vintage patio chair rehab

August 17, 2015


in one of my recent posts i mentioned that i made a trip to my parent’s house in northeastern wisconsin because my grandfather passed away. when we went back to my grandma’s house after the funeral i re-discovered my love for her vintage steel patio chairs. me being me, i just HAD to ask for one. she said no. my uncle already claimed the 4 that were sitting in the front yard (the nice ones) BUT there was one down by the garden that i could take if i wanted. yesss! yup! and the chair was mine!

i’m willing to bet that this chair was on my grandparents farm since the 60s or 70s – it is beat. it’s been re-welded in too many places to count, but that didn’t scare me. not one bit. i have some very fond memories of sitting in my grandparents yard in these chairs, rocking (or bouncing) the afternoon away. you don’t see these very much anymore and i thought it would be fun to throw a modern twist on a vintage chair.

vintage  patio chair before:

before: so much rust & so many layers of paint
before: so much rust & so many layers of paint


my dad and i began by quick stripping the layered paint. turns out the chair was originally yellow, and had been painted red and black as well. then we sanded off as much of the leftover paint as we could. i then applied a coat of rust-oleum primer followed by a few coats of bright yellow spray paint, and some gold for detailing. i finished it off a coat of rust-oleum crystal clear enamel and voila! a brand new patio chair!

vintage patio chair after:

finished antique chair
i love the pop of color this adds to our patio!
antique chair details
gold details

do you have an old chair you’re looking to refinish? it’s seriously SO easy. here’s what you’ll need:

• paint stripper • gloves • putty knife • sandpaper • rust resistant spray paint primer • rust resistant spray paint in the color(s) of your choice • crystal clear enamel

1) first strip all of the old layers of paint off of the chair with the paint stripper. use gloves, this stuff is nasty and burns immediately after contact with skin. spread paint stripper on chair, let set for 10-15 minutes and then scrape with the putty knife. repeat this until you’re satisfied with how much paint you’ve removed

2) sand down any areas with too much texture

3) apply primer

4) apply color – tape off areas for any detailing

5) coat with crystal clear enamel

6) enjoy your “new” patio chair

have you ever done this before? do you have any tips/tricks? please feel free to share in the comment section.


ta ta for now,



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