talk about keeping it in the family…

DB needed some more storage in the bathroom and had one of those over the toilet storage shelves. I don’t have a before picture but it was similar to this one. The one he had was worn and old.


These do work well in small spaces but space wasn’t really an issue anymore so he wanted to build something a little nicer with just a little more space for toiletries. Using an old night table, he joined the two pieces together with some screws.


The entire new piece got a fresh coat of white paint. Here is the result.


It looks fantastic and provides a nice new storage solution. Thanks little bro for the inspiration and allowing me to share your fantastic idea!

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Not So Pretty in Pink

I have been on quite a thrifting/repurposing/refinishing furniture frenzy over the last few months. I find it extremely difficult to shop at retail stores these days! Most of the furniture in my house has been here since the early days of my marriage over 20 years ago and it’s high time to redo, redecorate and restyle.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting all of my great finds and how I’m slowly transforming the 90s look of my home. Having been a stay-at-home mom for over 10 years left no money in the budget for luxuries such as new furniture. Even now that I’ve been working full time for almost 10 years, with 3 teenagers in the house (one in university) we simply can’t keep up. I’ve learned my lesson over the years. Back in 2005 we purchased brand new family room sofas and after about 5 years they were ready for the dump. They just don’t make ’em like they used to, so I’m done with that. Unless you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars on new sofas, loveseats and chairs, you need to find a better way. We live in such a disposable world. Almost everything that’s sold in the big box stores is made to last only a few years. This really ticks me off.

I started with this pink (what was I thinking? Remember the days of the hunter green/dusty rose colour scheme?) wingback chair. This is actually a good quality chair and I didn’t want to throw it away but I absolutely can’t stand pink and I knew I didn’t want to go through the trouble of reupholstering it. I’d read a lot about chalk paint and how it can be used to paint fabric. I watched Annie Sloan videos on Youtube and just went for it.

Mr. Restyle thought I was crazy. I did too, to be honest. Here’s the chair before.


Complete with baby milk stains and dirt.

I decided on Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in Coco for my chair. There’s tons of information on chalk paint on the web. I particularly read a lot of blogs about using the paint on fabric before I attempted this.


I thought Coco would match my decor. Here’s a swatch of the colour:


To begin, I decided not to paint the legs because I like real wood. It’s important when using this to thoroughly spray your fabric with water first so that the material absorbs the paint otherwise it will be VERY stiff and crusty. Use a spray bottle. This paint thickens when the can is open so you have to keep mixing it. I’ve read that when used on furniture, a little goes a long way. This is NOT the case with fabric. I used more than 1 quart of this paint for the chair. It’s expensive. $42 a quart here in Canada and you have to look for a retailer that sells it. It’s not available at your local Home Depot, for example. I got mine at a place called The Painted Bench on Ottawa Street in Hamilton.

I poured some paint into another container and found that I had to keep squirting water into the container to keep it from thickening too much. Spray the surface with water but don’t over saturate, then you can just use a regular brush to start painting. You can buy special Annie Sloan brushes but honestly, you don’t need to. This is the scary part – the first touch of paint on the fabric but while I started this process, I thought if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just reupholster.

The chair after 1 coat of paint.


Not looking much different. This is when I started to worry but I let it dry overnight and repeated the process the next day. Believe it or not, you can sand the surface between coats. I didn’t do this as I was so afraid the sandpaper would rip the fabric. I actually only sanded between the 2nd and final coat to get the bumps off and to smooth it out. If I ever do this again, I’ll sand between coats. FOR SURE.

Even with chalk paint, the fabric will be stiff. I’ve read that you can use regular latex paint mixed with fabric medium to paint fabric too, so this is another option I might try next time.

I gave this chair 3 coats of the chalk paint. I painted the cushion in stages-top and sides one day, then the other side and kept repeating this until everything was covered. I have to say, I’m not really that crazy about the colour. I was hoping for more of a taupe/brown and I think this ended up being more on the grey side.

After everything was done, I applied Annie Sloan Soft Wax. The wax is used as a protective finish and helps soften up the fabric and give it more of a leathery feel as opposed to the stiff canvas touch. Apparently, it softens up over time. I have yet to see. I think the chair is still a bit stiff for my liking. As most people who’ve used this method have suggested, it’s not really a chair to cuddle up in. Apply the wax in small sections with a soft cloth then buff with a clean cloth. It will start to shine up and become softer. Once everything’s done you’ll notice that spills will just roll right off. This is the good part! One word of caution-after applying the wax, I noticed a few spots my paint brush missed so I went over them with the paint and it ended up looking lighter than the rest of the chair. I simply sanded the wax off with sandpaper and reapplied the paint then sealed it with the wax.

Here she is all done.








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