How it was done (more or less – I’m going to leave out the parts where I realized I was doing it wrong, had to sand it off, had to sand it off some more, painted it, repainted it, repainted it, so on and so forth. However, I will add in my DUMBASS TIPS so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.)
1. Remove chair pads from chairs and remove the existing fabric. If they are stapled on with heavy duty staples like mine were, I suggest using a flat-tip screw driver and a pair of needle-nose pliers.
2. The table and chairs had a glossy finish before, so it needed to be sanded to allow the primer and paint to adhere to it. You don’t need to sand off the existing paint, just scruff it up. DUMBASS TIP: make sure you sand as evenly as possile so there are not spots where the wood/particle board are bare and others that still have some paint. This will make a difference in the finish when you put the new paint on top of it.
2. Wash the chairs and table to remove all dust and flotsam from the sanding. Let dry completely before moving on to the next step.
3. You can use paint from a can, or you can use spray paint. I used spray paint (eventually) because I needed a really smooth finish for the table top – no brushstrokes, please – and to make it easier to cover the bars in the chair backs. First, use a tinted primer that’s close to the color of the paint you’ll be using. DUMBASS TIP: I didn’t use primer on the chairs, and ended up needing 3 more coats of paint on them than the table. Save yourself the grief and use primer.
4. Once the primer is dry, use the spray paint. You’ll need anywhere from 2 – 6 coats, depending on if you used primer, if it is windy outside when you’re spraying, how evenly you spray, etc. DUMBASS TIP: Take the time and do it right with the spray paint – rushing through and doing a sloppy job WILL show. This means even strokes with the can, holding it a proper ditance from the work, and doing even coverage. Let dry for at least 2 hours between coats.
5. Time for the design. For mine, I traced a flower from the fabric I was using for the chairs and transferred the tracing to leftover craft paper I had (this is Martha Stewart’s crosshatch paper). Once transferred, cut out the design carefully with an X-acto knife. I made the dots with just a hole punch. DUMBASS TIP: Transfer the drawing on to the back of the paper, and cut out there, so it’s nice and clean on the front where the design is.
6. Once you determine where you want the cut-out to be on the table, brush a layer of Mod Podge Hard Coat (for furniture) on to the area. Carefully put the cut-out on the glue, and smooth out to ensure that there are NO bubbles or ripples. Line the hole punched dots in a row to mimic the design. DUMBASS TIP: Try this with a couple of lights from different angles. It will make it easier to find bubbles/ripples.
7. Once placed, brush a thin, even layer of Mod Podge Hard Coat over the design, being careful not to disturb the paper or move it at all.
8. Once that dries COMPLETELY, spray table and chairs with 2 coats of clear finish spray paint, to protect it.
9. Chair pads – Lay each pad face down on your fabric. Cut around it with an allowance of about 2 inches from the edge. Fold the fabric over slightly, pull to the back and staple it to the back of the chair pad. Continue all around, making sure the fabric is taut against the chair pad. DUMBASS TIP: make sure the fabric is not too bulky, or it won’t fit properly when you reattach the chair pad.
10. Once the chairs are dry, reattach the chair pads.
11. Make sure the dog likes it.