When we first moved into our farmhouse fixer-upper, while in round 1 of cleaning out our giant 1890s barn, we found a vintage lawn chair. It was the kind you may stumble across at a yard sale. I watched Matt’s eyes light up. We were hoping that we would find some cool stuff that we wouldn’t have to throw in the dumpster. But it turns out the guys from Antique Archaeology wouldn’t be too excited by what we found amidst the legitimate junk. The exception was this lawn chair.
“Everyone had one of these,” Matt said. He pushed down on it to make sure it was steady and checked the seat to make sure it wasn’t rusted through. Honestly, I was a bit doubtful of its condition. I mean, it looked ROUGH. But Matt has a way of working DIY magic on things I wouldn’t give a second thought to.
The thing with lawn chairs like this one is that they come with some nostalgia tied to them. That’s just one of the reasons I love retro things. I bet many of my friends will reach out to say they had a relative that had a vintage lawn chair like this, too. I think the cool thing is that, although some people have a connection to things of their past, I feel that those things are really a conduit to the memories they recall. They have the ability to transport us to another time and place in our lives.
What We Did to Restore It
- Matt sanded the entire thing down and then wiped it down with denatured alcohol.
- He applied 2 coats of POR 15 Rust Preventive, waiting a day in between coats. The surface was quite pitted, so it needed the extra coat.
- After that was done, he hung it up in one of our barns so he could paint the arms and legs of the chair at the same time. He used PPG Sil-Shield Silicone Alkyd White Base, applying three coats for really good coverage. It was important to wait a day between coats.
- Our local paint store, 21st Century Paints, where Matt works, was kind enough to split the gallon of Sil-Shield so we could tint a quart into this a pretty color, Gulf Stream. The body of the chair was painted with a coat of that color.
Watch Our Vintage Lawn Chair Makeover Video
We turned this otherwise trash vintage lawn chair into a true treasure and I’m so glad we salvaged it. I love the fresh and vibrant blue color. It will look so bright and cheery on our front porch and I’m looking forward to the new memories we’ll associate with it in the years to come. What little treasures do you have in your house that bring back memories? I’d love to hear in the comments!