Why I Painted a New Bistro Set

5 Materials
3 Days

What? Paint a NEW bistro set? WHY?!! Well, let me explain....Several weeks ago, hubby started talking about buying a little table and a couple of chairs for our front patio. I was a bit confused because we already had seating out there. For many years, we've had two plastic Adirondack chairs on the front patio. When I mentioned that, he said it was hard for him to get in and then out of those because they are so low to the ground. Oh, ok, we should get a different style chair....

Original seating

Over the weeks, he would come home with information about different table/chair sets he would see....the style, price, material. None of them sounded like they would quite work....seat back too low, price too high, material wrong. I wasn't keen on buying a plastic set (although good for the Adirondack chairs, not so much for other styles) or a wooden one (too much upkeep with the weather).A couple of weeks ago, I saw one at the nursery when I was buying the Annuals for the flower pots. The chair backs were high, the price was low, and the material was perfect - metal and tile! When I got home, I told hubby about it and he wanted to go get it that minute! Since it was raining, I suggested we wait a few days.When we went to buy the bistro set, we sat in the chairs and he said that they were just the right size and style of what he had in mind. Since it had been raining, pouring actually, when I first saw it, I didn't notice that it looked worn in already. There was a 2nd set at the Nursery, but it was in the same worn in shape. We bought it anyway since it was what he wanted and the price was good. I figured a good scrubbing would do wonders & hubby said "I thought you'd want to paint this"......Well, I hadn't thought about painting it but now that he mentioned it.....

Spray paint choice

On the way home, we stopped and bought two cans of Krylon spray paint in a color that would coordinate with the house, Tidal Blue. It said it had a 'chalky finish' which I thought would be interesting. When we got home, the first thing hubby did was hose the set down really well. I then took it to the backyard so I could remove any dirt that didn't come off with the hose and paint it. When I wiped the metal, I could see that it had originally been a bronze color, like the circles on the table top, but it was oxidized so badly that it just looked dull. I probably could have waxed it but since I now had the paint, I decided to continue with my original plan.

Original color

I didn't take a picture in the sunlight but here is the color prior to painting.It was a bit windy out so I opened the shed door, laid cardboard on the grass and used the door & shed to shield the wind. I don't use spray paint all that often as I prefer to use a brush, so I started on the back side. I laid the chairs face down on the cardboard and set the table on it's top. Before I got the hang of the spray, I did create a run on the bottom of one of the chair seats. While it was wet, I quickly ran a finger over the area to smooth out the run. When it was dry, I gave the area another light coat and was happy to see that the run was no longer visible.

Two coats of paint applied

I applied two light coats and when the paint was dry, turned the chairs right side up and applied two thin coats. The table didn't need any additional paint. I was so happy to see that the cardboard prevented any overspray on the top of the table while it was face down. I used a can and 1/2 of the paint.

Sealing the grout

Next up was sealing the table top. It is tiled & grouted and the grout was very dry. I took the table into the garage and using a soft cloth, cleaned the top with a little soap and water. I took the table into the garage and using a soft cloth, cleaned the top with a little soap and water.

Grout sealer

When the grout had dried, I applied a coat of grout sealer using a small artist brush. It took awhile to paint around all the tile circles, but I prefer to do that rather than getting a lot of sealer on the tile.

Applying the sealer

After a few minutes, I buffed the top with a soft cloth to prevent any sealer that I may have gotten on the tiles from drying as it forms a film.

Sealing done

The next day, I applied a 2nd coat of sealer. I kept the table in the garage for a couple of days to allow the sealer to dry really well before placing it out on the front patio.

Buying cushions

Once the new set was on the patio, hubby and I tested it. We both loved the height of the chairs and chair backs but the seat was a little less than comfortable. I had a new mission - make or find chair cushions. Since I'm in the middle of some landscape projects, I decided to buy cushions. I started my search online and then bought a pair at Lowes. The chair seats measure 16" x 16" and these were 18" x 18" and were $13.98/ea. I brought the cushions home and put them on the chairs. Even though they were big, they looked fine. I asked hubby to try them out. He said they weren't thick enough; I had to agree. So....I took them back to Lowes but didn't find any that were thicker in the same size....they only had 20" x 20" and I thought that would be too large. Besides, they were $34.98/ea!!! Ugh! I may actually have to make them.A few days went by before I had a brilliant idea! Why couldn't I use dining room chair cushions like the ones I bought at Walmart last year?! Yes, the material is not made for outdoor use....but, they are only $5/ea and since the bistro set sits under an overhang, they shouldn't get a lot of rain! And, I can toss them in the washer and dryer if needed. I took one of my cushions out to try it on and it fit perfectly! Off to Walmart I went!!! When I got home, I gave the cushions two coats of ScotchGuard to help protect the fabric. Why not? I already had it on hand. After the cushions were dry, I placed them on the chairs and we tried them out - they are just the right amount of cushion!

Finished set

We are really pleased with the bistro set and have sat out on the patio a few times already!

New location

Now, you may be asking..."What did you do with the Adirondack chairs"??! I'm happy you asked! They have been relocated to the backyard.

Patio in the making

I plan to create a seating patio for them in the garden area using cement bricks that had previously been used in another part of the yard . Stay tuned for that project!The cost of this project reflects the items I actually bought. If you don't have grout sealer, it would cost more.The time to complete is due to allowing the sealer to dry.

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  1 question
  • Catherine Catherine on Jul 04, 2020

    Will the spray paint AHERE to Plastic (vinyl) type

    table and chair

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5 of 18 comments
  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jun 25, 2020

    Great makeover!! But - next time talk to management at the store where you are faced with buying something that already looks worn. Most times they will give you a pretty substantial discount on the posted price!

    Love the new color you chose. If you spray them with a UV clear sealer the color and paint will last much longer. Enjoy the new seating! 😎

    • See 1 previous
    • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 06, 2020

      Too bad. I made a deal w/ a similar nursery (just a shed/office as interior space). It never hurts to try!

  • Uni26875022 Uni26875022 on Jun 25, 2020

    Nice idea. LOTS of patience to seal the grout! If you google outdoor furniture covers you will find lots of types of covers that may work to cover the entire set which would protect everything when not in use. You may want to consider going to Uhaul store where they sell plastic covers in various sizes for tables, mattresses, etc for very reasonable prices.

    • Jeanne Jeanne on Jul 06, 2020

      Right?! I'm sure it would have been faster to cover the entire top then wipe off the little tiles. We have a storage shed where I put our outdoor cushions and things. We'll have room in there to store this little set when winter comes. Thanks for the suggestion though!