Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cheerful Chairs

 Ever since we moved into our house, I've had the same thing on my front porch - a lovely, old bench that sat on my mother-in-law's front porch for twenty years. I still love the bench, but I've been itching to change things up lately, so I put the bench under the eave on my back patio and brought some chairs up on the stage.
 James and I bought patio furniture for the back yard about six years ago, and we learned from that experience that you generally get what you pay for in that arena. The first set of chairs that were delivered were almost all broken (where the arm connects to the back). The company we bought them from shipped us some new ones, some of which were also broken. We eventually ended up with a full set of unbroken chairs, but we also had a plethora of broken ones as well. As it turned out, the company had no desire to reclaim the broken chairs and told us to either keep or dispose of them as we liked. We've kept them out of...um...laziness.

Truth.

I've tried many artful (ha) arrangements with my many, many chairs on the back patio, but I'd never tried them on the front porch. I decided I liked the look, but wanted to do something different to the chairs.
 First, I laboriously cleaned off six years worth of gross. Anything that sits outside in Oregon begins to grow stuff. These chairs were a veritable garden. Ick. After I cleaned them up, I got out some yellow spray paint, and thus began the adventure.

The paint didn't want to stick. Ruh roh. I'm not the world's best spray painter, but this was crazy. My gut clenched as I looked at the drips and gaps, and I thought of the look I'd be seeing on James's face when he saw the superfluous, broken, badly painted chairs. But, people: when handed lemons, I enjoy whipping up a nice batch of lemonade, so I switched gears and embraced the paint problem as a style choice. I got out a brush and used it as I went along. The spray paint I was using is a quick dry variety, so I had to be fairly fast. I'd spray, wait a sec, then brush the drips, leaving a brush stroke look behind. Some of the black shows through, but there's the pretty, fresh yellow on top, and it looks sorta....old and shabby...in a good way...I think. Or it looks bad, but whatever. I like it.

I got some fabric off the sale rack at Wal Mart for $2 a yard and wrapped it around the "we've seen better days"cushions I already had. I should sew them, but I won't. If they slip, I'll use tape. Just being honest here.
I'm not done, of course, not by a long chalk. I'm pondering what to do about that little table (maybe a wood milk crate, or something?), along with some other things - kind of going for a comfy, cottage-y thing, but my do-it-yerself heart sings when I see my formerly superfluous, face-lifted chairs now. Even James, who strongly dislikes these chairs, says they look "nice now". That's good, right?

Plus, they make a comfy place to sit while monitoring my kids as they wear themselves out, playing in the front yard!

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