1 1 Sawtooth and the petticoats: Behold, the powers of Spray Paint

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Behold, the powers of Spray Paint

If you didn't know it already, I want to enlighten you to a cheap and easy way to makeover old things: Spray Paint! 

I bought an ugly wicker hamper a while ago at a garage sale. It was $5, and it was the aqua green of your grandma's bathroom. It had a marbled green tile stuck crookedly to the top. The paint was cracked. I didn't take any "before" pictures, so use your imagination. It was not something I would ever use as-is, but spray paint changes everything! The top and frame are made from real wood, and the wicker was in good shape. After I washed it and sanded it, I realized that even the wicker was wood! This thing is solid. 

So, no before pictures, but here's what it looks like now:

Details ahead!

I unscrewed the lid from the top (I would have left it on if I wanted it all yellow) and washed and sanded the whole thing. When it was dry, I primered it all, then painted the exterior of the hamper and both sides of the lid. I was hoping for a very specific shade of light blue, but the color selection at my local Home Depot was not overwhelming. (I'll show pictures of my bedroom soon. I'm going for a Scandinavian yellow and blue color scheme.) I used Rust-Oleum's Painter's Touch Ultra Cover primer and paints. I used more than one can of primer, but probably one would have sufficed. I did use about one and a half cans of yellow for good coverage. The blue is Navy Blue, and the yellow is Sun Yellow, both in gloss. I'm painting some frames with the leftovers. 

My tips for spray painting are as follows: Read the directions. Start with a clean dry and smooth surface. Spray light, even coats. It's better to do several light coats to get proper coverage than to spray it really thick just once or twice. I'm impatient, so I always tell myself to put down the can after just a few sprays and come back in 30 minutes. 

The old paint (and the yellow) seems to rub off a little on the inside, so I made a fabric liner for the interior. This is where things got ugly. Sewing is for sure my worst "domestic arts" skill. I had envisioned a simple fabric liner, with Velcro to hold it up (no hooks, I didn't want my clothes to catch on them). I had a clean sheet that matched (I didn't love it, but it will rarely be seen). I measure the interior dimensions and cut out my pieces, leaving a seam allowance. The seams are on the exterior of the liner; I thought this would be more aesthetically pleasing when I looked inside my hamper. As you'll seen, aesthetics soon fled for the country.

I cut out four panels, one for each side, and as I struggled to sew them together with straight seams, I realized I could have just cut out one panel. I realized "Fabric bends to accommodate corners." Yeah, sheesh. Then there was some seam ripping, and some ugly muttering, and an irate bobbin. The sewing fairies are not my friends.

Eventually I got three of the four sides sewn together, but then I realized I had no clue how to sew on the bottom piece (I'd already tried sewing it on first, but at least one piece had been cut crooked.... things were a mess.) So I guessed. Here are the hot mess results of my attempts, being laughed at by my sister:

Yeah, it's bad. But it works!

Next, I put the Velcro on. We had sticky-backed Velcro, which worked well for the interior of the hamper, but attempting to sew it to the fabric did not go well. I settled for sticking it on the fabric, and someday when it loses its adhesiveness I'll buy Velcro that can be sewn on. 

This hamper liner is the "Good Enough" liner. Sometimes there are things in life that are just not worth sweating over. Say it with me: It's Good Enough.


  1. Emily Rae, oh most talented blogger,
    I really enjoy reading about your projects and seeing (and eating) the results. You analogies and descriptions are interesting and funny. I especially enjoyed how you compared the color of you old hamper to "the aqua green of your grandma's bathroom". So true. :)

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  3. Beautiful creation! The inside lining didn't turn out so pretty, but who's going to see it now that it's in use? No one but you. If you are satisfied with the result, then that's all that matters. The end product (at least from the outside) looks fabulous and very usable. It's bright and useful; I love it!

  4. I love the way it turned out. It is always exciting finding yard sale items that can be refinished into something new and appealing. I love the power of spray paint. I too often have troubles with my sewing machine. We never seem to see eye to eye. LOL

  5. dear editor: what happened to my comment?steve