Updating old garden furniture

What to do with dated old wooden garden furniture?

Around 18 years ago, we bought a cast iron framed bench & 2 chairs.  I admit, I didn't treat them well.  I never painted the arms/legs & I never looked after the wooden slats well.  I once varnished the slats which was a huge mistake as it didn't last long at all & the varnish started to peel off randomly. Not a good look.

My sad & neglected bench & chairs

My sad & neglected bench & chairs

So I have decided to give it a make over.  Having looked so dull & boring for so long, I wondered if it was worth salvaging & try to make it every so slightly OTT.  As I am one to try & up cycle where possible, I raided my shed to see what I had to make it "every so slightly OTT"

I found gold metal paint!  Last used 2 years ago when I painted the little balls on the top our our railings along the drive. It took some persuasion to get the lid off, but there was over 1/2 tin left. I also found some dark oak wood stain. I have visions of this being a thing of beauty, well, if you want Gold OTT furniture in your garden.

I think you would agree, they are not a thing of beauty or something you would like in your front garden for all & sundry to see.

At this point, I read the warnings on the tin of paint . "Fatal to aquatic life - long term effects". Good job this job is in the front garden & not the back garden where my fish pond is.  On a side note, I'm not a raging environmentalist, but I do my best & although this sounds like nasty stuff, I take comfort that I don't use weed killer. 

3 tradesmen we have had here for various jobs in the last 2 years have all offered to get rid of the grass/weeds for me on a section of our drive that is mostly chippings by using weed killer, I have told them no, I would rather tug it out or use a mixture of vinegar, salt & washing up liquid. (despite what Goggle results will tell you, it only works on some weeds & grass, the rest need digging out) or even leave them.

So I begin to paint.

At this point I'm becoming concerned because the warnings were only regarding aquatic life, not sight hounds!  Boyd started to investigate.

Boyd really wants to know what I'm doing!

Boyd really wants to know what I'm doing!

Boyd, NO, do not investigate further .

That's the thing with a puppy Irish Wolfhound, they like to investigate, as most puppies do I imagine, however, I have only experience of Wolfhound puppies.  This one likes to inspect everything I do.  He's my shadow.  

The frames when we bought these, were dark green & glossy. Over the 18 years, the shine has gone & the paint has faded.  The green base would be my friend as any that I failed to paint, or showed through my gold paint, would look like verdigris, OK, you don't get that on gold but copper, but I can live with that.

 

 

Just a little paint left

Just a little paint left

The weather in April, in South Gloucestershire, being anything but predictable, I could only paint a few sections at a time as rain clouds loomed ominously far too often. I made the most of each part of dry weather until at last, I was nearing completion.  I was on the last chair & had so little paint left. It was "touch & go" if I would have enough.

 

 

 

The last drops in my tin

The last drops in my tin

I was so relived to have had enough paint to finish the job. I had just a dribble left in the tin, so with the bench & chairs now upright, I had a closer inspection to see what I had missed. There was quite a bit........ the last tiny bit in the tin has hopefully covered all of the obvious green paint.

 

 

 

 

The Painted furnature

Slats need a good teatment

Slats need a good teatment

Having spent 3 days  getting the frames painted, there is one thing I forgot to take into account.... 

Our front garden is south facing, which means that the sun is on these most of the day. Having the frames painted gold, they DAZZLE to the point of blinding you..   Oops.

But anyway, the frames look great I think. Now to just lightly sand the slats & stain them (not varnish, see above!) 

 

 

Almost done.

Almost done.

I do quite enjoy painting was quite looking forward to enhancing the slats.  Oh boy, what I hadn't taken into account when I started, was how bad they were, at least 3 were rotten & split. I had tried to tighten the bolts before to make them "square", but they were all rusted tight. There was no way I could release them to remove the duff slats & replace with new wood.

So, for the time being, until it dies a natural death to rot, I present my revamped garden set.  In hind site, I would ditch the gold & go for another bright metallic paint, but for now, my bench etc is defiantly OTT.

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