Before & After, furniture

Pride Bench Transformation

I’m continuing with the PRIDE theme over here, as it is PRIDE MONTH! Plus I still had some of this fabulous fabric left. So far, I’ve created a PRIDE Embroidery piece, plus a pair of chairs, but what I’m most excited about is this bench. It’s definitely a huge transformation for this piece.

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Several years ago, the owner of the bar I managed gave me this little bench. It’s been sitting in my studio for quite some time. I thought about redoing the original seat, but I decided to really give it a big makeover using the rainbow fabric. I’ve never really done a lot of reupholstery other than the occasional seat cover. Let’s just say I have a whole new appreciation for those that reupholster furniture. Between the corners and covering some of the structural work… I learned a lot.

The Process

  • Removed the original seagrass seating and swept up piles of dust
  • Sanded down the bench and filled in holes
  • Put in seat support framing and fitted a new seat top out of wood
  • Painted the bench a mustard yellow
  • Installed 3″ foam cushion and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

This bench is for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! It needs a good home! (Let me know if you need a pillow to match… I think I have enough fabric left.)

Before & After, furniture

The Prideful Pair (of Chairs)

I posted just the other day about PRIDE in my “Embroidery with Pride” post. Well, I didn’t think of any reason to stop there. I wanted to keep the theme going for the entirety of June as it is PRIDE Month. That being said, I’d like to show off this fabulous set of chairs I recently refinished.

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The Prideful Pair

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Several years ago, I refinished a rocking chair right after David Bowie’s passing. I reupholstered it with this loud rainbow fabric. I’ve been holding onto the remainder of it waiting for the perfect time and pieces to use it. PRIDE seemed like the only appropriate time to me. In my mind, these chairs were the perfect choice. Their simple build allows a lot of room for loud paint and the rainbow fabric.

The Process

  • Removed the seat, sanded, filled in holes and dents, then continued with structural repairs
  • Applied sky blue base, then an overcoat of purple and sanded down to achieve the distressed look
  • Continued with a polyurethane topcoat for maximum durability
  • For the seat, I removed two layers of upholstery, including countless staples and upholstery nails
  • Put in new seat padding and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

These chairs are for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! They need a good home!

Before & After, furniture

Furniture for the Fight: May

Okay! I am, admittedly, a little behind on my blogging.  The hustle continues though: crafting, creating, custom orders, playing music, Kickstarter stuff, etc.  I have not given up on my Furniture for the Fight project!  I may have fallen a little behind, but this project is so important to me.  I had the month of May carved out in honor of Immigrant Asian American Month and a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.

A little back story…

I found this handmade bookshelf at the side of the road.  It had a lot of texture and personality.  It was solid, for sure.  I pulled over, put her in the back of the truck, and brought her straight to the studio.

After stripping off the drab brown paint, I got her a good sanding.  I applied a creamy white paint with my go to walnut stain.  The grooves in the wood held the stain nicely to accentuate the unique texture of the wood.  My favorite part of this piece is the vibrant Japanese paper applied to the back of the shelves. The red and the gold really give this simple bookshelf a lot of personality.

If interested, go ahead and contact me.  Again, a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.  Email me if you are interested (lauralee@madebylauralee.com)

12 Day of Crafting, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Blue Christmas, Blue Dresser

IMG_2753Ok, Ok, it’s no secret I’m completely head over heels, and googly eyed over refinishing furniture.  Like most projects they need a home.  A stack of embroidered towels is one thing, but a collection of furniture seems to build up a lot quicker in a one bedroom apartment.

I reached out to my friends to see if anyone was interested in having me refinish a piece for them.   I cast my line and I waited, waited, and finally got a bite, or in this case, a dresser.  I couldn’t be more thrilled!

A couple days later, Melissa dropped off this unfinished pinewood dresser.  She gave me her guidelines of what she was looking for and I ran, ran, ran with it.  I think I was just so excited to finally be able to work with an item that I could put new hardware on! I mean, let’s be real, who hasn’t stood in the home goods section of Anthropologie and ogled the various knobs and handles? I mean, I even have my best friend saved in my phone as “Lindsey Door Knobs” because of our first bonding moment of Anthropologies gorgeous door knobs.

I digress… back to the dresser.  It was fun to work with a completely blank slate. After priming it, I painted this it bright blue with a top a little bit more neutral to be able to tie it into it’s surroundings. The blue was really blue, so I put a nice coat of walnut stain over it to mute the blue and give it some texture.  I lined the drawers with the teal and white patterned paper and screwed in the glass knobs for the final touches.  This piece is so far my favorite that I’ve done!

If you need a piece of furniture refinished, contact me today! lauraleeeimhoff@gmail.com

One more thing, while I have your attention: I will be in another craft fair this coming Saturday at OPA Coffee & Wine from Noon to 4 PM.  Details here.

Before & After

A Learning Experience

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I have a new piece of furniture! The little stool was a great first project, but I thoroughly enjoy moving up and graduating to more complex projects.

A little back story on this chair:  A few years ago when my Ex and I had moved into this charming little house on the East Side, we discovered this white chair that was left behind.  The structure of the chair was, for the most part, sound, but it had been carelessly painted white.  Like a lost puppy, we kept it.  When my Ex and I split, I kept the chair.  I always had it in my heart that I would give this chair some TLC.  Several years later, it got just that.

Eager to get started on this project, I applied stripper to the chair, chomping at the bit to peel off the layer of unwanted paint.  I let it sit and when I went to scrape, I was more than disappointed.  I wanted that somewhat weird satisfaction of peeling paint; similar to pulling glue off your fingers when you were a kid.  (Is this weird or are you coming with me?) Needless to say that only thing that came off was the stripper. (insert inappropriate joke, go ahead and get it out of your system)

Learning Experience #1: When stripper is applied to paint that has been applied over stain: it turns into a gel and doesn’t actual get you anywhere but frustrated.

After this discovery, I quickly felt myself getting sick.  I was hit with a strong wave of seasonal allergies, which landed myself in bed for a week.  Ahthankyooou, Rag Weed.  This brings us to….

Learning Experience #2: Don’t work on projects when you are not feeling 100%.  You will end up doing more damage than good and therefore make more work for yourself.

After recovering from being Sneezy’s lost cousin, Snotty, I got back to work.  I trucked my sander and my chair off to a friends house to whip this stripper/paint/stain layered mess into submission.  After hours of using my power sander (YAY!) the job was done.  I then applied some wood filler to cracks in the seat to get it back to an even and smooth surface.

I’ve always wanted a teal or turquoise piece of furniture.  I was fortunate to locate a color I really liked, appropriately named “Smoked Turquoise.”  Once a few coats were dried, I applied stain to the entire piece.  I have never used stain before, admittedly I was nervous, but it turned out very easy to work with.  I lathered on the stain, let it sit, and then buffed it off.  Applying the stain over the latex paint gives a subtle aged feel without making it look forced.

This piece was a little more labor intensive than the previous, but I must say I found it valuable.  I worked with new mediums and gained a few new techniques.

Learning Experience #3: Take better before pictures!  (I did take more “In the Process” Pictures, but I wish you could have seen a better before picture!)

Needless to say, I believe I have fallen in love with refinishing furniture.  In love.  I cannot believe how satisfying it feels to convert an ordinary piece of furniture into something special.