Thursday, August 13, 2015

Chalk Painting......A Microfiber Couch?



Oh hey there. So I was recently Pinteresting.   <------I am making that a thing, btw.  If Googling can be a verb, I think Pinteresting can be one as well.  I was looking for how to use chalk paint on surfaces other than wood, because I had an ugly couch that I was hoping I could transform by using chalk paint.  Why did I want to paint it you may ask?  Well...I don't sew.  And it's not worth paying to get the upholstery recovered.  So what did that leave?  Paint.  Specifically -- chalk paint. 

So -- I felt like I searched everywhere on Pinterest and to my extreme disappointment -- I couldn't find ANYTHING that would tell me that it was possible to paint my ugly couch!  

My sadness was fleeting, however, when it was overruled by my unwillingness to let the idea go.  I mean...chalk paint is supposed to work on anything, anywhere, anytime...RIGHT?  Isn't that the core purpose for it's existence?  Yep, in my book it is.  So.  I decided to do it anyway...with or without an amazing Pinterest tutorial to help me out.

True fact -- I told myself that IF this really weird idea works without Pinterest being the creative captain on this ship...then dang it, I AM GOING TO CREATE A BLOG SO THAT I CAN TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT!  (Side note -- me using all caps doesn't necessarily mean shouting...it more means that I'M SUPER EXCITED AND DON'T KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS THAT THROUGH TYPING!!)  

Okay.  So here is the way I painted my microfiber couch, with some pictures to walk you through it. 



1).  Take your nasty microfiber (or fabric) couch/chair/ottoman/pillows/whatever and DO NOT TRY TO CLEAN IT.  Why?  Because its hard, it takes time, and we both know you've already tried to clean it 397 times since you bought it!  So don't give in and do it one last time -- its unnecessary!  **I warned you that mine was nasty, so if you're being judgy-- just stop.  And I blame my kids anyway!

2). Mix up your own chalk paint (or buy some, but fair warning -- it can be pricey!).  For me -- I like to make my own.  It's cheap and easy, and it makes me feel kinda crafty.  So here is the magic recipe shared with me by my neighbor Nicole:  ***You need to get some very BASIC FLAT LATEX PAINT -- meaning NO PRIMER, no fancy stuff.  If you don't trust me and you buy the paint with primer because you think more expensive paint will be better...it won't.  It actually does the opposite, and screws up the recipe.  In a separate container, mix 1/4 cup plaster of paris with 1/4 cup HOT water until it's completely dissolved.  Add one cup of paint, and mix completely.  Bam!  That's all for that. (I am going to try out a recipe using calcium carbonate, and if it's life changing then I'll do another blog post about it. You can put your email in on my page to be notified of future posts if you wanna!)

3). Use a spray bottle to keep the microfiber surface plenty wet, so that the paint can spread out across it and not be too thick or gloopy.  I literally used a big water bottle and kept the ottoman soaked!


4).  Paint the chalk paint with a big brush while the microfiber is wet. Do one coat across the surface working in sections across as you go.  Perfection isn't key....equal coverage is.  Spray more water if you feel like your surface is drying out. Then...go get a Diet Coke, put your feet up, and let that baby dry.  I put a fan on it and it took a couple hours.


5). Add another coat of paint if you think you should.  Since I was doing red, I didn't want it to look remotely pink, so I did another coat.  Round 2 paint coat goes on a lot quicker than the first, b/c you already have one coat that pretty much sealed off the microfiber.  If the paint seems too thick when you are painting on the 2nd coat, then spray a little water onto the surface as you go, but water isn't necessary for this coat.  Again, let it dry. Add more Diet Coke.

 6). Here's where things got kinda tricky.  *[Update:  Since this blog post, I tried out a wax I bought at Lowe's (just the basic Lowe's store brand of wax) that is much more liquid, and not as solid as Minwax. If I had to do it over, I would definitely use a soft more liquid wax and I think it would avoid the whole hair dryer scenario listed below.  So yeah.]  Anyhow - back to the tricky party.  I quickly discovered that wax behaves very differently on a pliable fabric surface than it does on hard wood.  When I first applied Minwax wax, it looked good...until I tried to buff the surface with a lint-free cloth after it dried.  That is when it began making white little chunks of wax -- similar to if you spilled candle wax on your carpet and tried to clean it off.  This is the point that I thought maybe I failed at my experiment.  

















So...I busted out my hair dryer, and tried to melt off the excess wax that was flaky and looking sketchy...and...IT WORKED!!!



Then I ran over the surface again with a cloth and it polished right up to look just like leather!  What???  Did I just say leather?  YEP!

Everyone who has come over to my house since then has told me that they would never have known that it wasn't leather -- both by looking at it and by the feel of it.  Crazy, right?  I agree! Oh and by the way -- I painted it back in Feb, and it is now August, and it has held up wonderfully!  There are a couple tiny spots that the paint has become a little peely.  I'm talking about a couple of tiny little peels and they are in the seam areas, and it's only the top layer of paint so you still don't see the microfiber...and you probably would never notice it! Yay for the durability!

Please feel free to comment with any questions, or to tell me about other non-traditional ways that you have seen or used chalk paint yourself!  

And thank you for reading my first real blog post ever!  Woot woot!

Sara






Sunday, July 5, 2015

You only get a first time once! (Says the girl whose been married twice).

Holy crap.  I am officially writing a blog.  I made it through the 2+ hours of creating an account and then messing with the settings and the layout of the 628 blog-loving-options.  Seriously, all of that made using my iPhone 6 Plus seem like straight up child's play.  And then - things got REAL.  I bought a real deal domain.  www.randomreallife.com is my OWN WEBSITE!  :)  Cause why WOULDN'T I want to own a domain?  Truthfully, I've always wanted to be that girl who one time spent $12 on a year of a domain, only to be bought out by a bazillion dollar company because they NEEDED the domain.  It could happen right?  Hmm.  Maybe with a company whose product is called anything other than "random real life".  So yeah, most likely that won't be happening anytime soon (ever). 

SO.  I recently was talking with two of my friends who told me that I should write a blog.  I laughed.  They reassured me that it could be a good idea, and that sometimes I'm even funny. They said that I have had a lot of experiences that other people might really relate to.  Again, I laughed, and said: "Why?  Because I'm a person in my 30's who has lived through more than most 90 year olds?".  And to my surprise, they replied with "Yep!  That's exactly why!"

Hmm.  Maybe they had something there. When your life has been full of curve balls that you didn't know were coming, you develop a level of understanding across a variety of topics that you never had even thought about before.

I never pictured myself being a single parent, but at this point - can I relate to being one?  Yep - I've been doing everything all on my own for almost the entire time I've been a parent. A lot of times, it is so dang hard I just want to give up and take the biggest nap ever. Problem is though - that's not an option when you're the only one your kids rely on every single day.

Do I understand what it's like to have been married and divorced (even twice!) with kids from different dads? Whether I like it or not, that's the way life has played out thus far. 

Do I get what it is like to be diagnosed with a rare disease (Narcolepsy) which is far more difficult to deal with every day than people understand? It's sure not glamorous or sexy, but yes - I do understand that.  

Do I get what it's like to parent these tiny humans in such a crazy world, while hoping that they somehow turn out to be productive adults who are living a life consistent with the values I've tried to teach them? Oh my gosh...YES! I understand how hard/stressful/scary this one is every single day.

So do you want the good news???!  If any of those things are struggles in your life (or one of the many other things that I haven't even mentioned!) you just might feel a little bit better knowing that someone else understands you (that is me!.  Heck, you might even feel better once you realize how much you have it all together compared to me.  And for that, you're welcome in advance. :)  Just thinking of the idea that my own chaos might actually serve a purpose to help others out makes me happy!

In the meantime, hopefully I can sometimes make you laugh while I check off my bucket list item # 249 "Start a blog and see if anyone gives a crap enough to read it".  And according to Single Dad Laughing's blog there are only like 50 million other blogs already out there...so clearly I'm jumping on this whole blogging trend right when it's starting out hot off the press.  Oh wait...that was more like 15 years ago.

What???  Don't judge me, okay?  Apparently I like to take the concept of "fashionably late" to a whole new level. Or decade, I guess. 

So yep - this is me.  Imperfect, inappropriate, and probably completely ill-suited to be writing a blog.  BUT...here I am anyway.  So -- let's rock this casbah already!!!!!

PS - Oh yeah!  I took a picture to help me realize what it felt like after I finally created my first blog and post, when I finished up at 2:37am.  (Sorry if this makes you think I'm a creeper.  I can see how it might come off that way, and there's no turning back now).




- Sara 



Chalk Painting......A Microfiber Couch?

Oh hey there. So I was recently Pinteresting.   <------I am making that a thing, btw.  If Googling can be a verb, I think Pinteresti...