Secondhand pink bucket chair

On Saturday we took a walk through the center of Ottawa with no set plans. We wandered down Bank Street and I saw what looked to be a secondhand store [within / alongside a shop called Picture Works, which has no details online]. It was full of a jumbled mess of secondhand pieces and I couldn’t not go in. 

I walked down one of the aisles and what did I see but a little pink bucket chair under a pile of chairs and stools. I cleared it off, sat down and decided I had to have it. It was so perfect and at just $30, I really couldn’t not get it. 

The shop owner was eccentrically honest and even offered to deliver it to me for “whatever price you want”. Last night he delivered it as promised and after a quick clean, it is now home in the corner of Cora’s room. It’s so perfect for her space and just what I was looking for in a cosy reading chair. It swivels and rocks back and forth and more importantly, is so comfortable [as I type sitting in it]. Cora’s had a few rough nights getting to sleep [fuck teeth], so it will definitely be a welcome place for us to sit with her until she falls asleep.
Secondhand FTW. 

Repainting a high chair black

One of the first things we bought when we moved to Ottawa at the end of September was a high chair for Cora. We bought it secondhand on Kijiji [the equivalent to Adverts in Ireland] for $40. I really liked the old-school shape and style of it and the table flipped the table to the back so when Cora is a little older it would allow her to eat at the table with us. It had so much charm that I couldn’t resist it. And yeah, one of the back spindles broke and had been replaced some years ago, but I didn’t mind at all. It was in good shape and was clean and safe [I wouldn’t have put Cora in it otherwise], but I had every intention of updating it. 

For a long time I wanted to restain it. It had a dark wood stain but 16 years of use had worn through it so there would be a lot of sanding ahead of me. Sure! I’m up for it! But then I actually thought about the work involved. All those spindly bits. Such spindles. So many damn beautiful, intricate spindles. I’d have to sand the entire thing back to the original wood to get an even coat of stain across the whole piece. So much spindly sanding. And to be honest, I didn’t have enough mental energy to do it. 

I thought about painting the entire thing a solid colour. I thought for a few weeks before deciding on anything [if I’m ever indecisive, that usually means I need more time to think]. In the mean time we bought a dining room set secondhand [also through Kijiji], and its black dining chairs were the reason I went for the set so I figured, why not paint Cora’s high chair black to match?

I headed to our local Canadian Tire and spoke to their paint experts about what I was looking to do. They suggested Rust-Oleum‘s line of Tremclad paint for the likes of outdoor furniture and toys. We decided on their Rust Paint in black as it was high gloss and I’d need something easy to clean for Cora’s high chair. 

Before I got to work, I disassembled the entire top half of the high chair as the black frame wobbled from side to side – not to the point that is was dangerous, just loose from years of use. I wanted to do a proper job of fixing it and I couldn’t tighten the spindles without taking it apart. 

I painted each piece in a light coat of paint and waited around 6 hours before applying the second coat [I waited so long because it was drying on our cold porch. If it had dried at room temperature, it would have taken less time]. I waited a further 12+ hours before reassembling it. I glued all the loose spindles back in place with Gorilla Glue and let it dry another half of a day before letting Cora use it. 

It looks SO MUCH BETTER as one uniform colour and it’s so easy to wipe smeared avocado or peanut butter off of it [it was tough to clean it properly before if any food got into a part of wood that was untreated]. I think it looks quite posh actually! Yes, I totally spent $250 on our child’s high chair …

I doubt black would be a colour many people would think to paint a high chair, but it looks really smart alongside our new dining set; all of which are black [sans the table]. The woman I bought the set from had ‘upcycled’ [her words, not mine] the set by spray painting the chairs black and painted the seats with grey chalk paint [which makes zero sense], so I’ll be repainting each of our chairs in the same [more suitable] paint as Cora’s high chair so they’ll all match. They already look really well together now that they’re the same colour and I can’t wait to share more of our dining set soon. SOON!  

How to repair cat scratched leather


Today I’m sharing my second installment of “embarrassing repairs I’ve made, but I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem so I’ll share how I fixed it“. The first installment being how to repair a flatwoven rug.

As any cat owner will know, cats have a natural urge to sharpen their nails. I would like to take this opportunity to say our apartment is not tore up from the floor up. It is not shredded and covered in cat scratches. I have zero tolerance for those things. It’s a case that Juniper chose to pick one of our dining room chairs [seen as the farthest right chair in this post] in a place that we don’t see. This is the worst damage they’ve done to date as I’m usually pretty on the ball. I’ve gotten Juniper something else to scratch since, so let’s not get too mad at her. She is after all, adoraballs and just doing something natural.

But should you also have a furry friend than enjoys using leather furniture for target practice, do not fret. You are among friends. There is a way.

What you’ll need
– curved manicure / fine scissors or nail clippers
– leather shoe polish to match


Step 1 – using a fine or curved pair of manicure scissors, trim the stringy scratches off the leather. Trim them as close to the leather as you can, without cutting the leather itself. This is where I find manicure scissors and / or nail clippers very good. Take your time. The more detailed you are, the better it will turn out.

You’ll end up with something like this …



Step 2 – once you’re happy with your trimming and you’ve cut the loose scratches as close to the leather as possible, it’s time to add the shoe polish. As the scratches are a much lighter colour than the leather, make sure to mush the polish into every part of the scratches. I did this in a circular motion. I didn’t have to do many layers and the shoe polish quickly covered the damage. Allow to dry for a couple of hours before use*.

No, it’s not a perfect finish. No, I’m not a furniture restoration expert, but I have repaired a couch or two in this way over the years and it’s worked a treat. I repaired the chair to the point that it is unrecognizably scratched, unless you point it out.

I do however know that the only way to prevent this from happening again is to make sure your cat has cat-friendly items to scratch and to keep an eye on what areas of your home they are choosing to scratch in. Our girls have their recycled cat scratching post and Toshi occasionally has a good go at our basket, which I’m okay with for the moment. I also trim both our cats nails every two weeks to make sure they don’t do too much damage.

*ADDITIONAL NOTES:
the shoe polish I use doesn’t rub off once dry [I used the W5 series shoe polish available in Lidl]. I didn’t buff it, but just let it dry. Please be aware that some polishes may rub off, so follow the instructions on your polish accordingly.

To conclude this post and to hopefully cancel any ill thoughts you may have towards her, here’s Juniper doing what she does best – exposing her fluffy belly and softer-than-clouds paws. I dare you to get mad at that face.



How to repair cat scratched leather using just two household items!