Sunday, January 27, 2013

Painting Fabric {A sun-faded stroller}: The Busy Momma's Guide

I've been writing and working on this post for some time...apparently being a mom to 4, with 2 of those being under 2, is a full time job. Who knew? I'm excited to get back to regular blogging and projects, but it may be a slow process!

Since I was going to have 2 littles that needed to be in a stroller, I decided a double stroller would be handy for those trips to the zoo, walks, etc.

For several months I've been stalking Craigslist looking for this:

Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem Stroller

And I found it several times, but it was always  in super great shape and kind of expensive ($125-$150). Not that I didn't want one in great shape, but I am sort of a stroller hoarder, and I didn't want to pay a lot for a stroller I would only need for another year or so.

Then it happened - you know if you are a Craigslist stalker what I mean - If you hunt long enough, what you are looking for will find you. It's the best feeling ever!

I should of taken a before. What was I thinking? Geeeez.  It was in sorry shape. It was left outside for summer and winter for a couple of years and looked like it. It was filthy and the fabric was really faded. Did I mention how much I paid? $40! 

When I got it home, I cleaned it all up, put WD40 on all of the mechanisms and polished the metal frame. It looked pretty good.  But that faded fabric really was bugging me.

Ok, so the picture is horrible. It was 20 degrees outside and I wasn't about to open the garage door. But that color isn't washed out by the flash. Nope. It was faded to a weird orangey peach color, with red spots where the sun didn't reach - see the back of the seat. 

I found out I can get replacement parts from the manufacturer, and the seats and canopies weren't a bad price, but then it's not a $40 stroller anymore. I started looking on the internet for options...what do other people do when their stroller is faded and they don't want to get a new one? 
Apparently they post questions all over the internet.

I did find this one and only real post about another mom using a fabric spray paint on the fabric - The Mom Buzz . I love a good spray paint project!

I tracked down the paint she used Simply Spray Upholstery Paint at my local Hobby Lobby. I used a coupon so it was around $6. I figured that was an ok price if it failed. 

I used red because my stroller was red - they make a ton of different colors though.


I was excited to try it out. I did learn a few tricks along the way. Here is the first seat I sprayed.

I'm sorry for the terrible pictures - it really was FREEZING outside. But you can see the difference, can't you?? 

I had to rub the paint in with a napkin or my fingers (use gloves). It sometimes sprays globs and it was easiest to just rub those in the areas that needed more paint. I used newspaper to cover the areas I didn't want sprayed because it does have a decent overspray. 

Here is a good comparison photo - the seat on the right hasn't been painted yet.

It is supposed to dry for 72 hours and then is ready to use. 1 bottle pretty much covered both seats and canopies, but I need to get another so the second seat is as dark red as the first one I painted. So a total $12 investment with a big giant improvement!!

I haven't been able to take it out yet since our newest girl is only 3 weeks and it's just so cold. I don't know how it will hold up to the sun, but everything fades after being in the sun, so I'm not concerned with that. 

It's been a few months since this post and we take the stroller out every evening for a spin. I don't think the colors have faded one bit, BUT, since actually bringing it out into the daylight, I can see I need another coat on all of the surfaces. I used 90% of my can on the hood, so the seats are still needing some work. But where I did use the majority of the can, it looks GREAT!

This isn't limited to no no! I've seen all over people all over blogland use it on real furniture! How fun would that be? 

The Happier Homemaker

Have you got anything lying around that you don't mind experimenting with upholstery spray paint on? I'd love to hear what you think!


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Friday, January 18, 2013