Concrete Jungle Upgrade: Hand & Sand Me Down.

Well, it’s finally here.  The post where I tell you all about the DIY makeover of my 100% free outdoor furniture!  Only took 3 months to get it done, and one more month to post about it.  Yikes. So let’s not waste any more time.  Let’s do this.

The pic below is pretty gnarly, but yes, that was our outside patio area circa May 2012.  The table on the right was a hand-me-down from The Magi, along with the seriously grody folding chairs.  As you can see the table is basically rotting away, so that went straight in the trash after I took this pic.  The folding chairs were salvageable, but their surfaces were in need of some serious TLC.  On the left we have the bigger wood table and folding lounge chairs that we found on Mother’s day while walking around our neighborhood.  They were my special gift from B.

refinishing outdoor furniture before picture 1

Here’s a second pic that’s a little closer so you can see the icky-ness in its entirety.  And the lovely KP acting as our furniture model.

refinishing outdoor furniture before picture 2

After discussing with my furniture refinishing consultant (and herb-an garden specialist), I decided that my game plan would be to sand everything down as best I could, stain the new table and chairs (since they were pretty raw as-is), and spraypaint the very old folding chairs (they really were hopeless – sanding wasn’t going to help anything).  I wasn’t in the mood to track down a motorized hand sander, so I hand sanded…literally by hand.  Using these all-purpose sanding sponges pictured below.  Oh, and for this post I’m just going to focus on the two main chairs.  I’ll give you the deets on the rest of the furniture next week.

refinishing outdoor furniture sanding block

It was actually a lot easier than I thought.  The old layer of paint on the “new” table and chairs came right off.  It took me about 20 mins per chair to get them totally clean and naked, and about 15 mins for the table since I only focused on the top.  (Had to cut corners a little here for the sake of getting this all done during one A nap!).  The picture below shows what things looked like when the first chair was about halfway finished.  See how good of a job the sanding block did?

refinishing outdoor furniture sanding step

And here’s what the two chairs looked like post-sanding.  Pretty good for doing it by hand, no?

refinishing outdoor furniture after sanding

Then it was time for staining.  I got some sample sized stains from Lowes and eventually settled on English Chestnut by Minwax.  Of course this took me an abnormally long time (for someone so obsessed with efficiency, I am terrible at making decisions, especially ones for house projects), but I’m super happy with the finished product.  I picked Minwax because I’ve used their sealants before and they worked well.  They are also recommended at Lowes and priced well.

refinishing outdoor furniture wood finish_edited-1

Staining was a lot easier than I thought.  I applied thin and even coats going with the grain of the wood, wiping the surface down if things got gloppy.  But don’t be too fooled, I really was just sort of covering everything with the stain and trying to make sure it didn’t get crazy on me.  I used a random extra paint brush I had lying around (sorry, wish I had more details), and of course covered up our “patio” with old Philadelphia Inquirer’s and boxes from D-dot-C.

refinishing outdoor furniture staining chairs

Still with me?  I hope so.  This is what chair #1 looked like after his first staining.  Kind of looks like he got a super dark spray tan right?  (Ignore the primed folding chairs in the background…they are just foreshadowing a post from next week where I’ll show you what I did with the rest of the furniture…).

refinishing outdoor furniture finsihed staining

And for those of you that are really patient, ta-da!  The finished product lies below.  Two beautiful “new” wood lounging-folding chairs for our outdoor patio.  They look a little lighter than they really are for some reason in this photo, in real life they’re a little darker.  And I really do love the color.  I’m glad it took me so darn long to figure out that English Chestnut was the way to go for these guys.

refinishing outdoor furniture both chairs stained

So that’s the story of two chairs found on the side of the road on Mother’s day, how it took 3 months to finally upgrade them and 1 month to write the blog post about it.  Beautification and procrastination at its finest!


One thought on “Concrete Jungle Upgrade: Hand & Sand Me Down.

  1. Pingback: Concrete Jungle Upgrade: Spray Tanning & Spray Painting. | keep it neat

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