This week I’ll be sharing a few random small projects that I’ve been working on lately starting with this fire house captain’s chair. Here is how it looked when I purchased it …
You can’t really tell in that photo, but there was a rung missing from the bottom right (your right, chair’s left). Ken replaced that for me some time last year, and then this chair just patiently sat in the photo cottage (which has now become the furniture storage cottage) awaiting its makeover.
I painted one of these chairs two years ago (you can see it here) and that’s when I discovered that this style of chair is called a fire house captain’s chair. I wasn’t able to find any info online that explained why they are called that, but if you google it you’ll see many examples of the style.
I finally pulled it out last weekend and decided to paint it using Homestead House milk paint in Midnight Blue. But before I started painting with the milk paint I needed to put a coat of something on that new rung. It was bare wood and had I painted it right off with the milk paint, the paint would have soaked into the unfinished wood and given a much different look on that rung than on the rest of the chair. So I simply gave the rung a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Coffee Bean.
Once that was dry, I mixed up my Midnight Blue and gave the whole chair two coats of that.
Speaking of fire(s), sort of, you may notice a lovely golden glow in some of my photos. We are getting a lot of smoke from the wildfires in Canada these days. Like, seriously, ‘worst air quality on record’ sort of smoke. I snapped a quick photo of the cottage to see if I could capture the smoke in the air …
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when I took that, just a smoky haze. You can also see my brown grass. We’ve decided to let the lawn go since we are under a watering ban (we can only water on odd days, before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m.), instead I’m just focusing on watering the gardens and some of my plantings that were new this year.
The quantity of smoke in the air is quite surreal, but it does make for some pretty lighting for outdoor photos, making the golden hour even more golden.
Anyway, once again, I would have been fine with some of that milk paint chippy goodness on this piece, but the finish was super dry and thus didn’t really chip. But I gave it a good, harsh sanding once the paint dried because I wanted a very worn appearance. Especially on the arms of the chair that would have worn down naturally from use.
Since I’d chosen a navy blue color, I decided to go with a nautical sort of theme. I pulled out a stencil that I had from Maison de Stencils called East Coast Yacht Club and used some Dixie Belle paint in Putty to do the stenciling.
Initially I wanted to use the full 12″ x 12″ stencil on the seat of the chair, but because the seat is fairly curved, I couldn’t get the stencil to lay flat enough to get a crisp, clean result.
So I went with just a small section of it on the seat back, and another on the seat itself.
I was totally stumped when it came to staging this chair for photos. I really don’t have a stash of nautical-ish props lying around. So I just went with a simple vintage suitcase and some old binoculars.
Wouldn’t this chair be absolutely perfect for a lakefront home? Or maybe just for someone who wishes they had a lakefront home?
Next up today is this antique piano stool.
This was another garage sale find from last year. The seat was not attached to the base properly, so every time I would pick up the stool, the seat would come off in my hands and the base would be left behind. So, Ken fixed that up for me and then this piece sat in the photo cottage waiting for its makeover along with the firehouse chair.
I began the job by stripping the seat. In hindsight, I’m not sure I really needed to do that. It wasn’t in terrible shape. It was maybe a tad too shiny for my tastes, but that probably wasn’t worth the effort to strip and re-stain. None the less, that’s what I did.
I re-stained the seat in Special Walnut, and then added a very subtle stencil (also from Maison de Stencils) using Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky paint.
Once all of that was fully dry, I coated it with some of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.
I painted the base of the stool in the Midnight Sky as well.
Then I sanded the edges to distress and added a top coat of Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta, which I love using over a dark paint color like this one.
You may not have a piano, but this stool is perfect to pair with a desk or makeup table, but I also think it would make a nice small side table, just big enough to place a beverage on.
That brings me to a couple of mirrors that were due for a quick makeover.
As you all know, I like to remove mirrors from dressers. Personally I prefer most of them without their mirror. Then every now and then I pull out the mirrors, paint the frames, add hangers to the back and sell them separately.
These two each got a coat of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Typewriter on the frames. Once again, I didn’t get much in the way of chipping. I seem to be 0 for 2 on the chipping for this post.
Once painted, I cleaned the glass and added some old IOD transfers to them.
It is next to impossible to do justice to these in a photograph. My camera refuses to focus properly on them.
But hopefully these pics give you some idea of how they turned out.
So that’s it for small projects today. I have a couple more that I hope to have finished and shared with you by the end of the week. In the meantime, all of these items are for sale and will likely eventually end up at the shop where I sell on consignment, Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, MN. But if any of you locals need a chair, piano stool or mirror, be sure to let me know (you can check out the details on my ‘available for local sale’ page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).