Monday, October 19, 2009

Upholstery FAIL

Walker's chair
Years ago, Walker and I went to Arizona for the specific purpose of renting a big car and driving this chair back to Seattle. It was the first piece of furniture his grandmother bought when they finally moved into their first home, because she had read an article that a comfortable chair for your husband was the most important piece of furniture. Walker has very fond memories of it, and I think it's a nice chair too. It's also the one we've been taking pictures of Moira sitting in every month to track her growth. The original covering had been slowly disintegrating, and when Walker's grandmother took it in to get it recovered originally, she was quoted the price for leather. Since that was ridiculously expensive, she had the cushion and the ottoman recovered in fabric.
When we got our tax return, I decided to get a quote on the recovering. Leather, as expected was ridiculously expensive, but the lady giving me the quote was looking at the rip in the side to tell me if she could fix just that part, and she pointed out that it was, in fact, originally pleather. Score. Walker's plan all along was to keep as close to the original chair as possible, so for 1/4 the price of recovering the chair, we decided to get the chair and both ottomans we have in the living room recovered.
Sadly, pleather right now seems to be coming in a range of almost pastel colors. I spent a while waffling between the color you see on the chair now, which was closest to the original color, only much, much lighter, and a brown I thought Walker would like better. I picked the brown one, but then I didn't pay enough attention to the work order that was being written up and she wrote down the wrong color name.
I complained after it arrived, knowing of course, that there was no way they were going to fix this problem for me. Walker was pissed, because OMG giant pink chair in our living room. Fortunately, the internet has cosplayer forums on it, one of which had instructions on using cheap acrylic paint (the hobby kind from Michaels) to change the color of pleather. We tested it out with the ottoman that is not part of the original set first, and it works beautifully. This is one coat of black, rubbed on with a sock. It's a two person job, since someone has to paint and someone has to rub quickly before it dries, so we will only be able to work on it on weekends, but I love the results. Moira was even kind enough to test it out and make sure the color wouldn't wash off.
Thanks cosplayers!