Monday, May 2, 2016

Comfortable Metal Art

Once in awhile you can find a set.  
When we bought this old place in the country it seemed the perfect spot for old steel lawn/porch furniture.  Reasoning being it didn't take a lot of upkeep nor did it fall apart easily AND it was so very darn COOL!

When we were cleaning out my Dad's things, we found some folding metal chairs - really COOL chairs.  As we'd venture into thrift and antique stores, attend auctions and pass by a "For Sale" roadside sign, we occasionally found another chair - or two.
A few pictures from the net show
the many varieties available.  

The metal chairs have lasted as we expected, have received numerous coats of paint as my color vision for the yard changes and are darn near indestructible.

The only down side to metal yard furniture is they're typically (especially the older all steel ones) really heavy.  I know this because we drag them down to the basement and store over winter.  Which means we drag them up every spring.  They seem to be getting heavier every year!
These are some of the older and newer models of chairs.  Along
with that newer granddaughter helping her Meemaw.

If you want a retro look or nearly indestructible furniture, consider vintage metal.  There are some reproductions of varying degrees of permanence.  Some of the newer/cheaper models are not made from steel nor as well put together.  This makes them lighter but prone to fall apart easier.  Other new reproductions are taken from the original molds and are now powder-coated with a car-like paint finish.  Obviously, these are more expensive but beautiful.
These three pictures are at our home when
daughter, Megan, was getting married
and we hosted a cookout and bonfire.  

Metal chairs work!
Yes, it was a bonfire of
gigantic portions.

One of the fun things about the vintage pieces (chairs, love seats, couches, rockers and gliders) is they're in so many designs.  Some take cushions while others simply take paint.  They are the perfect way to bring color onto your porches or yard.
Found on e-bay

This is a new version of an old design.  We
have one identical but old.  Stick with reputable companies
if you're looking at reproductions.  

If you're painting metal chairs, I suggest a good sanding to rough up the gloss or get rid of the chips but not get rid of all the paint.  Then a metal primer and a good metal gloss paint.  Gloss helps the elements roll off.  I wash my chairs, periodically, in dish washing soap.  If they show signs of mildew/mold, I add a little bleach.  Otherwise, they stay pretty clean from rain showers.

I wouldn't buy old metal chairs that are rusted through (holes and gaping sharp edges) because they are weak (meaning dangerously fall apart) and they can't be only painted without some really heavy restoration.  The kind of restoration that is beyond the average DIY person.

Vintage metal furniture is perfect for around a bonfire because they are fire resistant; although direct fire wouldn't do them any favors.

As far as comfort, the old varieties are usually made with contours and are pretty darn comfortable; at least over the short term.  You can always throw on a seat cushion if it's a long term sit.  I've seen cushions, pillows, quilts and rugs all adorning for comfort.

Take care of your metal chairs and they will be around for generations.  Popularity comes and goes on these beauties but they are always in style if you want fun durable outside seating.

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