Blog created by interior decorator Peggy Clarke to help create homes that reflect the people who live there and how they (want to) live. Blending spirituality with the art of interior design, Clarke aims to help people who want to create harmonious spaces for balanced living.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

...And a Little Drop of Paint

I’m sure you know the easiest and cheapest design fix is paint. In that spirit, I indulged myself in a little holiday spruce up. I started with four chairs I found at a local tag sale. I paid $18 for the four of them and used leftover paint from past projects.

Here’s what they looked like when I purchased them.

The good news is that the frame is solid and very heavy. They’re mid 20th century (my guess is late 1960s, but I could be off by as much as a decade) and built to last. The first thing I did was strip the vinyl seat covers. The padding was in good shape, so I kept it and simply reupholstered the seat with a remnant I picked up locally. Then I added a little paint and here’s the result…

Once that was done, I got started on my grandmother’s china cabinet. The piece itself was sentimental only insofar as she owned it, but she’d only had it for about 15 or 20 years; I think it came with the condo she bought when moved to Delray Beach. No one wanted to sell it, so I inherited largely by default; I was the only one with enough room in my dining room to hold it. For two years it’s been sitting against a wall, filled with my mother and grandmother’s things.

One of the things to consider when painting anything, walls, floors, furniture, is using paint that’s environmentally friendly. Paint has traditionally had chemicals (VOC, volitile organic chemicals) that affect air quality both in and outside the house. People concerned about sustainable design look for paints with no or low VOC. Fortunately, those of us in New York State have been protected by some very tight environmental laws; any can of paint sold in the state is already low VOC.

If you’re looking for the most earth-friendly paints, try natural paints, which are even better than no VOC. Milk paints are my favorite choices.

Other very good choices:

AFM (American Formulating and Manufacturing)
Benjamin Moore & Co. (Pristine® Eco-Spec® )
BioShield Paints
Devoe Paint
Duron Paints and Wallcoverings (Genesis Odor-Free products)
Home Depot
ICI Dulux Paints
Kelly Moore
Sherwin-Williams (HealthSpec® paints)

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