A tip for anyone planning to move in the next few years, here’s a little advice. Don’t wait until a couple of months before you leave to finish all of the projects you’ve been “meaning to do.” What will happen is this — a sudden sense of urgency will come upon you to complete all of the half-started attempts to find the perfect rug, re-upholster an armchair, paint a masterpiece. The pressure of a deadline increases exponentially when coupled with a tendency toward perfectionism (raises hand), and so the best options are to: a) start working on your projects before you have a pressing deadline to meet or b) relax, take your time and enjoy the process.
Another good idea is to start small. One of my goals for 2013 is to refinish the stack of secondhand furniture I’ve picked up over the last year, including two end tables, a dresser, and an armchair covered in worn yellow velvet but with the most incredible architectural bones. In an attempt to pump myself up for the projects ahead I began with a quick and easy project, this dip-dye style chair that I hope to use in my future workspace. It took a total of two afternoons to finish, including sanding, painting, drying, a coat of polyurethane and another drying session. It turned out to be really cute, and it’s just the type of instant gratification that I needed to keep me focused on my grander goal ahead.
You will need: a wooden chair, medium-grade sandpaper, masking tape, a small pot of paint or a can of spray paint, spray polyurethane, a drop cloth and a large, airy workspace.
Determine the line at which the paint will stop and tape that section off. Gently sand the sufaces you will be painting, and wipe them off with a damp rag. If you have any mineral spirits handy, a quick swipe of that after the sanding will clean off any remaining residue and open the wood grain to prepare for painting.
With a small brush, or with a can of spray paint, give the prepared area two coats of color — make sure to let the first coat dry completely before going over again with a second coat. Let the paint dry overnight or for another day, then gently remove masking tape to reveal a crisp boundary between paint and wood. Coat with a thin layer of polyurethane and let dry overnight until it is no longer tacky.
Inspired by this.