My Convertible Life

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Before and After: Outdoor Dining Chairs

I love a nice renovation project. Probably a good thing, given all the work we need to do to our house. Sadly, I don't have the carpentry, tiling, dry-walling, plumbing and electrical skills to tackle a lot of projects myself. But I can wield a paint can and staple gun with minimal risk to my personal safety, so that's usually where my solutions start.

We inherited a set of six chairs from my husband's grandparents several years ago. They lived in our shed (the chairs, not his grandparents) at three different houses. The chairs had great lines -- especially the slightly curved backs -- but the faded yellow paint was chipped and rusting, while the vinyl green seat covers were sticky and, well, ugly (see "before" photo above).

This summer I finally brought them out of the shed and into the light. After some scrubbing, I spray-painted them to match the legs on the table on our deck. Then I took the left-over fabric from our outdoor cushions, stretched it over the seat rounds and stapled it underneath.

Et voila! A brand-new-ish set of six chairs that we can use to eat dinner on the deck (see "after" photo at left). I think my mother-in-law will be proud of my craftiness and the fact that we were able to re-use some family furniture -- and I feel good about saving some money and keeping a few things out of the trash.

Now if I can just figure out how to get rid of the flies and mosquitoes, we'll be all set for some lovely dining al fresco.


  1. For the record, it was white paint, just "yellowed" after the years. I remember sitting on those chairs in my grandparents' kitchen about 35 years ago eating a big bowl of Honeycomb cereal for breakfast. After my grandparents passed, they went into storage (not ours) and were destined for the dump. We grabbed them on the way out and lugged them around for a few years. I'm very pleased that they have been resurrected. They look great and it makes me happy to see our kids sit in them - that makes four generations of my family!

  2. Those chairs never looked as good as they do now. I'm impressed with your skills. What's next?

  3. The chairs will be even better when you're sitting there eating ham, turkey, roast beef, spiced peaches, cornbread dressing, and a Mrs. Smith's apple pie. (Don't forget the instant [yuck] iced tea!)

  4. Those look fantastic! I've got a sleeper sofa and wing-back chair that also need a "facelift" ... you up for that challenge? :)

  5. They look great! Love when things get a new life!

  6. Great resourcefulness! May I apprentice myself to you? About the mosquitos: isn't there a plant that repels them? If so, I want to plant it.


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