Several years ago I picked up this French marble top bistro table and 2 metal chairs at a yard sale. The romantic in me envisioned sitting there with a cup of tea or a good glass of wine, just relaxing. However, this set has been on the back porch of our pool house for several years, unused. With my daughter moving into a new apartment, there is a need for a small table and chairs so instead of buying something new, I decide to revive this one.
Even though I would love every area and item in my house to be in tip-top shape, the reality is, that many things are not. I do find it a bit embarrassing to show you the “before” pictures, but heck, that’s part of the process. Though the outdoor space is covered, the weather elements (dust, dirt, bird droppings) has taken its toll.
I love that the curved back chairs swivel, but the solid seat is made of a plywood circle which I covered in oil cloth so no one’s behind would get a splinter. The solid seat is not affixed, but fits well enough and stays in place under the cushion. Surprisingly, the cushions are dusty and dirty, but the fabric and filler is still in relatively good condition.
Green paint on the chairs is chipped in many places and the black paint on the table base is faded. Mechanically, everything else is sound.
When I lift the wooden seat base, I am find many black widow egg sacks and a few large spiders. Ewww.
If you’ve never seen a black widow spider, here she is trying to hide from me. If you look closely, you can see a sliver of the red hourglass on her underbelly. She is very much alive. Again, ewww.
Prepping for Paint
After removing the spiders, webs and egg sacks, I thoroughly wipe down the chairs and table. Here you can see the condition of the paint on the chairs. They definitely need fresh paint.
The marble table top has rust stains too. My husband uses a combination of Krud Kutter, a concentrated cleaner/degreaser/and stain remover (love this stuff!) and Granite Gold (a stone cleaner). Nearly all of the grime and discoloration disappears.
Since my daughter loves the color black (see post here about her black and white bedroom here), it makes sense to paint the chairs and table base in a high gloss black.
Prepping for paint really takes the most time. With the work surface of the chairs and table clean, I place the items on a drop cloth outside. In the meantime, I put the two cushions in the washing machine, hoping to get out the dirt and dust.
Painting the Items
To paint the table base and two chairs, it requires 2-3 cans of spray paint. My go-to paint for metal is from Rust-oleum, as it prevents rust. This particular one is both a paint and primer and is high gloss black. It appears the spray top is redesigned on some of the cans, which helps prevent trigger finger fatigue.
With so many open spaces on the chairs, it’s impossible not to waste paint, but one coat does seem to cover everything.
Recovering the Wood Seat
The oil cloth fabric is deteriorated, but still solid enough to prevent any splinters from emerging from the plywood seat. But it looks awful as is.
I find some leftover fabric that is black, soft and fleece-like and use it to cover both wooden seats. Using a Powershot heavy duty stapler I quickly affix the fabric to the wood. Easy peasy and the solid seat looks so much better.
What an improvement already!
What to Do with the Cushions
Since the cushions did launder well, the problem is the current color and fabric texture. I search the basement for black and white fabric and I find the old cushion covers from the chairs I reupholstered for the pool house (see that post here). They are perfect with the exception that they are too big. And to my delight, the covers have zippers too!
With some tailoring, I am able to recycle and retro-fit these seat covers for the newly cleaned cushions. In addition, I find some more of the same fabric, and decide to make small back cushions. These chairs are comfortable but the metal curved backs are a bit hard on the body.
Adding Small Back Cushions
Using some brown paper, I lay it inside the curve of the back of the chair. I trace the chair backing to get a sense for how large and what shape I want the back pillow.
This now becomes my pattern for the back cushions.
The Finished Product
Look how sweet this is! I am so happy with the results~especially since the cost of this project is minimal (3 cans of spray paint!).
The back cushions are secured with cloth tabs and velcro squares. They are lightly stuffed with fiber fill and provide just enough softness so you don’t feel the metal.
The white Carrera marble top did clean up nicely, using
Now all the chair frames and table leg are all the same color. It feels so fresh and clean, I almost don’t want to part with it. But it will be perfect in my daughter’s kitchen in her new apartment.
Well, I promised to only post when I had something fun to share, so I am hoping you enjoy this transformation of 3 neglected pieces of furniture. This project was a bit unexpected but I am happy to fill my daughter’s furniture void without buying something new.
Thanks for checking in with me today! Have a beautiful week.
If you enjoy this post, please share on Pinterest.