I finally convinced Husband to get new patio furniture. Our old stuff was pretty rickety, and because it was unsealed wood, it attracted wasps. Nice, right? So it really wasn’t that hard to convince him that we needed new stuff, it was just hard to get him to spend the money, but I’ll share more on the new stuff later. The old stuff was in pretty bad shape. The table was in danger of a full on collapse, and the middle boards had rotted clean through. I’m sure it was a health hazard. So the old stuff needed to go, but I couldn’t just toss it out. I got to thinking, again.
I’ve always wanted an eating area and a sitting area on the back porch. I don’t know why, I’m the kind of person who prefers talking around a table to open seating, but I like how it looks more like a room rather than a patio that way. The old patio set came with four arm chairs and a bench, along with that aforementioned table. I figured, if I could save the bench at least, and that could be the beginnings of my “sitting area.” Even better, I remembered to document more of the process for you guys this time!
So I started with this…
I know it’s not bad, and since we paid under 400 bucks for the whole set when it was new, 5 years ago, it’s held up well. But she’s in sad shape now. So I took a screw driver to all her bolts, and then whipped out the sand paper and sander. Since the wood had been sitting out in the elements for years, without ever being sealed, it was pretty rough. The wood was splintered, cracked, dry, you name it, anything wood should never be, this was. I even think it had some fungus dried out but still rooted in it – gosh, I hope I didn’t inhale any spores…
Nah, I’m sure I’m fine – cough cough.
Although I did most of the sanding, Son thought it looked like great fun, and since I rarely put photos of my son online, I thought I really cheer this place up.
You can see he’s really into it, and giving it all he’s got. I’m sure I’ll get into trouble with labour unions and such, but hey, if the kid gets his kicks out of hard work that I’d rather not do, who am I to stop him?
But once it was sanded, it looked like this…
Can you tell the difference?
Still looks awful, I know, but at least it was sanded. Which meant it was also dusty. I wiped the bench down with a rag and paint thinner just to make sure it was clean enough for painting. I then broke out a can of oil paint, in a bright sunny yellow. I went with oil because it dries hard, which means that papers, and people, won’t stick to it later. Have you ever painted furniture with latex paint, only to find that Sunday’s Times paper is now stuck to the top? Yeah, that’s because acrylic and latex paints are soft. They are made to expand and contract; keeps them from cracking, but also makes them sticky. I also picked up a can of Penetrol. It’s a paint-smoother-outer. Yes, that’s exactly what it says on the label. Ok, so it doesn’t, but that is what it does. You mix a bit in with the paint, and it allows the paint to flow, erasing brush strokes, but also allowing for more runs if you aren’t careful.
So I painted the first coat, and decided I was the world’s worst painter. There were runs, the paint soaked into the wood nearly completely in some spots, and the paint didn’t fill in all those cracks in the wood like I was hoping. The bench looked terrible. I thought about throwing in the towel, but I still had 1/2 a quart of paint left, so figured I might as well see what happens. Three, or four coats later, the bench looked much better, but it was still rough in spots. So I broke out some 320 grit sandpaper, and sanded the paint. When I was through, I looked like an old elementary school teacher, remember yellow chalk? Yeah, I was covered in yellow paint dust. I wiped the bench back down with my rag, and gave her one more coat of paint.
And now for her reveal. Hailing from Texas, in a fun, Spring Yellow…
Amazing what paint can do. And painting over those newly tightened bolts has made her much sturdier as well. The pillows I already had on hand, but the paint, supplies, and all cost me around 30 bucks. Not bad for a new furniture item, that two people can sit on – thats 15 bucks per sitter, or 7.50 per cheek! Ok, maybe that’s going a little too far.
I’m glad I didn’t give up, and I’m glad I didn’t just toss the thing to begin with. I think we’re going to be good friends.