Thursday, June 18, 2009

patios, paint & projects

I wish I had a “before” picture. I  know if I trudged through old photos, even old blog posts I could come up with a good one, but I’m too lazy and I don’t really care that much…just trust me…this patio furniture was ugly.

Forest green rod iron with the most nauseating navy and burgundy and green floral pattern you can imagine. It was bad, but beggars can’t be choosers when you’re talking free furniture.

Thank you in-laws.

They gave it to us when we moved into our first apartment. I hated it then too. It’s not my style. Not the flowery, twirly metal, not the colors, none of it, but again, it was free and we were determined to fill our first place on a budget.

So two years ago, I bought a couple bottles of silver spray paint and started to cover the green with a shiny metallic.

I got the table painted, and I think both chairs before throwing in the towel. I didn’t know which looked worse - the dirty Christmas tree green or my attempt to make it look modern. Turns out metallic spray paint looks more like tin foiled decoupage than anything sleek and metal-like.

So I left it, half green, half silver and called it a day, or a year, or three. Who’s counting?

Until two nights ago, when I had the novel idea to re-re-finish the set – this time in black.

Now, I believe black covers a multitude of sins, and yet again, I believe I was right.  

You can barely see the flower pattern, and the black paint covered both rust and silver spray paint, to my surprise.

I opted against spray paint this time and used an all-purpose black paint, applied with something that looked like a mix between a big mitten and a sponge. Worked like a charm, and by morning all was dry and ready for project #2 – re-upholstering of the seat cushions.


Now, I’m artistic but not naturally crafty, but I was on a roll and there was no stopping me. Last night, as Curtis drove away to head to class I headed in the opposite direction to Joanne Fabrics in search of some fun outdoor fabric to recover my two chairs and one swing seat cushion. I was envisioning a bright red paisley type deal, but there wasn’t a whole lot of options to chose from that weren’t special order… but in the end, I found something I actually really liked - that goes with black and fits the overall style of my house and taste. I left with fabric, a staple gun, staples and two wooden, assemble-yourself, pre-primed adirondak chairs and a small table to match (an anniversary gift for my man, who’s been eyeing them on front lawns for weeks now)


Stapling fabric onto seat cushions couldn’t be easier…and I was pleased with the quick results, but then I got to the swing seat, which has no wooden board to staple into. I stood, and sweated and stared…then I faced the inevitable. I must sew. I must dust off the sewing machine and relearn what took me so long to forget last winter. I have no choice, this is my destiny.


And really, I built it all up in my head for nothing…it wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered it to be. After a few adjustments to the tension I was ready to go. My material was inside out and pinned…and it literally only took me ten minutes to do. I had to hand sew the closing on one end, but all in all, I was proud of the outcome and not too scared to pack away the machine for another six months.


Curtis came home early with only minutes warning, and there I was, candle lit on the table, cushions in place and me, grinning like a child, welcoming him home to see my handiwork.


I think he liked it.


The end.

Kind of.


Until I had him look in the trunk of my car for his anniversary gift (he had surprised me earlier in the week with a fire pit for the backyard). He was happy with the chairs, until I “encouraged” him to put them together right then.

But in typical loving husband fashion, he obliged, and I made another Sherwin Williams run for paint.


At the end of the night, we had the little table assembled and painted, one chair assembled, a tree-lawn-coffee-table-find painted and another old table painted black to match our patio furniture. I was a whirlwind, a tornado and kind of a wreck to be honest - paint everywhere, hungry, cranky and pms-y. but he was good to me (for the most part) and humored my zaniness and let me keep on swirling in my adrenaline high of projects and paint.


We fell into bed exhausted with plans for tonight to finish what we’ve started…and oh I can’t wait until we’re finished…I’ve got other plans and projects spinning through my jumbled (and tired) head.



Quiet Oasis said...

Oh man. All of those things are soooooo awesome. Great job! Love the material on the chairs. I'm currently "repainting ugliness" on my bathroom vanity doors. :)

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