It felt like I drove past it 50 times. This blue Adirondack chair buried under boxes on the curb waiting for bulk trash day. It was between our house and the baseball park where all three of my kids had practices and games, so you know we were really burning up the road between the two. I kept waiting for it to be gone, just knowing someone else would grab it. Days passed. Finally, my son and I pulled over to check it out.I figured there must be something wrong with it if no one had taken it after this long. On initial curbside inspection, beside being really rough around the edges, it seemed sturdy and useable. It had two boards strangely attached across the top of the seat. I am thinking maybe they used it as a plant shelf, which is kind of genius. My boy helped me throw it in the truck and haul it home.This month’s DIY Furniture Girl theme is outdoors, so this Adirondack chair couldn’t have shown up at a better time.
I hope you’ll take a minute to see the other outdoor furniture my friends make over at the end of this post. Different makeover versions of this chair danced in my head. Along with the thought that once I removed the boards bracing the top the chair would crumble apart like a house of cards. But YAY, it didn’t! It’s actually super sturdy!
Ultimately I decide to go with a neutral color that could move around to all my outdoor spaces. I have a few outdoor areas and they could all use more outdoor furniture!This chair is obviously not brand new and I didn’t want to portray it as so. This is where one of my favorite makeover tips comes into play. Every piece, like every person, has a story. We have the chance to tell it with our makeover. If you stay with the “could have been” history you will get an authentic looking makeover every time.As I sanded and sanded till the Texas heat threatened to zap every ounce of energy in me I felt the history of this chair come to the surface.
Once I stripped the majority of the chair to the bare wood, with little slivers of the original blue paint in spots, it was ready to re-invent. I used my go to homemade chalk paint and did a dry coat all over. Dry coat simply means I didn’t load up my brush with paint to get full coverage. I streaked the paint on, giving a sparse, grainy coverage.Then I went back to sanding. This is where the history comes to life. When you re-work a piece think about how it has been used over the years. Where the natural scars and scratches would occur and show them with your hand made wear and tear. I imagine the paint on the seat of this chair worn from the bottoms that slid in time and time again to share fun times with friends. Arm rests worn from elbows and arms rubbing across them as the owner read a good book or balanced a sweet tea on the arm rest. I used those stories as my sanding guide.
The scars and bruises in life are often the nitty gritty of what makes us who we are today. Those “flaws” don’t need to go away, they just need to be healed and made new again. Often those stories are the ones that long to be told. Furniture is like that too. We shouldn’t try to make it into something it was never meant to be or hide the truth of it’s past.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3Sticking with the story is why some people grimace at the thought of painted wood and why you get that sinking feeling when you see a makeover gone bad on Pinterest. It’s good to be creative, but when we travel to far outside the lines a piece has naturally, the story isn’t believable. Just like a person pretending to be something they are not. It’s a turn off.
I wanted to add a stencil or raised details somewhere, but in the end this Adirondack chair told me that wasn’t it’s style. It wasn’t fru fru and I shouldn’t make it that way now. So worn and cozy, like it’s been around forever with lots of stories to tell, painted again and again by a loving owner…that’s it’s story and I’m stickin’ to it! I wish you could come sit a spell in my new old Adirondack chair and share your stories with me! Until then, please visit my friends and see what DIY tricks they have for you. I always learn something new from them!
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