The Sofa

We have a 1967 Vintage Ethan Allen sofa. Over the years we have looked at other sofas, pondered getting one that was Newer and more stylish, pondered buying this one and then decided that Terry was perfectly capable of making that one, and we could use the very nice leather cushions off the old one and save a solid $6000 by doing that. So we are currently (and slowly) in the process of aquiring the quarter-sawn oak lumber necessary to make the lovely Mission style sofa we want. In the mean time, we have this sofa, which is spectacularly comfortable and large enough for 3 of us *and* dogs to sit on to watch a movie.

We never got another sofa because we always had boychildren, who are rough on furniture, and we didn’t want to invest in a nice piece of something to have it fall apart from ill treatment and daily floppage. Also? That sofa is big enough for someone to sleep on in the event of company needing #4’s bed, or a spousal spat, or insomnia requiring a boring movie.

And so, due to tension of the work-type, I indulged in one of my All Time Favorite Things: Painting the furniture. It’s easier than painting the walls, cheaper too, and while you can’t really get away with painting the walls some violent color, the furniture accepts it happily. This sofa has been a dark brown it’s entire life. Lately, (the past 8 years or so) due to the number of teens males in the house, it was looking a bit scuffed. The temporary addition of a large dog who chewed on everything added to the scuffulous appearance, but we were thankful that we had not invested the nearly $7000 that couch linked to upstairs would have cost, because I would have a yellow-dog hide rug if she’d chewed *that* up.

So, in the interest of personal sanity and mood-elevation without alcohol or drugs, I painted our couch a non-Martha Stewart Approved color. The picture doesn’t do it real justice, its actually kind of a bricky-tomato-y red, and the cushions are chestnut brown. I initially painted it blue. The lid on the can said it was a denimish stone blue, but once it was on the couch it was more of a royal blue, and entirely too bright to look right with the reddish brown cushions. So upon the advice of people I’d never met (love the internet!) I bought the red paint and gave it another coat. And I like it.

well, I like it.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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7 Responses to The Sofa

  1. It’s amazing what a coat or two of paint will do, huh?

  2. JerseyChick says:

    What’s ‘quarter-sawn’?

    • rootietoot says:

      Ok, picture a log. To make normal boards,it is sliced along the length of it. For quarter sawn, it is first cut in quarters along the length, then those quarters are sliced at an angle to the initial cut. What you end up with is a distinctive grain pattern that has the look of tiger stripes within the light and dark of the wood grain.
      It was used in the early 20th century and give Mission style and Arts And Crafts style furniture it’s distinctive look.

      • Jo says:

        Quarter-sawn oak is pricier than conventionally cut oak because of the way it’s cut, and it uses the wood less efficiently. However, it does make beautiful furniture, as you’ve noted.

        Ethan Allen sure made good quality furniture (I think it still does, but it’s way out of my price range). You’re right to hang onto the old sofa for as long as possible, whatever colour it is. You’d be hard pressed to find a good piece like that now.

      • rootietoot says:

        In any conventionally sawn oak log, there will be 2 boards that have the look of quarter sawn, so we pick through the oak lumber at Lowe’s about once a month, and can find 1 or 2 boards that suit, and they’re at the price of regular wood ($4-$6 a board) rather than the $30-$40 for an 8 foot 1×4 of quartersawn.

  3. Bella Rum says:

    I love putting a coat of paint on anything. Around here, if it doesn’t move, it will surely get a coat of paint. Looks good.

  4. I thought I put a comment here, complimenting your doggie! Well, I meant to.

    I want that doggie! (((kiss kiss kiss)))

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