Trash to Treasure: Refurbished Retro Vintage Chair Rescue
For years I have seen these chairs in magazines and drooled over them, wanting one but not willing to pay the price they demand. I found a couple of Retro Vintage Metal Patio Spring Base Chairs on eBay for $85.00 to $138.00 each, some are cheaper at $60.00, but I think those are reproductions. When I saw one of these chairs embedded in weeds outside our friend’s barn, I couldn’t stop myself. It was one of those “did I just say that out loud” moments! I asked, “Can I have that chair?” I was so excited when he said yes! I couldn’t dig it out of the weeds fast enough in case he changed his mind!
Here’s what it looked like once I got it home and washed off.
Little did I know the metal tubing was full of dirt and worse, ants! The chair needed to be taken apart, sprayed and washed. The four screws that held the chair together were so rusted that they had to be cut off and new ones used when it was time to put the chair back together. The entire spring base of the chair was filled with dirt, I’d tap the base and more dirt would just keep coming out!
Here’s the base and seat.You can see how much rust needs to be sanded off.
I used a metal sander, and ended up using two pads. It took about 4 hours of sanding to remove all the rust. You can see the pads are smooth and eaten completely through.
Instead of using primer and then painting the chair, I used spray paint with the primer in it. Because the chair had so much exposed metal, the chair and the tubing required six (6) coats of paint for complete coverage! I used a gloss lacquer over everything once it was completely dry.
Be sure to check out Dinah’s article for when and how to use primer for DIY painting projects and furniture makeovers.
This picture was taken after 4 coats of paint and you can see it still needs more coats. Never did I imagine that 6 coats would ultimately be required. I used a big box fan to help ventilate the garage, but each coat took a day to dry completely. This was one project that refused to be rushed.
Once the chair was completely dry and put back together, it looked nice, but needed something to make it “pop”.
I wanted something on the back like a monogram. That’s when I thought about one of my neighbors, Connie Early, who does this type of work. You can find her at Vinyl Creations By Connie. Here’s another view of the finished chair, now with its monogrammed back. The monogram makes a big difference!
It’s been said, “All good things come to those who wait!” Well, I’ve waited YEARS to say I own one of these Retro Vintage Metal chairs and the fact that is a “rescued” chair makes it even sweeter!