The projects continue, for our backyard remodel.
I love when something we’re looking for just falls into our lap!
We have two plastic Adirondack chairs. One chair is on the older side and was part of a pair that my husband and I saw in our complex, clearly being disposed of. A year or two ago, we bought a pink plastic Adirondack from Walmart, and we were pretty happy. We both wanted wooden chairs, but we knew they’d cost an absolute fortune.
Lo and behold, one day, my husband texted me a photo of two wooden Adirondack chairs. He found them near the loading docks at his workplace. My reply? “Yes please!!!”
Needed for this project:
- palm sander
- 1/4 sheet sandpaper (I used 80 grit)
- wood filler (optional, depends on your project)
- Behr Porch and Patio Paint and Primer in One, Low-Lustre
He spent much of the day asking around to see who put them there. My husband didn’t want to take them unless he knew for sure that they were free to take. He found out that they were definitely available if we wanted them but wasn’t sure if they would fit into the Journey. One of his coworkers told him to go get the Journey and he’d help him. Devin came back with the vehicle and his co-worker had them folded up, ready to load.
Apparently these ones do!
Devin put them in our garage, and I decided I would sand them down when I had some free time. We talked about the chairs and what we could picture them looking like. He really wanted to put a light stain/clear finish on them, to bring out the wood grain. I didn’t think the wood was in any condition for that.
The chairs were really weathered, there were still pine needles embedded in the cracks! I suggested painting them. He was on the fence about it.
So a day or two later, I pulled out the palm sander and got to work. It took some time to sand the darkened, weathered parts, especially the arms, but I managed to clean them up pretty well. I carefully worked on both chairs, and dusted them off. The chairs were made by Woods, as per the copper logo on the front of each seat. I didn’t want to sand them or paint over them, so I removed them, carefully, because I wanted to put them back on.
When Devin saw them after the sanding, he was blown away. It was a major improvement, and again, we discussed staining the wood. Even with the sanding, the wood still wasn’t good enough for that. Plus, I really wanted to seal all the little cracks to protect the chairs from further damage.
We agreed that if we were going to paint them (oh but we were lol), we’d paint them turquoise.
Choosing a colour theme
Friends of ours gave us a cute wooden sign, near the beginning of the season. It’s not fancy but I love it! When we purchased our bottle opener for the bar, we noticed a little bit of turquoise on it. And so… the colour theme was born.
Next, I made patio cushions. I made these out of a dollar store tablecloth. I made these in just under an hour (and I’m not a fan of sewing!). The great thing about these is that the back is an envelope closure. They aren’t sealed, but there is enough overlap that the stuffing won’t fall out. The tablecloth is an outdoor tablecloth, which is perfect. The best part is that they’re stuffed with plastic bags, not cushions. They are totally weather resistant! I bring them in at night only because we have a lot of earwigs and I don’t want them living in my cushions.
The following project is all my husband’s own. I wanted to have an erasable menu board of some kind, but hadn’t really decided. I had some cute cutouts that I had laminated for the outdoors, but Devin took the idea and ran with it. Using some scrap wood we had, he created a flat board and he sprayed it with chalkboard paint. Initially, it wasn’t working well because it was soaking into the wood. He gave it a coat of turquoise, let it dry, then finished it off with two coats of chalkboard spray paint.
We purchased a baseboard strip, and he cut it to frame the board and painted it turquoise. We picked up some letters from the craft department in Walmart, and an upside-down cupboard handle (to hold the chalk!) and he put this together:
So, I got a little off-topic for a second, but my point is, we had a colour theme, and I could really picture the Adirondack chairs being turquoise, too.
I’d also like to give a little shout-out to Home Depot Canada, because while we knew we needed outdoor paint that would stand up to the weather, we didn’t know exactly what kind to buy. Home Depot’s staff are truly knowledgeable and helpful. The employee working in the paint department knew her stuff and said she uses this stuff for her outdoor projects. It was great to get advice from someone who has experience.
My husband used a little wood filler on one of the chair arms, because there were a couple of large cracks.
The only challenge I faced was getting all the visible nooks and crannies in both the folded and unfolded positions. I did two coats on each chair. Once Devin saw how great the first painted chair looked, there was no denying it was the right thing to do.
We set them in the driveway to dry in the sun, and many neighbours driving by had to check them out. It’s hard to miss such a bright, fun colour!
When both chairs were completely dry, we brought them around to the backyard and set them up. He cleaned up the copper logos with salt and vinegar, and he nailed them back onto the chairs.
We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the addition of our refinished Adirondack chairs. To celebrate the completion of our project, we lit a fire and poured some wine.
Yup, our backyard was once dull and boring, but it’s really coming along.
I had to wake my husband up to come to bed.. he’d fallen asleep (so you know these Adirondack chairs are comfortable!).
While we may add some little things here and there before the season ends, our biggest plans will take place next spring. Our backyard doesn’t have a back fence, so we want to close it off. With so many cool things in our yard, I would be less afraid of theft if it were closed off. We’d also like to plant a couple of trees and add more garden space. The possibilities are truly endless, and it excites us to see the progress of our little outdoor haven.
It’s safe to say that our backyard is one of our favourite places to hang out. I sometimes have to pinch myself and remind myself that this was our boring backyard! But it’s so fun and functional now.
I hope this post (along with this one and this one) inspire you if your backyard is as boring as ours once was.
Have you refinished outdoor furniture? If you’ve blogged about it, I’d love to read your posts!