The tired, second-hand sofa that my roommates and I had found on the sidewalk looked exactly the way it had three months before. We talked about sewing a new cover. We considered the fact that we stapled together holes in our pants pockets and decided this was not a likely solution. Re-upholstering this big furniture piece was also unimaginable. If we took it apart, reassembling it would take more skill than we possessed among the four of us.
One of us saw a section for fabric paint at the local craft store. He came running home with three different colors. The possibilities were enticing. Our quartet jumped in the car and made a bee line to the shop that held all these vibrant hues.
We took a moment to stand in awe at the array of containers. It took longer for us to decide on the design than it did to actually paint the couch. That the good news!
A helpful salesperson suggested that we use sea sponges, lots of plastic tarp, and enough 8-ounce spray paint to cover our huge, well-padded seating. We bought some non-spray paint for extra embellishments.
We decided to play to our strengths. One roomie is great at doing big sweeping expanses, but not detail work. Roommate number 2 likes to do fussy things. We handed the sea sponges right over. Numero Tres loves to workout. Guess who moved the furniture around the room? Finally, the one who discovered the magic of fabric paint got the chance to design our new masterpiece.
We are lucky. We love Impressionist paintings, bright colors and handmade items. We decided that we would attempt to create an homage to Monet Water Lilies. It was easy to repaint the pale orange muslin with a rich blue. It was like watching the sun rise at dawn. The clear azul took over the fading burnt orange like Grant conquering Richmond. Once that dried, purplish and green paints were gently applied to mimic lily pads and blooming flowers. Bits of white and yellow were added as splashes of light dancing on the water.
The weekend passed quickly. We had to wait for paint to dry between coats. That is much more interesting than fable and legend would have you believe. Everything went smoothly because we had nothing to lose. The divan had been free. The paint was bought on sale. The little tools we got would be reusable. It was a great investment.
Our Claude Couch is the hit of our campus! We have had requests to use it for team pictures, sorority dances, master class presentations and art galleries. It will be a fierce game of rock-paper-scissors when graduation comes and we have to decide who gets to keep it.