Actually, don’t, because you’ll probably fall right through. And no, I am not making derogatory remarks about anyone’s weight. I am merely telling the Cinderella-esque story of the four dilapidated chairs that came do live on our deck.

My parents hoard collect chairs. To be fair, it isn’t their fault. My grandmother (love her) was a major pack-rat, and she lived with our family for sixteen years, so by default we ended up with most of her junk stuff chairs. And they’ve been hanging in my parents’ garage for sixteen years.

Fast forward to the present, where my parents have decided to put their house on the market. “The chairs must go!” cried my mother one day. And since I may or may not have inherited by grandmother’s tendency for “collecting”, I took them off her hands.

And now they grace my deck. Except that they look TERRIBLE. So when I had access to free labour my friend Alana visited last weekend, we got out the sander, put on our utility masks and generally made a huge mess.

Here are the quintessential “before” shots:


You see that discolouration on the seat? That’s mostly caked-on dirt. Oh yeah. Like that line of dust on the back of the other one? I thought so.


You know I love me some chipped veneer.


And then there’s my affinity for crackling finish. I do love crackling finish. Hey! A lot of people pay ridiculous amounts of money just to have this finish purposefully put ON furniture! “Shabby chic”, I believe they call it. Well, I have shabby chic in spades here.

The first thing Alana and I did was clean the chairs. Then we got to the business of sanding those babies. Two days hours later, the chairs were improved, but by no means complete.

Erick took some “during” pictures. *Please note that I do not regularly wear bandanas, contrary to what the pictures on this blog would have you believe.*



And just to show you how fast I was sanding, here is an action shot!


Look at me go!



I particularly appreciated the picture-taken-through-the-whirling-dust effect Erick achieved on that last one.

In all seriousness, there are many worse ways to spend an afternoon with a friend. And we rewarded ourselves handsomely with a plate of devilled eggs and an hour of Downton Abbey, so it was well worth it!

Still to do:

– Reinforce the bottom of the seats so that the aforementioned falling-through doesn’t happen

– Trace and cut new seats in plywood

– Spray paint the chairs

– Upholster the new seats and install them

What projects are you tackling for spring? Any furniture makeovers that you put off during the winter? Leave a comment and let me know!


Subscribe to Flourish & Knot

Wedding planning & floral design tips and news delivered to your inbox!

Flourish & Knot respects your privacy. Your email will never be shared. You may unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.