My first strip job and the lessons learned from it.

(Yes, I went there). I bought this set in sad shape.

Sad peeling lawn chair, before

Sad peeling chair

2 chairs connected by a table plus one separate chair. I somehow fit this whole thing in the back of a Honda CR-V. Structurally sound, and desperately peeling. I had never sanded anything in my life and didn’t anticipate the extensive work that would go into this. I started sanding manually because I was just cheap. I am the child of an Asian engineer and married to another tightwad, after all. So I bought a 60-grit sanding block and started sanding away one night on my naked back patio slab over a plastic tarp. And started noticing all the spaces in between the boards that I couldn’t get to.

So I bought a belt sander off Craigslist (don’t judge me. No, really…just don’t), not knowing anything about them at the time, and took the whole. Thing. Apart. And stripped it. And it died 2 weeks later. It fulfilled its mission and was given proper respects. I’ve since learned to invest in tools that will see a lot of use and haven’t looked back.

I used Zinsser’s oil based B-I-N primer on one set and their water based version on another (that was over 2 years ago and I have no idea why I did that). Then spray painted them a bright cherry red from Valspar’s line. And was happy with them for a while. So I threw them on our back patio slab and ignored them and the rest of the patio for about a year.

Red chairs on a sad patio

Red chairs on a sad patio slab

So fast forward to a year later. My trashy slab with no covering was really bothering me. And looking out the window to see bright red chairs on it made my blood pressure rise slightly. Kind of literally because it was 100+ degrees all summer and red just made me feel hotter. And my son was having a birthday party in a few weeks and I hated the idea of having guests stand around on a slab. So I built some benches and a table. And will blog about that in a later post. Back to the chairs, I had a gallon of $5 oops paint from Valspar (I go to Lowe’s a lot if you couldn’t tell) just sitting in my garage. A lot more than a gallon – my husband calls me a paint whore – but one of them in particular happened to be outdoor paint and in a shade of blue that reminded me of a swimming pool.

By now, the red paint on the chair that was primed with water based primer was peeling (I’ve learned a lot since then), so I sanded, primed them all with Zinsser’s oil based primer, painted 2 coats, done. Ta-da.

Blue refinished patio chairs

Patio chairs refinished blue, take 2.