Secondhand pink bucket chair

On Saturday we took a walk through the center of Ottawa with no set plans. We wandered down Bank Street and I saw what looked to be a secondhand store [within / alongside a shop called Picture Works, which has no details online]. It was full of a jumbled mess of secondhand pieces and I couldn’t not go in. 

I walked down one of the aisles and what did I see but a little pink bucket chair under a pile of chairs and stools. I cleared it off, sat down and decided I had to have it. It was so perfect and at just $30, I really couldn’t not get it. 

The shop owner was eccentrically honest and even offered to deliver it to me for “whatever price you want”. Last night he delivered it as promised and after a quick clean, it is now home in the corner of Cora’s room. It’s so perfect for her space and just what I was looking for in a cosy reading chair. It swivels and rocks back and forth and more importantly, is so comfortable [as I type sitting in it]. Cora’s had a few rough nights getting to sleep [fuck teeth], so it will definitely be a welcome place for us to sit with her until she falls asleep.
Secondhand FTW. 

Repainting a high chair black

One of the first things we bought when we moved to Ottawa at the end of September was a high chair for Cora. We bought it secondhand on Kijiji [the equivalent to Adverts in Ireland] for $40. I really liked the old-school shape and style of it and the table flipped the table to the back so when Cora is a little older it would allow her to eat at the table with us. It had so much charm that I couldn’t resist it. And yeah, one of the back spindles broke and had been replaced some years ago, but I didn’t mind at all. It was in good shape and was clean and safe [I wouldn’t have put Cora in it otherwise], but I had every intention of updating it. 

For a long time I wanted to restain it. It had a dark wood stain but 16 years of use had worn through it so there would be a lot of sanding ahead of me. Sure! I’m up for it! But then I actually thought about the work involved. All those spindly bits. Such spindles. So many damn beautiful, intricate spindles. I’d have to sand the entire thing back to the original wood to get an even coat of stain across the whole piece. So much spindly sanding. And to be honest, I didn’t have enough mental energy to do it. 

I thought about painting the entire thing a solid colour. I thought for a few weeks before deciding on anything [if I’m ever indecisive, that usually means I need more time to think]. In the mean time we bought a dining room set secondhand [also through Kijiji], and its black dining chairs were the reason I went for the set so I figured, why not paint Cora’s high chair black to match?

I headed to our local Canadian Tire and spoke to their paint experts about what I was looking to do. They suggested Rust-Oleum‘s line of Tremclad paint for the likes of outdoor furniture and toys. We decided on their Rust Paint in black as it was high gloss and I’d need something easy to clean for Cora’s high chair. 

Before I got to work, I disassembled the entire top half of the high chair as the black frame wobbled from side to side – not to the point that is was dangerous, just loose from years of use. I wanted to do a proper job of fixing it and I couldn’t tighten the spindles without taking it apart. 

I painted each piece in a light coat of paint and waited around 6 hours before applying the second coat [I waited so long because it was drying on our cold porch. If it had dried at room temperature, it would have taken less time]. I waited a further 12+ hours before reassembling it. I glued all the loose spindles back in place with Gorilla Glue and let it dry another half of a day before letting Cora use it. 

It looks SO MUCH BETTER as one uniform colour and it’s so easy to wipe smeared avocado or peanut butter off of it [it was tough to clean it properly before if any food got into a part of wood that was untreated]. I think it looks quite posh actually! Yes, I totally spent $250 on our child’s high chair …

I doubt black would be a colour many people would think to paint a high chair, but it looks really smart alongside our new dining set; all of which are black [sans the table]. The woman I bought the set from had ‘upcycled’ [her words, not mine] the set by spray painting the chairs black and painted the seats with grey chalk paint [which makes zero sense], so I’ll be repainting each of our chairs in the same [more suitable] paint as Cora’s high chair so they’ll all match. They already look really well together now that they’re the same colour and I can’t wait to share more of our dining set soon. SOON!  

Charity shop tour – Bray edition

You know when you meet someone for the first time and you feel like you’ve known them your whole life? After geeking over charity shops online the past couple of weeks, Sadhbh* of Where Wishes Come From so graciously offered to give me a tour of ALL OF THE Bray charity shops last week. We met on Main Street in Bray and spent the entire afternoon shooting the breeze and touring the best second hand bargains Bray has to offer. Entertainment, great company, and it snowed. It was a pretty epic afternoon.

As Sadhbh so expertly advised, we started our tour at the McDonald’s [which is one of the top 10 McDonald’s in the world, if that’s your kind of thing] at the top of Main Street in Bray because that way, you’re walking downhill for the rest of the shops. That’s my kind of route.

Without further delay, onto all the second hand and charity good stuff –

1.Valentine’s Community Shop – a great selection of clothes, both old and new
2. Vincent’s – I hit gold here and bought 3 pieces. One of the larger charity shops with a wide variety of clothes, books, and knick-knacks
3. War on Want – a real gem. I bought husband the most epic tracksuit top, formally known as TraXedo [see photo below]. It was downhill after that. 
4. NCBI – lovely selection of accessories and clothes for all ages
5. The Furniture Barn – really unique and antique pieces of furniture
6. Enable Ireland – great collection of antique fine china as well as a tempting selection of clothes available
7. Oxfam – solid collection of second hand books and clothes for all age groups
8. Charity Begins at Home – an amazing collection of very affordable and upcycle-worthy furniture
9. Irish Cancer Society – also a go-to for fine china and ladies clothing 
10. Cast A Ways – excellent selection of second hand and shabby chic furniture 
11. Vincent’s – a great variety of clothes and knick-knacks. I couldn’t resist a print of the Welsh countryside from here
12. Florence Fortune’s – it was unfortunately closed the day Sadhbh and I went, but we spent about 5 minutes with our faces pressed up against the front window. If you’re in Bray, you have to go to there.

We took our time wandering from one second hand store to the other, rummaging through all the bargain bins, and were finished in under 2 hours. But this route could easily be done in half an hour if you were on a mission. And dare I say it, the Bray charity shops put the Dublin ones to shame.

It would be a shame to not share a picture of my most prized possession from said route – the TraXedo. It’s a mock-tuxedo tracksuit top. Behold …


In case you were curious as to how it works, the bow-tie is velcrow and detaches on the right hand side for ease of access. As it says on the cuff – TraXedo; when smart meets casual. I promise, I will try and get a photo of husband in it later tonight, so be sure to check later. This was by far the best 3.50 I’ve spent in weeks.

We retired to Dockyard No. 8 on Bray Harbour and warmed up with the most epic of seafood chowder. We could have sat chatting and eating for hours, but unfortunately I had to cut it short to get the bus home. 

I had an amazing afternoon and if it weren’t for my knowledgeable, cool and hilarious tour guide, I would have been none-the-wiser to all that Bray had to offer. Thank you again, Sadhbh xx

*as Sadhbh puts it, her name sounds like the number ‘five’ if it started with an S – ‘Sive’.