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.
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
This is the final product.
Badminton anyone? What about a ham sandwich from the picnic basket?
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
Here's the before photo. A little too rusty and dirty to actually sit on.
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
Side by side beauty shots.
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
Supplies needed:
Vintage metal motel chair in bad need of a facelift
Cling wrap (Saran, Glad or whatever brand you prefer)
Newspapers
Painters tape
Spray paint - a rusty metal primer (less than 1 can)
Spray paint - in colors (at least one can of each color)
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
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.
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
Next I used newspaper and tape to tape off any areas that I wanted to stay white.
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
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).
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
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.
chair motel vintage update painting, decks patio porches, diy, home decor, painted furniture
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!

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

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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!

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