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 [re]stock a bar cart on a budget

Some of you may consider it deceptive. Some, straight up cheating. I consider it just a little white lie. I’m going to let you in on my little secret for how I [re]stock our bar cart leading up to the festive season without burning a hole in our bank account. Because let’s face it, being merry ain’t cheap. 

There’s no better place to introduce you to my idea than where it originally began; one Christmas my parents were entertaining a snooty guest who was preaching about his delicate palette and how it can tell the difference between top brands vs. cheap brands of liquor. As he was bragging, little did he know the ‘Crown Royal‘ he was sipping was simply a cheaper brand of whiskey carefully poured into a Crown Royal bottle. And that is how my parents pwned said guest. Able to taste the difference, are you? *insert troll face here*

I’d say my parents did this to stick it to him, but it got me thinking about our own bar cart and how expensive it can be to stock it. With the festive season upon us, the price of entertaining is daunting. One way you could save a few euros is by bluffing your booze; refilling fancy bottles you may have with a cheaper brand that is of equal taste. You could wait until a top brand is reduced or on special price, buy it for the sake of the bottle, and simply refill it with a cheaper substitute after it runs out. It’s not lying. I’m not telling you to refill it with brown water. You’re putting the same thing into a slightly different bottle, because that fancy bottle costs an extra €20. It’s sticking it to the system, man.

This will work with most liquor brands. It works best with rum, whiskey, gin, creamed liquors and vodka to name a few. There are a few however that you can’t really mimic. Fancy gold Smirnoff I impulse bought a couple of months ago [there it sits, hardly touched. Because it’s too pretty]. Any specifically flavoured drinks – orange chocolate flavoured Baileys, lime Smirnoff etc. Bluffing the likes of these will be near impossible, so you’ll likely need to buy the top brand. But for the rest; I got your back. I’ll keep your secret if you keep mine xx

p.s. Two years ago I tried my nannie’s knock-off Baileys recipe. If you’d like to try your hand at it, please do! It’s incredible and you wouldn’t know the difference. I’ll be trying a vegan version of it this year, in a very small batch. Because it could either turn out vegan marvelous, or hella wrong.

#WCW – The Makerista

I’ma let you finish, but first I want to share something with you that’s been on my mind since I saw it earlier this week. Can we take a moment for the dining room of blogger Gwen Hefner, aka, The Makerista. I was made aware of it earlier this week and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. I mean srsly you guys … 

Black walls, bright accents, that mural, the romantic lighting, panelled walls, the deep reds, geometric table mats, sleek chairs coupled with an antique table, gold accents and a perfect juxtaposition of old and new design all melded into one. Let’s not forget, it’s decorated for Halloween. 

I now know what I want to be when I grow up; Gwen’s dining room. Yes. A dining room. 

All images are via Gwen’s A Spooky Supper Setting blog post on The Makerista. Although, truth be told, I’d friggin’ love to claim them as my own. In a hot second. I’d have no shame in that whatsoever, but you know, internet rules.