Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Before and After: Quick Update of Wicker Furniture

One of the projects that I have been working on this summer is a re-do of our front porch. I want to, mostly, use furniture and accessories that I already have and spend no more than $100 in total for the porch makeover.

Years ago when I first bought the house I considered looking for vintage wicker for the front porch but opted instead for a 3-piece set (settee and 2 chairs) from, if I remember correctly, Walmart.

The new set had some advantages over vintage wicker. It was easily obtainable. I was able to walk right into store and purchase it, as opposed to searching through flea markets, antique malls, yard sales, etc. It was a small scale that worked on the small porch. And, I was worried that something more valuable could be stolen off the porch.

Fast forward a bunch of years. I still have 2 of the 3 pieces. One chair broke and was discarded long ago. The remaining chair and settee are looking pretty dirty (although they have been scrubbed down and hosed off many times) and somewhat worse for the wear.

I want to spruce up the porch and for the same reasons that I bought this wicker set in the first place, I want to give it a quick, cheap make over with some paint and new cushions and re-use it. After considering some bolder color options, I decided to go with traditional white paint.

After giving the furniture a good scrubbing with soap and water, I hosed it off and let it dry thoroughly before painting. I knew that the unpainted wicker would really soak up a lot of paint, so I started with a spray primer and then followed with regular white spray paint.

I also sewed some simple cushions since the last set was long gone. To do the cushions I made a quick pattern by tracing the shape of the seats onto paper. Using the pattern I made, I cut out the top and bottom of the cushions. I sewed them together with the right sides of the fabric facing each other, left a opening, turned them inside out, pressed, stuffed with fiberfill, and then sewed up the opening. Nothing fancy, but they do the job.

Total expenditure on this project = $53.68

Spray primer and paint was $25.68. I made a note of the amount but not of how many cans of paint I bought. It was 2 cans of primer and either 3 or 4 cans of regular spray paint. I really could have use a bit more paint but I concentrated on the fronts which will be seen and figured that to keep the white paint looking fresh they will need to be repainted often anyway.

2 1/2 yards of fabric and 1 large box of fiberfill was $28, exactly, from Hancock Fabrics. The fabric and the fiberfill were both on sale and I had a coupon from completing an online customer survey. This was enough fabric and filling to make the cushions for wicker settee and chair as well as another chair that will be used on the porch).

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