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Monday, January 17, 2011

Painting a large fabirc couch making it GROOVY


Taking an old couch that stunk of dog pee ( a reality for any pet owner, I'm just brave enough to state it) into a fun and funky outdoor couch! Yes paint gets rid of smell!

Last spring I took out of family couch and began a big project. Presently it sits outside(yes in the snow, the cats love it) waiting for spring again when I will finish it up. It weathered great all summer, repealing rain with its strong dose of the magic Gesso. I did not get to put the glitter and poly on , truthfully I got burnt out on it, but I will finish up this spring. Read below to see the process I used.
Allot of paint and gesso primer !
laying out the design

Fabric couch made plastic
This was one of the only pieces of furniture that my husband
and I have ever bought. Our home has been furnished with hand
me downs, inheritance or from the curb side clean up days that I so
often had cherished finding chairs that others threw away. I felt
compelled to add a dog into the equation, thinking rather
romantically that it made our home even happier. The girls
loved the idea. He, the dog, no longer with us, decided to claim
it as his own,
which in his world , meant voiding that which
is meant for the sides
of trees. Meant for anywhere in fact,
but on our new couch. I lost the battle,
but so did he
(he went to the pound,let us hope he found a good home)

Our beautiful new couch was peeded on no matter what we did.
Late at night, while at the grocery store, with our backs turned, we
never saw him do it.

Indoor couch made into outdoor furniture
The couch smelled horrible. After getting rid of the dog, I
asked my husband to take the couch out onto our sunny
side outdoor deck. Our option was to throw it away. In the past,
when searching the streets for great findZ, I had found this charming
shaped chair that was ripped and covered in dog hair and it also stunk.
I thought I'm going to try to paint this, what can it hurt? After all it is fabric.
Just the other day while I told a friend that I was painting a couch,
he said"I didn't think you could do that." I said "Canvas is fabric,
so is the couch." Suddenly it made sense to him that of course
it could be done.

PAINT AND POLY eliminate pet smells
Well, I dug in and painted that chair, I didn't use my good
paints and was hesitant and cautious at first,
but afterward, I was amazed at the transformation. The
smell was gone, the chair was made new. Up-cycled at its best.
In fact that chair is in my bedroom right now.
I covered the chair in poly and this is what I believe was the
ultimate order ELIMINATOR!
I told my husband that I was going
to try and paint the couch and see if it too could be saved,
otherwise we planned to take it to the dump. This thought did
not settle well with me.
Gesso, a must in this project.
This time I covered the entire couch in GESSO first.
This was a necessary step, albeit expensive.
This was a laborious task and not much fun at all. It
took nearly a full half gallon. White paint would not have
worked as well.
I purchased quarts of red,orange, yellow, black, light purple
and chartreuse from my local paint store. They were thin so
I let the sun bake on them and thickened them up a bit. The
beers I added for a bit of inspiration. I only paint on a nice
sunny day so I can get a bit of a tan,plus the paint drys faster.
I put the stereo up load with my favorite music, currently
TEEN DREAM. (you must check it out)
REQUIRES allot of paint and some beer
I am not finished. It is taking allot of paint and requires multiple coats.
I choose a very bright and hippie 1960s style. At my age I should be
ashamed, but ever since a young girl growing up during this colorful
and fantastic time, I have loved the colors and style of this periods
psychedelic art.
I plan to outline everything in black, apply highlights with my
finest paints, apply lots of glitter and at the
end but on multiple coats of polyurethane. The couch will become
like a plastic couch, it will have a fair amount of waterproof qualities,
and it will wash up easily.
I intend to keep it outside on the deck as an outdoor piece of
furniture. In the winter I will just cover it with a tarp. It will be
a wow conversation piece for our family. Already I receive
comments from the neighbors walking their dog. The children in
the neighbor hood think it is "really cool"
I am not finished yet, but I will let you know how my process is going.
So far I have about 30 hours into it. Difficult to believe. I thought I could get
it done in one day if I worked hard enough (and drank enough beer)
As with all art it takes time. But I am confident that this will pay off.
DAUGHTER helps as artist assistant .
My wonderful and very talented daughter Miranda has been
assisting me in this work. In fact she made the Happy face and
drew the peace birds. She helps in reapplying coats and filling
in large blocks of color.
It has been raining for days. I am anxious to get back to work.
At this time, I have all the color laid down. Now I get to do the
really fun work.

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