vanilla bean deck chairs


last may, as in a whole year ago, pierre and i took a trip to the county to race the terroir run. we stayed at a perfect, no-nonsense cottage in an apple orchard, tried to buy food at a less-than-perfect farmers’ market, visited some side of the road antique places, and had a lovely time. we can’t wait to go again this may, this time with friends.

the deck chairs pictured above, in all their paint chipped, rotten teak slat glory, were the “finds” of the weekend. i paid way too much for them ($30 each) though i did get that little wooden flower box for free. i thought they’d look really cute on our front porch and i promised to fix them up.

porch_1here they are last fall, not fixed up but on our front porch, alongside two glass and fake brass end tables i found on cosburn avenue while walking a book back to the library and a pie pumpkin that was later annihilated by a squirrel.

since it’s about the time of year when i start drinking coffee and reading on the front porch i thought i’d better make good on my promise to whip (or sand, reinforce, and paint) these chairs into shape.

first, i looked at the chairs for 20 minutes. turned them over. examined their working and non-working parts. brainstormed how to make bad wood good again. i’m still scratching my head over how to fix the chair with the rotting wood that’s compromised its stability, so i decided to do the “bad” chair first and leave the “worse” chair for another afternoon.

because i had nearly two gallons of exterior behr paint in mineral left over from my fiasco buying shed paint, mineral was the obvious colour choice. the end result was a vanilla bean ice cream colour, achieved by loose dirt, soil, and sand blowing into my tray of white paint while working on the chair. while i had the paint out, i was tempted to give our porch railing a clean, fresh coat, but just looking at all the sides of all those slats made me decide to put it off for another summer, or two, or forever.

white deck chairs

can you spot the difference?!

besides the obvious, if you look closely at the chair on the right, you’ll see a dark spot along the horizontal slat across the back. that’s where the wood is rotten, so you can’t lean your back against the chair without dislodging the back slats from the frame. it’s also missing the final slat across the front, which would touch the back of your knees when sitting down.

but the “bad” chair turned out so nicely that i’m committed to fixing up its partner in the next few weeks. though, if there were ever a good candidate for spray paint, it was this project — with all the nooks and crannies this was a two hour paint job and i was really glad i had pre-decided to tackle only one chair at a time.

pair of white deck chairs

and our porch is still rocking one of the side-of-the-road side tables; i sold its twin on craigslist for $20 over the winter. we have a beautiful teak bench now occupying the real estate under our front window, where the deck chairs and this table took up residence last summer, so that’s why the chairs are now filling the “short end” of the porch.

but the bench, like everything else in my life, needs sanding, cleaning, and oiling before a blog reveal. and maybe a pillow or two? it’s part of our backyard dining set, which was on a one-way trip to the curb before my parents saved it and gave it to pierre for his birthday. it was too big to fit under our winter tarp so we stored it on our porch all winter, where it looks really nice, the vertical slats echoing the porch railing.

okay, so advice on what to do with the worse chair? and firewood is not an acceptable answer, (dad).

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