Some of you may ‘member that back in early December I shared a mini makeover of my living room and as part of that little re-do I included a new side table in the form of a ceramic drum stool. The stool was originally black (which is, of course, a perfectly fine colour) though it was always my intention to re-finish it in a lighter shade ’cause with brown leather sofas and lots of timber tones I felt the space didn’t really need any additional ‘darkness’.
So, why didn’t I just buy a light coloured stool to begin with then?
Well…I tend to get ants in my pants which for some strange reason makes me change out my accent pieces fairly often. This means I like to keep ‘em reasonably cheap, though I found the going retail price for most ceramic drum stools here in Oz wasn’t really my idea of cheap (don’t get me wrong, they aren’t ridiculously expensive or anything, it’s just that I’m particularly tight :-). Anyhoo, so when I spotted some on eBay for in excess of half the price I’d seen them elsewhere I decided to snatch ‘em up (two in total – one for me and one for Mum). Problem was, they were only available in red or black (sometimes, okay, most of the time, being particularly tight means forgoing the luxury of choice, though luckily I’m cool with that ’cause making decisions is hard)!
My Aussie readers may also have seen these stools in The Reject Shop late last year for $40 each. Along with red and black they also had white though I bought my stools about two weeks prior to seeing them in the catalogue – go figure! The previous stools all sold out pretty quick smart though the good news is The Reject Shop are currently promoting them again! Sale starts today (Thursday 14 Feb)! Check out the online catalogue here.
Also, for my Melbourne-based readers, in case you miss-out on The Reject Shop’s stools, you can still purchase the red or black ones from eBay (pick up only, no shipping). You can check ‘em out here.
I’m well aware there is nothing particularly clever, original or skilled about transforming a piece of furniture (ceramic or otherwise) with some simple spray paint though when I mentioned it in my living room post there was quite a bit of interest, particularly in the durability and glossiness of the finish, so here’s how I did it…
STEP 1 First lightly sand the entire surface by hand using a sanding block and some fine-grit sandpaper.
My drum, as with most ceramics, was smooth and glossy. Giving it some ‘teeth’ by scuffing-up the surface helps the paint stick much more effectively. Don’t be tempted to use an overly abrasive sandpaper thinking the more grazed you make the surface, the better the paint will adhere. Heavy-grit paper can cause noticeable scratches. A light all-over scuff is really all that’s required.
STEP 2 Thoroughly clean the item to remove all sanding dust and other residue before applying one or two coats of spray primer.
I used Rust-Oleum Surface Primer (from Masters).
You don’t have to use a primer though it does provide the best base.
STEP 3 Apply three light coats of spray paint, allowing the paint to dry thoroughly between coats. If you’re particularly proper you can also lightly sand between coats though I didn’t bother so I guess I’m not particularly proper.
I used White Knight Squirts Enamel in Gloss Riverstone (from Mitre 10).
Try and use a decent quality paint. In some instances, where it doesn’t really effect the outcome, I’m more than happy to advocate the use of whatever, though in this case a good quality paint does seem to make a difference.
Here in Oz the colour range of off-the-shelf spray paints is pretty limited. Aside from speciality stores (which are scarce) I’ve found Masters to have an okay range though don’t discount graffiti artist and automotive aerosols too. If you’re still really struggling to find just the right shade you can always try a Preval spray can kit or have an automotive shop custom mix and can a colour for you (both kinda expensive options though do-able if you’re desperate). There is also the option of using a standard domestic spray gun though make sure you use a high quality paint and follow the recommended dilution ratio.
STEP 4 Finish by applying two coats of clear gloss spray sealer.
I used Cabots Cabothane Clear Oil Based Interior/Exterior in Gloss (from Mitre 10).
Not only does a clear top coat help create a lovely glossy sheen it also gives the piece a tough and hard-wearing exterior. Do keep in mind that over time most clear sealers will yellow slightly. This doesn’t bother me as my stool isn’t pure white and I’m not opposed to it gaining a bit more warmth though if you want to retain a crisp white finish try to track down and use a non-yellowing sealer.
I’ve spray painted lots of small, ornamental ceramics before though never something large and functional. I mean, this thing was going to be sitting on the floor…in our living room. It would be at the mercy of Charlotte’s wayward glockenspiel mallets, Cooper’s clumsy paws, heavy-handed beer bottle set-downs and my not so un-aggressive vacuuming.
At first it seemed like blind optimism to think it’d hold up okay though now, three months on, I’m super pleased to say it still looks great and is completely scratch and chip free – yay!