Some projects start out as a tiny spark, a flicker of an idea that probably makes no sense to anyone else, but that you can't shake. That's how this project started. I stumbled upon a vintage rattan settee two years ago for a steal. The catch, it was in poor condition, covered in mildew, and had a terribly cheesy cushion that was also covered in mildew. All I saw were great lines and potential! If only it was cleaned, stained, and had a brand new cushion it really could be a beauty! For $40 the settee came home with me and continued to poorly weather in the elements on my porch for two years. After moving into our studio space earlier this year I dreamt of finally tackling that piece and bringing it in to live at the studio. Below is the settee prior to any refinishing, looking back I'm surprised I saw the potential!
When Patio Lane suggested a partnership utilizing their easy-to-use custom Cushion Builder software I knew exactly what I wanted to create together! The process started by selecting samples of Sunbrella fabric, provided by SilverState Fabrics. These indoor/outdoor fabrics are unbeatable quality and construction, which was just what I wanted (ahem needed) for our messy, dirty, dusty clay studio. Read more about my fabric selection design process in this previous post.
I landed on a luxe linen-look neutral gray with contrast white welt. A simple, untufted silhouette keeps the cushion looking modern and timeless. I knew I wanted this lightweight rattan piece to have the possibility to live outdoors as well as in my studio. The classic "Sun Linen in Stone" captured that laid back, sophisticated ease I had in mind. The next step was use Patio Lane's easy Cushion Builder to enter my custom cushion's measurements, whether I wanted rounded or square corners, cushion thickness, and welting options. This online Cushion Builder was as intuitive as I hoped and it alleviated my concerns about properly communicating with their team just how I wanted my cushion to look! Want to give Patio Lane's Cushion Builder a spin? Visit Patio Lane here and check out this useful feature! Bonus, save 15% off your entire order now until 11/30/18 with code: SUITEONE at checkout!
The original rattan finish had long faded and the fibers were brassy in areas, and near black with mildew in other areas, basically a total mess to look at. To neutralize the fibers to one color and to kill all that mildew I mixed up a solution of water and bleach. I used a ratio of approximately 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. I dipped a handheld scrubbing brush into the mixture and gently scrubbed away at the fibers working top to bottom. As the rattan dried it was noticeably lighter and cleaner, and the lighter look had a white-washed effect that I loved! Instead of staining the rattan back to a warm tan, glimpsing the bleached rattan I knew I had to change directions and white-wash this piece instead.
After 48 hours of letting the bleach mixture dry completely, I mixed up a white-wash mixture that was approximately 1 part paint to 5 parts water. Using a bristle brush (not foam, as the bristles can more effectively reach into the negative space in the rattan weave) I painted on the mixture from top to bottom. Keep a spare cloth handy to gently wipe away any drips as you work. Eventually I plan to spray the rattan with a flexible, durable, water resistant sealer to bring the rattan to the same level of durability as that Sunbrella fabric so I can use this settee outside too! I never imagined this project would come together as easily as it did, and that the results would be SO good! And I have high standards guys, but this one was a major success on all counts.
The project couldn't have been simpler!-- how often do we get to say that in the world of DIY and renovation projects?! This beautiful vintage piece now has a new life and can stand up to the elements both in a ceramics studio and outdoors.
A big thank you to Patio Lane for the beautiful and very custom cushion and SilverState Fabrics for supplying the indoor/outdoor Sunbrella fabric! Get your own custom cushion by Patio Lane for that DIY project you've been dreaming about and save 15% off your entire order now until 11/30/18 with code: SUITEONE at checkout!
This post was sponsored by Patio Lane and SilverState Fabrics. I received a complimentary cushion for my studio that I love! Here at Suite One Studio we only partner with companies we value and products we truly enjoy.