Recently, my friend Gina asked me to revamp an old highchair she had been storing in her basement. She wanted to turn it into a funky place to showcase her plants. What a great idea I thought, “A plant stand!” How many times do you see a cute highchair at a garage sale or thrift store, but you think…“What the heck would I do with that?” Well, now you know!
From the moment I picked it up I knew I was going to have to remove this cute lil’ doggy decal that was on the back, it seriously had seen better days. I tried scraping it with a razor first, but it wasn’t budging. So, I took some stripper (Peel Away 6; Paint & Varnish Remover), saturated the sticker with it, let it sit for a few minutes and waited for it to bubble. Then took the razor to it again and it came up like butter.
Gina had pretty much given me free reign over design but she did give me one stipulation, “Make it patriotic!” So, red, white and blue is what I did!
After I laid down the base coats, I started with the stripes. On this piece there were 3 different sizes. I usually always use tape when striping. For really thin lines I use auto detailing tape. You can buy it at any auto supply store. For larger stripes I use either Frog or Scotch Blue tape usually in 1-2” strips. Both are good, but both tend to bleed. Not a problem though, I just go in with a little brush and touch up the bleed marks at the end.
See, I usually use 3 different size brushes in a 3 step process. First, I use my Purdy (love, love, love, my Purdy!) to cover the large areas and get a solid base coat. Then, I go in with a medium brush closing in the gaps, laying down the design and filling in the color. The final go around is with a tiny brush for all the detail work.
Once the painting was finished I added the wood appliqués for whimsy (also to cover some unsightly screw holes in the rear) and wrote the word “LIBERTY” across the back to finish it off.
I usually finish my pieces with a spray coat of lacquer. This piece got extra coats of Poly Lacquer (brushed on), because it was going to be used as a plant stand and I wanted to make sure the seat was sealed extra good (just in case water spilt on it).
So, what do you think? Does this seat get your vote? And how do you like Gina’s creative idea to turn this highchair into a funky plant stand? What would you have done with it? I'd love to hear your ideas...let me know!