Monday, October 14, 2013

Grain Sack with a Surprise

One of my most favorite things is old grain sacks.  I love the nubby texture and the blue stripes finish it off for me.  The very fact that some of these have survived for 100 years is proof enough that they're great for upholstery.  I mean, what else am I going to do with a grain sack??

So I found this fabulous settee recently and have been waiting for time to work on it.

The hubster had to help me take off the old upholstery.  There were thousands of upholstery nails!  I then gave it two coats of Plaster Paint.  Not my favorite brand of chalk-type paint, but I wanted to try it.  The result was pink mahogany bleed-through.  Yeah.  Not fun.  (Note: this wasn't the Plaster Paint's fault.  Mahogany will bleed through the best paints out there.  It has something to do with the tannin in the wood.)

I took pictures of the pink mess but can't find them for the life of me! Seems to be the way things are going these days!  

Well, they say the way to block mahogany bleed-through is with a coat of shellac.  I used a spay on shellac that did the trick.  Then another two coats of paint and no more pink!   I gave it a coat of wax and some dark wax to accent the carving.

I decided this was the perfect piece for a grain sack.  Now I've got a stash of them.  I've picked them up at various flea markets and have a hard time parting with them.  But I knew this was the perfect piece for one.  I found a grain sack that was long enough and cut it open to lay it flat.  Guess what I discovered inside!  

I'm not sure what it says but I'm pretty sure it's not English!  How cool is that!  Don't you wish you knew the story??

So I salvage the writing for a future project and upholstered the bench in the rest.

I've reupholstered a few seats in my day, but they've always been the kind where you staple the fabric to the underside.  Not this one.  This one stapled onto the top.  That wasn't so hard in the front.  The back was another matter.  See those skinny spaces between the cushion and the back slat?  Yeah, my staple gun wouldn't fit in there.  So the hubster got out his compressor with the fancy pneumatic stapler and I used that.  Something about that makes you feel so powerful!  Honestly, though, it was very easy to use and I got all of the fabric stapled down.  

The next step was to glue down some trim to cover the staples.  Here is it across the front of the bench.

I'm thrilled with the final product:

The seam across the cushion is where the previous owner actually pieced it together, another great part of it's history that I decided to preserve.  If you look at the left leg, I also attached the draw-string from the sack.  

I've done another bench in grain sack.  You can see it here.
But I do believe I love this one more!

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NanaDiana said...

Cyndi- WOW! That turned out GREAT. I love it and the grainsack is perfect for the upholstery part. xo Diana

Quirky Duck said...

Love grain sacks - this turned out fabulously. I have a ton of burlap coffee bags to craft with but I'd love some vintage grain sacks. Where to find them, I wonder?

laniebp said...

I recovered a vanity bench that had that narrow edge but I did not have a pneumatic stapler but luckily the trim covered it. I think your bench is absolutely gorgeous!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

That is really pretty! The grain sack is just perfect!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

A great look and a lovely job. I love grain sacks.

Marie Blackburn said...

Wow, that is really nice - I love that you kept the original seam in the grainsack. I found you over at the Fun in Functional Linky Party and you're definitely a Must Follow!

Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence said...

Wow, what a beautiful redo. It had great bones to start with. but I am absolutely love it now!

Debbie Borthwick said...

This is beautiful!! I have an old item I've been trying to figure out what to cover with, and my grain sac pile has to be raided after seeing yours. Thanks for the inspiration, I've pinned this.
Debbie :)

Miss Charming said...

I like how this turned out, Cyndi. Such a great improvement from the before look. (And what a nice surprise in the grain sack.) It's fun discovering a bit of history about older pieces.

Sherry Thecharmofhome said...

This turned out lovely!

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