As I mentioned in previous posts, my family moved to a rural community a couple of years ago which fits the way we want to raise our kids. As part of the “country lifestyle” We try to keep most things simple and minimal, reuse and refurbish things as much as we can. We like to do or make as many things by ourselves, both the husband and I are DIY enthusiastsץ I like more crafty projects like knitting rugs or small scale DIY projects especially if they have to do with painting and color, which is why for my latest project I took on our lawn chairs.
Spring is finally here, sun is out most days and our weekends are spent outside, kids playing with their friends, and us grownups just enjoying the weather and the slow pace.
Our lawn chairs set get a lot of use, it is also 10 years old and made of wood. It aged in the sun like it’s supposed to do and look little weathered, but is still very functional.
My husband loves carpentry so he collects old wooden things people throw out and reuse them, he built the kids a big tree house using only reclaimed wood (seen in one of the pictures). For this reason throwing away our old lawn chairs was not an option, however In time for the spring I decided to rejuvenate them and give them new life and color.
In the local hardware store I asked for paint that does not need any base layer and that can endure outside conditions. I did not buy “designer” shabby chic/chalk paints, they are much more expensive and you can achieve similar affects using some simple techniques that may require a bit more prep work, but get the job done. If you choose the right color palate you are half way to that getting that look anyway. I didn’t buy a ready-made color either, I chose a shade I liked and had it basically mixed with a primer paint which is really the cheapest option, however to keep things simpler you can use ready-made colors that are specifically meant for that use like Rust Oleum exterior paints.
Now I know spray paint are all the rage these days, and there are some lovely colors and special affects type of spray paints. I chose to use good old-fashioned paint and brush because for me there is something very calming in using a brush, I love the control I have over the paint and I just enjoy the process. Have to admit though, I did try the spray paint thing once, lost feeling in the tip of my finger (the one that was pressing the nozzle) for days, so I am forever a brush fan.
I chose a very light baby blue shade, picked from a color pallet and had it I wanted mixed for me at the store and I was ready to begin my project.
Materials needed for your lawn chair makeover:
Paint (see above)
A good medium size brush – if you want to splurge you can buy a smaller one too, to use on corners and such, but I get by fine with just the one ( I use Harris brushes in all my projects)
Fine grit Sanding paper (180-200) or if you have it a sander ( I use both, the paper for those hard to reach corners).
A rag for cleaning up the dust and dirt.
Wax candle for creating that slightly aged/ shabby chic look I like
Water based varnish for finish.
I started by sending the wood lightly, either using the gentlest sending paper, or a sander, just enough to smooth out the wood so the color goes on top cleanly and evenly.
Once the sanding was done, I went over the chair with a rag, making sure the wood is clean.
Next stage – for getting that slightly shabby chic look I go over the corners and points were the body rubs against the wood – like armrests and the edges of the seat, with the wax candle, rubbing it on the wood. Later when I’ll paint over these spots, the color will slide over them and when it dries little I will rub the wax gently with a paper sander again and get that slightly worn look. If you like your chairs to look spanking new and with a solid color go ahead and skip this stage.
Once that is done the painting can start, this is my favorite part, I have a painting party with some good music in the background.
Since I like the wood to come through the paint a little I only paint one coat, however it is recommended to do two coats for better durability and full cover.
These type of paints don’t take long to air dry but I do wait until the next day to put on the water based varnish that gives the paint that finished satiny look and also protect it.
And there you have it – fresh looking lawn chairs.
Painting is so much fun, so if you have a piece of furniture you like to renew, try it and let me know how it went!
I wish you a bright and happy spring and in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day:
“May the sun Shine upon your face”
* I linked some of the products I use for reference only ( I do not profit from it) feel free to choose whatever you are comfortable with.