Category Archives: furniture

before and after: chair reupholstery

I’ve had the chair back in my possession for about a week and a half, but visitors in town!

Before for the reminder:


And the debut!:


I LOVE IT. It’s so much more chilled out now. More mellow.


I can’t believe the difference to be honest. This was worth it, and it felt really good to pay a local small business to do the work. They did an amazing job. If you’ve ever wondered what really goes into a professional job like this I’ve included the photos they sent me of the work below. One of the major differences in using a professional rather than doing it yourself is the quality of fabric. They have access to a million different types that also have been tested against wear and tear.

Thanks for the photos and the job well done Lake Grove Upholstery!

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Portland Photography: Lake Grove Upholstery

I grew up with a mother who loved antiques. For a time, she even ran a large Antique Warehouse on Apache and McClintock in Tempe, Arizona called Cheap Antiques. It was huge: one of those buildings filled with different vendors and rooms. It was unlike any other I’ve been in since though. The back section of the warehouse was a workspace for certain employees to refurnish the some antiques. I used to watch in awe as they dipped heavy pieces into an industrial sized tub to remove all the varnish. It smelled like stripper, oil, and wood shavings back there. I loved it.

It’s been a long time since then; my mother has long since changed careers, but I did inherit a couple of large chairs that wouldn’t quite fit into her house the way she wanted. I lugged them all the way up here to Portland. (Thanks David! I know they were heavy!)

One of the chairs in particular has always been ugly. The fabric on it, I just don’t even know how to describe it. Colorful?


I have provided evidence with a “vintage” photo of me and my cat taking a nap on it. As you can tell, it is comfortable. Definitely worth saving. MAKEOVER MONTAGE! (Just kidding, although if I already had photos of the after…sorry you will have to wait. JUST.LIKE.ME.


I took it to my local reupholster-er. These folks are legit. Alexander Baghdanov is the third generation in his family to practice this business. His wife Lyubov runs the front desk, and his children work in the shop as well. They have beautiful accents and are wonderfully friendly.




Part of what they do is give the furniture a little love. I look forward to seeing how they salvage what my mother’s pug pack did to this arm.


Alexander Bagdanov





There are A MILLION FABRIC SAMPLES. It was so hard to decide. But I finally did. EEEEEEEE!



I hope to have the “after” photos in another week or so!



found blanket

last year, i went with susan to an antique store and bought a gorgeous hand knitted blanket.

or was it a table cloth?

either way, i knew i wouldn’t be using it as either because i didn’t want to wash it frequently.

but i loved loved loved it.

i finally hung it over the metal canopy of our bed so it acted as a headboard.

coffee table before and after!

here’s my thrift store coffee table.

poor thing-needs some love! and when i say love, i mean spray paint! <3 wheeee!

here’s what i did…

first, she got a little loving…some light sanding to smooth out the bad nicks and rough edges.

then, i wiped her down with a damp cloth.

after that, she got her first coat of white primer.

followed by a coat or two of white semi-gloss.

(yes, you should prime. don’t argue. it really does turn out better.)

you may recall, that got us to this point. i asked if i should leave it white or paint it gold.

susan had a fantastic idea of GOLD DETAILS!!!! Heck yes!

so…stencil time! i went to the craft store to try to find something i liked, but craft stores still haven’t quite figured out that we are looking for something a bit more not lame.

so i decided to make my own stencil out of shelf liner. because it peels off easily. mostly.

at least it does when you really want it to stay lined to your shelf.

and let me just tell you, this whole ‘make your own stencil’ thing involves a lot more swear words than you think.

here’s some advice from one who went before…let the shelf paper uncurl.

iron the stuff if you have to because IT WILL CURL UP AND STICK TO ITSELF.

<end rant>

okay! grab a permanent marker, a sharp razor knife, and your paper.

draw your design…

cut out your design, peel that frakking backing off without getting it stuck to itself, and stick it to your project.


i also highly recommend gloves at this point, especially with the metallic spray paints.

and open the garage door. use a fan if you’ve got one.

spray paint.

peel off stencil.

once dry, spray or roll with a protective coat of a clear acrylic.