Tags: series

Holiday Link Party – Crafts and DIY Projects

Today I host a link party for Crafts and DIY Projects!  This past week I made iced tree branches and posted a tutorial.  I was going to post it today, but I just couldn’t wait!

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Check them out if you have time and are curious.  I had a bit of a fail and learned a few things.

Now, I’m going to leave you with some holiday Craft/ DIY inspiration.

Isn’t this advent calendar from Lovely Things simple, yet stunning?  I love the way it’s styled with the chalkboard, glass items and natural wood.

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Check out this ruffled tree skirt by Simply Chic Treasures.  Gorgeous, huh?

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Aren’t these ornaments from A Yellow Bicycle awesome?

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Time to link up your holiday craft and DIY project(s)!   They can include things like tree skirts, wrapping paper, handmade gifts, Christmas cards, homemade holiday décor, stockings, wreaths, ornaments, and so on!  Anything that you made!

This, That and Life Lindauer Designs Restoration House Finding Silver Pennies Shizzle Design Hyphen Interiors Bliss at Home Miss Flibbertigibbet

Not sure what a link party is?  There is an explanation on the introduction post.

It’s simple to link up – just click “Click here to enter.”

The rules for linking up your projects:
- The link must be to a post, not your general blog.
- The project should be a project that you did yourself, not a link to someone else’s project.
- The link cannot be to an etsy shop or giveaway.
- We’d love for you to mention our link party on your blog or facebook!




Thanks for linking up!  Don’t forget, Cassie at Hi Sugarplum is also hosting a Holiday Crafts link party today!

kristysig

Holiday Link Party – Tablescapes

Do you decorate your table when you host dinners?   Holiday tablescapes come in all colors, not just fall colors for Thanksgiving and red and green for Christmas.

Ready for some inspiration?

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Link Party
Now, back to the link party.  Today Kristin at Bliss at Home hosts a link party for tablescapes.  If you have a tabelscape to share, just click on Bliss at Home’s name in the graphic below.

This, That and Life Lindauer Designs Restoration House Finding Silver Pennies Shizzle Design Hyphen Interiors Bliss at Home Miss Flibbertigibbet

Not sure what a link party is?  There is an explanation on the introduction post.

It’s simple to link up – just scroll to the bottom of her post and click “Click here to enter.”  And, ANY tablescape will work, it does not have to be Christmas themed.

Can’t wait to see your tablescapes on Bliss at Home’s blog!  When you get there, check out her tablescape or scroll all the way down for the party.

And, be sure to check out what link parties are after that so you can get your stuff ready to share!

kristysig

Series – Starting a Business 101 – Week 5

This is the fifth week of my series on Starting a Business 101.  Last week, I talked about tax id numbers.  This week, we are going to talk about determining your tax responsibilities.

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In this series, I cover the topics below that are central to starting a new business.

Introduction - Why make it complicated?
Week 1 – Choose a name for your business.
Week 2 – Determine the legal structure.
Week 3DBAs and business licenses.
Week 4 – Get a federal tax id number.
Week 5 – Determine your federal, state and local taxes.
Week 6 – Record Keeping.
Week 7 – Other good information.

I think this is one of the parts that we all dread. Taxes.  As a new business owner, this can be something that is overlooked and can get terribly confusing.

I cannot promise to hit on every detail, but I’ll do my best to give you a pretty good overview. I am going to just write about the two basic types of businesses that would most likely apply to design and Etsy-type of businesses – Sole Proprietorship and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Keep in mind that your form of business entity will determine the taxes you need to pay and tax forms you need to file.

If you haven’t read Week 2, this is the time to read it so you can decide what type of entity your business is.

General federal taxes that you may need to pay:
- Income tax
- Self-employment tax
- Employment tax
- Excise tax

General state and local taxes that you may need to pay:
- State income tax
- Sales and use taxes
- Unemployment taxes

Be sure to learn of deadlines so you can pay taxes on time. Large penalties can apply if you miss a deadline.

Income Tax
Income tax is a tax that everyone pays on their income.  Generally, most businesses pay income tax by making regular estimated tax payments.  If you expect to owe taxes (your earnings are $400 or more), you make estimated tax payments each quarter.  You use IRS Form 1040-ES to pay these payments.   Income tax is based on your tax bracket.

If your state has income tax, this can also apply at the state level.

Self-Employment Tax (SE)
This tax combines Social Security and Medicare tax for people who do not receive W2’s for their work (i.e. you work for yourself and you aren’t on payroll).  This takes the place of what would be deducted on your paycheck if you worked for someone else.  You generally pay SE tax on your net earnings if they are $400 or greater for the year.

SE taxes total 15.3%.  These taxes are essentially the same as the employment taxes that you see below, but you do not just pay it on payroll like employment taxes.  You pay it on your entire profit.

If you are a sole proprietor, this applies to you.   If you are an LLC filing as a sole proprietorship, this applies to you as well.   However, if you are an LLC filing as an s-corp, you pay employment taxes instead since you pay yourself on payroll and then you pay income taxes on any additional profit, rather than SE taxes.

Employment Tax
This applies to any employees that you have.  If you have none, you can ignore this section.  However, if you have an LLC filing as an s-corp and you pay yourself on payroll, you are an employee.  This section will be important if that is you.

Did you know that you don’t just pay employees the salary you owe them, but you also must take taxes out of each paycheck and pay employer taxes, which are above and beyond their pay?

If you have employees, you will also want to set up payroll with a service so they can take out the appropriate taxes from the paycheck.  What all do you take out of a paycheck and pay out to federal and state agencies?

- Federal withholding.  You must withhold federal income taxes from the employee’s wages.  The employee will need to fill out a W4 form in order for you to figure out how much to withhold.
- Social Security and Medicare.  These taxes pay for benefits under the FICA act.  Many times these taxes are referred to as FICA for that reason.  You withhold these and also pay a matching amount yourself, as the employer.  So, factor that in as an additional expense of being an employer.
- Federal unemployment (FUTA).  This is a state tax that pays unemployment compensation to workers who lose their jobs.   If you aren’t employed and your employer isn’t paying FUTA (i.e. you are just a contractor), you cannot later receive unemployment should you lose your job.  Only employers, not employees, pay this tax.

This totals 15.3%, with 7.65% being paid by the employee and the other 7.65% being paid by the employer.

With the specifics of these taxes changing often, I highly recommend a payroll service if you have employees.  These services cost $30-50 a month, on average.

Also, keep in mind that at the end of the year, you will need to issue a W2 for all employees.  This form will let them know exactly what was withheld so they can file taxes.

If you do employ yourself (if you are an LLC filing as an s-corp), you just pay the 15.3% on the amount that you are paid via payroll.  The rest of the business profit would then be transferred to your personal return and you’d only pay income tax on that portion.  That saves you 15.3% in taxes on the extra profit.  However, you must pay yourself a reasonable salary.

Excise Tax
This only applies to businesses that manufacture or sell certain products such as alcohol, guns, or tobacco.  Most small businesses do not need to worry about excise tax.

Sales Tax
Most states (some exceptions are Oregon and Montana) have sales tax.  If you sell products (and some services also apply), you will be responsible for state and local sales tax on those items.  That means you must collect the sales tax and then pay it in to the state and local governments.

Some states and local governments require you to pay sales tax in to them each month, while others require you to send in your payment each quarter.  Even if you have nothing to report, you MUST file zero. Do not just not file.

Sales tax is based on the sales price, not the profits.  And, it will be paid to the state, county and city – so be sure to hit on all of those pieces when you file.

You will need a sales tax permit prior to selling anything, in most states.  In order to collect and pay sales tax properly, you must have this sales tax permit.  In Texas, this was easy to register for online and only took a few minutes.  While registering for a sales tax permit, you should also find out just what exactly must be taxed in your area.   For instance, what kinds of services must be taxed.

When you have your sales tax permit, you can usually buy stuff tax free since you know that when you sell it to your client, you will charge them sales tax and pay it in at that time.  However, should the item not sell and end up being used by you, you will need to pay use tax in many states.  Check to see if your state has use tax.

Pay close attention to deadlines for payments.  Remember the story about Sarah in the introduction post?  She missed her monthly sales tax payments as a new business owner and ended up with $1500 in fines.  Be careful.

How to Pay Your Quarterly Taxes
Estimated tax is the general method that small businesses use to pay Social Security, Medicare taxes and income tax when you do not have an employer withholding these taxes for you.

Use the worksheet found in Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax to find out if you are required to file quarterly estimated tax.  Form 1040-ES also contains blank vouchers you can use when you mail your estimated tax payments or you may make your payments using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).     You can enroll there and receive a pin number so you can pay your taxes easily.

What Does Your State Require
SBA.gov provides a great list of links by state to help you get an idea of what your state may require.

Conclusion
In conclusion, this is why I have a CPA.  This stuff can get complicated.  She helps me make sure I’m paying all of the right taxes at the right times.  In addition to our CPA, we also have a payroll service that helps me make sure that all payroll taxes are taken out.  This gives us peace of mind.

And, never ever just skip filing anything, even if you have done no business – in that case, you still must file the forms letting them know you did no business.

Though a CPA helps a great deal with taxes, I do still have my share of bookkeeping.  I still have to keep records, record receipts in Quickbooks and actually issue the paychecks.  So, having a CPA doesn’t mean your business runs without you and your effort on the admin side.  It just helps when it comes to taxes and business questions.  And, most people greatly appreciate that help.

Tip
I use my Outlook calendar for everything that I need to remember, including taxes.  I set reminders for every deadline and have it remind me a week or two out.  This helps tremendously.

To learn more about these taxes, visit the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Guide to Business Taxes.

Next Week
Next week we will talk about record keeping.

I hope you enjoyed Week 5 and that the information is helpful. Please add your own insights into this step in the comments.

Disclaimer
As a disclaimer, I am not a CPA, lawyer or business expert. I am simply sharing what I’ve learned in case you have no idea where to start.

kristysig

Series – Starting a Business 101 – Week 4

This is the fourth week of my series on Starting a Business 101.  Last week, I talked about who needs a dba and business licenses.  Now that you have chosen name, chosen a structure for your business, and registered a dba if you need one, this week, we are going to talk about tax id numbers.

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In this series, I cover the topics below that are central to starting a new business.

Introduction - Why make it complicated?
Week 1 – Choose a name for your business.
Week 2 – Determine the legal structure.
Week 3 – DBAs and business licenses.
Week 4 –  Get a federal tax id number.
Week 5 – Determine your federal, state and local taxes.
Week 6 – Record Keeping.
Week 7 – Other good information.

The good news is, this step is easy!

Before we talk about how to get a (free) Tax ID number, also called an EIN (employer identification number), we’ll talk about why you need one and who needs one.   In this post, we’ll call the federal tax id number an EIN.  (Technically an EIN is a type of TIN.)

An EIN simply identifies a business entity.  You will typically need an EIN for local tax registration forms, federal tax returns, business licenses, as well as for some discounts in the industry.

Most businesses need an EIN number, even if they do not have employees.  However, sole proprietors and some single-person LLCs can just use their social security numbers.

According to the IRS, an EIN is needed if:
- You have employees.
- You have a Keogh plan (pension plan).
- You operate your business as a partnership or corporation (for tax purposes, so if you have an LLC, it depends on how you are taxed).
- If you withhold taxes on income.
- If you file excise tax returns.
- If you are involved in trusts, estates, real estate investment, non-profit, or coops.

How to Get an EIN
EIN’s can be very simply obtained from the IRS online.   You get your EIN immediately upon completion.  Simply go here and they will walk you through it.  Be sure to know what sort of business entity you are and the name of your business prior to obtaining an EIN.

If you have questions, you can call the Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933.

Next Week
Next week we will talk about taxes.

I hope you enjoyed Week 4 and that the information is already helpful.  Please add your own insights into this step in the comments.

Disclaimer
As a disclaimer, I am not a CPA, lawyer or business expert. I am simply sharing what I’ve learned in case you have no idea where to start.

kristysig

Series – Starting a Business 101 – Intro

Get ready to cover your eyes once a week if you have no need for this topic.   If, however, you do plan to start a business in the next couple of years or this is a topic you are passionate about, pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee.

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Let’s talk business (if you are an international reader, this will pertain to business in the US).  In this series, I will cover the basics to starting a new business.

Introduction – Why make it complicated?
Week 1 – Choose a name for your business.
Week 2 – Determine the legal structure.  (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, etc)
Week 3 - DBAs and business licenses.
Week 4 - Get a federal tax id number.
Week 5 – Determine your federal, state and local taxes.
Week 6 – Record Keeping.
Week 7 – Other good information.

Shouldn’t starting a business be easy?  It should be easy.  It is not always.

Don’t you just sell stuff and tada, you have a business?  I wish.

If it’s so hard, wouldn’t that discourage people from starting small businesses?    It isn’t always quick and easy, but it is something you can do.

A Little About Our Experience
Like most people starting out in a new business, I made my share of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons along the way.

We have started businesses in three states now.  Yet, I honestly just now feel like I have my mind wrapped around it all.  It can get complicated fast.

My first impression of starting a business was sort of skewed.  We started our first business (an LLC) in the state of Utah.   Utah is awesome -  the state makes the process easy and streamlined.

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Believe it or not, in Utah, you simply go to a state sponsored website and it steps you through the entire process.  Once you have completed of the forms, the site automatically notifies the proper state agencies and sends you a packet advising you on what to do with your local governments.  And, it doesn’t cost too much.  The cost for this is $22-52.   Then, the tax information was all left to our CPA, so it wasn’t a huge concern.  We were spoiled!

Later, we moved to Arizona and there is not anything automated there.

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It was a little more expensive and terribly confusing for newcomers.  Though we executed the process of starting the business ourselves, we hired a CPA to advise us.  I remember leaving that office with my brain fried and needing a nap ASAP.  There was so much information that was just over my head.   Suddenly  you needed to know who to contact, what to fill out, where to send what, and what order to do things in.  There was no map or website to step you through the process.  We had to figure it out.

Several years later, we moved, and restarted our business in Texas.

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We were a little more prepared this time, but again, there was no automated process.  It was a similar track through the wilderness like it was in Arizona, but even more expensive.  In Texas, the fee for starting an LLC is $300.  (Don’t let the fee scare you as you don’t have to be an LLC.)  So there we were again, in the trenches, figuring out what to do, who to contact, what to fill out, where to send what and in what order.  And, believe me when I say, it is a tangled rat’s nest.   One agency does not conveniently lead you to the next.

To give you an idea, below are some of the government agencies that work together on the Utah site that I mentioned.

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Why Write This Series?
So, I figured I would try to sift through some of the bureaucracy in order to help you get your head around the general process.  Of course, there is no way I can cover every topic related to this, so this is just a general overview that is meant to help you wrap your head around the process.

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Too often, new business owners regard this process as just extra junk to do; as stuff that can wait.  They fail to complete the necessary steps such as claiming a business name, choosing a structure or securing all of the necessary permits. Instead, we rush it and just do it, especially when it comes to online businesses.  However, this rushed approach, though tempting, can create lots of problems.

Being Uninformed Can Cost
It is important to have a grasp of things.  Let’s look at an example of how being uninformed can cost.

My friend, Sarah, didn’t file monthly sales tax forms in Alabama.  She is a brand new business owner via Etsy.  She had no idea how to set up the business or what sales tax permits were needed or how to charge sales tax.  She just happened to make some jewelry that people wanted to buy and soon her Etsy shop was born.

This year, she would have owed around $50 total in sales tax. But, because she was uninformed, she did not know about her state’s requirement to file sales tax reports monthly.  One day, she came home to a notice on her front door.  As a result of not filing on time each month, she was notified that she would be charged a $50 late penalty for each late month to not only the city, but also to the county and state for the late filing.   That means she owed $1500 in all for January through October of this year in sales tax penalties. She didn’t even make that much in profit!   Scary stuff.

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I hate that it has to be complicated and that Sarah, who just has a small business (sole proprietorship), has to pay $1500 in fines. She didn’t know how it worked, much less that in AL you have to file and pay sales tax monthly.  In my opinion, all first year business owners should just get warnings – they are learning how everything works.

But, unfortunately, that is not the case.  And, sadly, there is not a suitable page or site that I know of that truly steps you through it all, outside of what Utah offers. Do you have one in your state?

Why would I want to be so helpful to possible competitors?
I’m not one of those competitive designers out there who believes that I must get all the business and there is no room for others, they will just take my business.  Instead, I enjoy love helping others get started and be successful.  I believe there is room for us all and that we have a lot to learn from one another.

If you want to start a business, but you never have… and you don’t live in UT and aren’t planning on a move there…  I hope this little starting a business 101 series will be useful to you.

If by the end, you are still confused or overwhelmed, there are services out there, such as LegalZoom, that can help you get all the proper documents filed for a price.  And a CPA can do that and help you with all of your tax questions.   However, even if you go that route, it’s good to have an understanding of the basics that need to be done so you can ask good questions.

Disclaimer
As a disclaimer, I am not a CPA, lawyer or business expert. I am simply sharing what I’ve learned in case you have no idea where to start.

If you are an expert and want to help guide, I’d be honored to have your input.

Who all is joining me on this series about starting a business?    What has your experience been?  I’d love to hear how things work in your state.

kristysig

Simply Spray Series – Painting Upholstery – Week 5

It’s time for my conclusions about Simply Spray’s upholstery paint.

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We’re on the last week of the series.  Next week, we’ll have a giveaway for three cans of upholstery spray paint, so be sure to enter!

Week 1 – Introduction
Week 2 – Painting a pillow
Week 3 – Painting pool umbrellas
Week 4 – Painting a patio furniture set
✓Week 5 – Conclusions

I did three projects using Simply Spray during this series.

1.  I painted one of the original pillows that went with my original painted chair.  As you can see, it turned out super well.   It didn’t really change the texture.  The pillow stayed soft.  The color, Caribbean Blue, was pretty close to my painted chair color.  Success!

Breakfast-067 Pillows-002

2.  I painted a faded pool umbrella.  This was a water resistant fabric.  Didn’t go super well, but also wasn’t a total fail.  After 6 coats, it covered decently.   It did take a lot of coats and the paint did tend to just roll right off since the fabric was not absorbent.  Simply Spray does not recommend painting on any fabric that is not absorbent.

Breakfast-086 Rugs-051

3.  I painted faded patio furniture.  This fabric was only slightly water resistant.  Again, not something they would recommend, but I wanted to know the boundaries of the product.

Yard-001 Patio-031

Conclusions:
Simply Spray is certainly a valid product and a great alternative to my method.  However, it’s good to know a few things about it before you decide if it’s right for your project.

- Make sure your fabric is water absorbent.  It will take more paint, the less absorbent your fabric is and will not take as well.  See the post on the umbrella and patio furniture for more information.
- Cost.  While it’s way less than recovering a piece of furniture, even if you use 14 cans like I did on the patio furniture, it can get pricey if you are covering a large item or if the fabric isn’t taking well to it.  It costs about $11 a can.
- Test it out on an area that won’t be seen easily.  That way you can tell if you like the color, if it’s taking well and how it’s looking before getting to a point of no return.  Realize, though, that this spray paint will soak around to the other edges.  So, I’d test it on a pillow or somewhere that it will not matter or protect parts that you don’t want sprayed.
- Let it dry completely between coats.  It will take longer to dry on something like this that is not as absorbent.
- As stated in previous posts, it’s more of a dye.  Dark spots will continue to be dark, in my experience.  This method is not for covering anything.  Ideally, your fabric is nice and consistent with no stains, patterns or dark spots.
- If you spray too heavily, it will create fuzz balls.  So, again, test your method first.
- Try to use up the can as it can be ruined if you wait more than an hour in between.  I had to throw almost a whole can out due to the issue you see above.
- Make sure you are only going darker in color and not lighter.  It will NOT cover anything darker in color at all.

So, if it comes in a color you like and it makes sense, go for it!  It’s a great product overall.

Perks:
- Non-toxic.  The smell is very mild.
- Easy to use.
- Doesn’t change texture of the fabric, if the fabric is absorbent.

Be ready to come back next Thursday and enter a giveaway for two cans of Simply Spray!

kristysig

Simply Spray Series – Painting Upholstery – Week 4

During this series, we are talking about the difference between Simply Spray and my method, as well as what I think of Simply Spray, how it’s best used and tips.

We’ve made it to week four!   Time for the big project – my faded patio furniture.

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Week 1 – Introduction
Week 2 – Painting a pillow from the original chair and comparing it to the original pillow
Week 3 – Painting pool umbrellas
✓Week 4 – Painting a patio furniture set
Week 5 – Conclusions

Don’t forget, after the series is over, I’ll host a giveaway from Simply Spray!  So, if you want to try it, you may get your chance!

Last week, we tried painting a pool umbrella, which is a water resistant fabric and not recommended by Simply Spray.  It wasn’t a total fail, but not great.

This week, I’ll talk about painting my patio furniture with Simply Spray’s charcoal gray fabric spray paint.   Note that my patio furniture isn’t as water resistant as the umbrella was, but it’s is fairly water resistant.  It’s not a greatly absorbent fabric, so I ran into a few kinks.

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How was it before?

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Sorry, the one cushion is tested with the gray paint.  I forgot to snap a photo before I did that.

Let’s take a closer look at the patio furniture before.  We purchased these in 2010 and by the end of 2011 when we moved from AZ back to TX, they were this faded.  And, they sat under a covered porch.

Yard-017 Yard-006

This photo will give you an even better idea of what you are seeing.

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And, if you still aren’t sure of the severity of how bad they looked and how faded they were, look at these photos of the cushions once they were removed, cleaned and ready for paint.

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Alright, so you get the idea.  They were faded, but only in spots where the sun hit.  Not pretty.  It was time for a facelift.  New cushions can be costly, especially if custom made.  I had new ones made for the lounge chairs and they were over $200.

We may as well try painting them!

First off, it can be trouble if you try a can that has been opened.  The nozzle does clog up fast.  This is how it looked when I tried to use and already opened can, even though I followed the rep’s tip and put the trigger back in its original position.

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And, just a reminder, when you spray paint anything, always start spraying off the object and stop spraying off the object.  So, go all the way across on each stroke.

Here they are after a couple of quick coats of paint.  I let them dry for 1-2 hours in between coats.

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After another layer or two.

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In the end, I did about 4-5 coats of paint, depending on the cushion.  I used 14 cans of paint.  At $11-12 a can, that is about $155, though you can buy them in a six pack and get a bit of a discount if buying by the case.  $155 is a reasonable price to pay to freshen up patio furniture, I think.  New cushions would be at least $30 each and possible $150 each if custom.  That would be $300-1500.  I know, crazy.  At some point, it’s cheaper to just get a new patio set, huh?  Especially if you wait until just after the summer when they are on sale.

One thing to note is that Simply Spray is more of a dye than a paint.  Patterns and darkness will show through.  Here are examples where you can see that there are still dark spots.  Luck for me, most of these will be hidden once the cushions are back on the frames.

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A few more photos of the finished product?

Patio-037 Patio-009

Patio-010 Patio-012

 

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Overall, I was happy with the outcome.  However, it’s not perfect.  If you look really close, like in the photo below, you can see some of the original color showing through along the piping/ creases.

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I think if the fabric was more absorbent (not water resistant), it would have worked super well.  Of course, I can’t prove that, but I think that was the problem.

The texture is also a little different.  The texture of the pillow that I tried Simply Spray on did not change, but this did.  Perhaps because it took more coats?  Perhaps because the fabric was water resistant.  It’s a little stiffer, but I do think it will soften up as it’s used.

What did I learn?
- Try to use water absorbent fabric as they suggest.  Or, be prepared that it may not take quite as well and/ or you may need to do more coats.
- Test it on the underside of a cushion first.  Realize, though, that this spray paint will soak around to the other edges.  So, I’d test it on a pillow or somewhere that it will not matter.  It does bleed.
- Let it dry completely between coats.  It will take longer to dry on something like this that is not as absorbent.
- As stated in previous posts, it’s more of a dye.  Dark spots will continue to be dark.  This method is not for covering anything.  Ideally, your fabric is nice and consistent with no stains, patterns or dark spots.
- If you spray too heavily, it will create fuzz balls.  So, again, test your method first.
- Try to use up the can as it can be ruined if you wait more than an hour in between.  I had to throw almost a whole can out due to the issue you see above.

So far, based on this series, what are your thoughts?  Would you try it?  Do you have a project in mind?  How do you think it compares to my method?   I’ll draw all of my conclusions next week and compile all of my tips there!

Patio-031

I can’t wait to finish decorating our patio now!

I hope you are enjoying the series!

kristysig

Simply Spray Series – Painting Upholstery – Week 3

We’ve made it to week three!  This means it’s time to really stretch Simply Spray’s capabilities to see just what its boundaries are!

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Week 1 – Introduction
Week 2 – Painting a pillow from the original chair and comparing it to the original pillow
✓Week 3 – Painting pool umbrellas
Week 4 – Painting a patio furniture set
Week 5 – Conclusions

Then, after the series is over, I’ll host a giveaway from Simply Spray.

During these weeks, we are talking about the difference between Simply Spray and my method, as well as what I think of Simply Spray, how it’s best used and tips.

Before we talk about my painting our pool umbrellas, I must point out that Simply Spray does NOT imply it can be used on such an item.  It says it is to be used on absorbent fabric.  Well, most umbrellas are not absorbent.  Mine is certainly not.  But, I wanted to see if it’d work anyway!  I like to really test things out.

This was my extremely sun faded pool umbrella that we used in Phoenix.  Just from a few hours in the sun (we didn’t leave it out every day), it looked like this!  That Phoenix sun is so harsh.  Wait until you see my patio cushions.

Breakfast-086

It essentially had white or light gray stripes all around from fading while it was collapsed down, yet in the sun.

I began painting and could immediately see that the paint was sliding right off.  I mean, it looked like it was dying the fabric a bit, but just poured down the fabric.  Duh, it’s water resistant fabric.  I didn’t expect much better.

Breakfast-084 Breakfast-103

As you can see below, it’d just pool at the bottom, leaving the umbrella a little streaky, but not horrible.

Breakfast-100

After six coats on half of the umbrella, it looked like this.  I only did half – I wanted you to see the difference, but also, well, I got tired of painting… it was a lot of work for not a lot of return.  And, well, we don’t have a pool anymore!   So, I was mainly doing it to show you guys what this paint can and cannot do… mission accomplished with just half.  :)

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That’s right, after six coats of paint, you could still see some fading, but it was obviously a lot better.  So, it wasn’t a total fail.  It helped.  But, would you want to do 6+ coats to see only some improvement?  I am not sure.

Rugs-052

As I stated before, Simply Spray never said it works on umbrellas of any kind – this was my hair brained idea.  I just had to test the limits since it did so well on the pillow that I tested last week.

Truly, the texture is almost the same as before I painted it, on the pillow!   Simply Spray worked so well.  And, with only two coats, it covered very thoroughly.

But, on this… I’d say it helped, but was not truly successful.

Rugs-051

Now you know.  Would you use it on something like this?  That is for you to decide.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Not sure what I’ll do with this umbrella that still cranks as well as the day we bought it two years ago… yet has these faded parts.  I have a second one that is not faded…  but, did I mention, I don’t have a pool any longer!  I guess I could just get stands for when we need extra shade, or save them for a table… Hmmm…

Next week, I’ll be using it on my slightly less water resistant patio furniture!  A huge project.  It is also faded from the powerful AZ sun.  So, stay tuned!   Then, on the last week, I’ll sum up all my do’s and don’ts as well as tips.

Tips for using Simply Spray so far?
- Make sure your fabric is water absorbent.
- Make sure your fabric is evenly toned as dark and light areas will continue to at least be slightly dark and light – you can see the faded area on my umbrella.
- Make sure you are only going darker in color and not lighter.
- Always test it on an inconspicuous spot or scrap piece first.

Ready for the best new yet?  Simply Spray will be GIVING AWAY 3 cans of their paint on my blog at the conclusion of this series!   Be ready to enter!!

kristysig