Painting A Vintage Motel Chair

While growing up, my neighbor always had these type of chairs on her front porch. I used to love to go sit there with her and help her shell peas, so I got quite used to the feel of these chairs. There's a little "bounce" in them when you lean back :)
They are probably one of the most comfortable chairs ever designed (if not for that whole problem with them getting hotter than heck when left out in the summer sun).
So when I saw one at an estate sale for $10, I grabbed it up fast (actually I plunked my butt down in it before anyone else could lay claim to it). Fast forward to two years later and it was time for Betty Jo to get a facelift.
This is the final product.
Badminton anyone? What about a ham sandwich from the picnic basket?
Here's the before photo. A little too rusty and dirty to actually sit on.
Side by side beauty shots.
Supplies needed:
Vintage metal motel chair in bad need of a facelift
Cling wrap (Saran, Glad or whatever brand you prefer)
Painters tape
Spray paint - a rusty metal primer (less than 1 can)
Spray paint - in colors (at least one can of each color)
After spraying the primer on any really rusty areas, I just will-nilly painted everything white that was going to be white. I didn't care how much of the black got painted over because my next step was going to take care of that.
Next I used newspaper and tape to tape off any areas that I wanted to stay white.
For the curved arms and legs, I wrapped cling wrap around them and then just taped it off where it got close to the black parts (that would eventually be painted green).
I used two coats of each color. The whole project took two full days to complete because I let the white dry for 24 hours before taping it off for the green step. I didn't want to take any chances of the tape pulling off any of the fresh white paint.
And of course I had to drag out some of my vintage picnic supplies to dress it up. Lacey the labradoodle approves of the new look!

Top Hometalk Projects

30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
18 Fun Ways To Add Glitter To Your Home Decor
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
21 Totally Terrific Things You Can Do With Doilies
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
23 Insanely Clever Ways To Eliminate Clutter
15 Amazing Things You Can Make With Dollar Store Gems
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
14 DIY Hacks to Stay Clean While Camping
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
House Of Hawthornes

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

2 of 8 comments
  • Liliana Wells
    on Nov 23, 2014

    I am glad you were able to salvage the chairs. Love Rust-Oleum.

  • 3 Little Greenwoods
    on Apr 7, 2015

    @House Of Hawthornes Love this bouncey chair! My great-aunts had a whole porch filled with these when I was little and I would love to have a set for my front porch!

Your comment...