Shabby, Not Chic

A few weeks ago, when my sister wasn’t looking, I liberated these metal garden chairs from my parents’ basement.  I remember playing in my grandparents’ yard while my father and grandfather sat in them, under the trees at the end of the grass.  

There were other dogs then ~~ three huge German Shepherds ~~ Mitzi, Bruno and Seta.  My Dad and grandparents were dog fans.  To me, Nellie seems to belong in this picture.  Of course, there is no moving her once she sees the camera.  She is a true camera hound.  
When my grandmother tired of the chairs, Dad took them to our lake house.  I can see him so clearly in this chair, sitting by the campfire, chatting with all the guests, as he so loved to do.  
I miss him. 
Every single day.

The holes in the back and seat provided many opportunities for my sisters (not me, of course!🙂 ) to prod and pester him ~~ and each other.

The metal chairs were freezing when it was cold out, and sizzling when the sun hit them.  Nevertheless, everyone always wanted to sit in one of them.
They remained at the lake house, mostly outdoors, for at least 35 years.

Can you tell?
(and are all dogs this nosey?)

Of course, they weren’t always blue and chippy!  I spent many weeks of summer vacations sanding off paint and rust.  I know I have inhaled my lifetime supply of lead paint dust.  We didn’t wear masks or worry about the metal slivers from the wire brush.  Just did the job and cleaned up when the job was complete.

They have been dressed in many colors during their long lives.  Just a few are showing through here, including their original 1940’s green.

I thought I was going to do a sanding and paint job on them one more time ~~ using proper precautions this time, of course ~~ but I was pretty shocked by their condition and knew this would be a very long and difficult job.  Not only are they rusty, but some of the feet are missing and one is lopsided.  I decided this was a job for a pro.


So into the Navigator they went, in Nellie’s usual spot (she has the saddest face when she is left home — Mr. Fun says she was bred to look like that but I think she is really sad) and off to the SANDBLASTER we traveled!!  I usually don’t take Mr. Fun on these adventures because I have found that it is better when he doesn’t know how much of his hard earned $$ goes to these projects.  But, this time he came along, because he too loves the chairs, and because I needed some muscle power.  These babies are heavy!  I also needed some help choosing the new color!!  I thought ~~

black ~~ no, too boring for these fun chairs.

white ~~ no, see reason for rejecting black.
blue ~~no, they’re blue now, and I want a change.
That pretty much left yellow, red, orange, and green, all colors they have been before.

Of course, they could be painted brown, but then my favorite chairs and my favorite and constant companion would be the same color.


Almost as soon as I opened the fan of paint colors, I saw the perfect choice.  And Mr. Fun agreed!  Wow!  If you knew us you would be amazed too.  The Libra in me can never decide!
But they are at the workshop now.  They will be carefully disassembled, sandblasted, powder-coated in their new color, then reassembled to take a special place in our yard.

My Dad would just shake his head!

What color do you think we chose?
And what color do you think we should have chosen??

~~ Here’s a little treat for you while you decide. ~~

I’m joining 
Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for
A Favorite Thing

The Tablescaper for
Seasonal Sunday

Smiling Sally for
Blue Monday

Linda 🙂

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49 thoughts on “Shabby, Not Chic

  1. Oh Linda, it doesn’t matter what color they end up being. They are wonderful and even more wonderful because they hold memories for you! I’m so glad you rescued them, and I can’t wait to see them in all their revived glory! laurie

  2. Hi Linda, I remember those chairs, my grandparents had them too. I remember sitting in them on Sunday afternoons, I loved those chairs! I just bet you picked the yellow! Can’t wait to find out. Now I’ll have my treat while I wait.
    Happy weekend.

    The French Hutch

  3. Linda, I’m so glad that you stopped by and left me a comment! While I don’t wish persecution on anyone, misery loves company and I was so glad to hear that another nice, kind and interesting blogger was bullied for no reason. Thank you so much for taking time to share your experience with me. I’m not kidding that I drove up a one-way street going the wrong way after my terrible experience. I’ve never wanted to get home so fast in my life. I wanted to be at home with my loved ones just to feel secure. I’m slowly getting back to blogging but no doubt, I’m far less confident than before. Guess that just takes time. Thank you again for sharing with me.

  4. I think Nellie is going to coordinate quite nicely with your newly painted raspberry pink chairs. Am I right? Do I win one of those fabulous chairs?!

    Your chairs are wonderful and even better with the family history behind them.

    I’m your newest follower, too!

  5. I grew up with many of those chairs sitting around ! 😀 Your furbaby is a sweet chocolate brown.
    I have eaten more than my share of the mellowcreme pumpkins – have replaced the ones in the vignette several times. 😀 I love that candle – bought it at TJMax a while back, lemon scent. Have really enjoyed it and hoping to find another one.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  6. Awwww! What a sweet post. I enjoyed it so much, and it made me smile. Your dog is adorable.
    I think you chose RED! It’s amazing how many colors those chairs have been. I’m so glad you are having them restored.

  7. Linda~ I’m a shabby not very chic girl so I LOVE your chairs with all their history and layers of colors peeking through! I’m sure they will look wonderful in their new raspberry(?) shade. I love your sad camera hound too 🙂

  8. The chairs are fabulous and bring back many memories! I used to see these chairs on various porches in my neighborhood when I was growing up. I still would love a pair for the cottage.

    Nellie is adorable.

    Hmmm. what color? I go along with the others who suggested a raspberry color!

    Thanks so much for joining in this week, Linda.


  9. Those are the chairs you can bounce in!! Yep, I think your new color will be raspberry red! Nellie looks just like our neighbor dog, Trail — she always has that sad look too, even when you’re throwing sticks for her to catch (which she loves)!!
    Thanks for stopping by — I’m following you too : )

  10. Linda,
    It IS so exciting when you “inherit” an object(s) that brings so many wonderful and fun memories back when you were a kid. Such Vivid memories of family and dogs that you can pass to your children and grandchildren. You’re so smart to have them sandblasted. I had my Grandma’s Iron bed sandblasted of many coats of paint at a car shop and sprayed a base and then white. It’s beautiful and will last forever! I can’t wait to see the colors you selected!! You’ve added many more years of comfort, fun and history to your chairs!

  11. Oh…I love your chairs. I really do and especially for each memory behind them. I can’t wait to see what color you pick! Thank you for visiting and following my new blog. I just became one of your followers too. I look forward to getting to know you. ~Amy

  12. What a neat story Linda! What stories those chairs could tell if they could talk.
    I love these kind of posts!
    I am kind of leaning towards orange…well I don’t know why, maybe because it’s autumn.
    Thanks for the treat too!

  13. What a great story teller you are Linda…Such great memories of 2 lowly chairs….
    I will certainly check back, to see what color you choose…
    I suggest a bright peacock blue… :o)
    Thanks for visiting…let’s do it more often,eh??

    Linda :o)

  14. I remember chairs like these! My parents owned similar ones that were dark green and white. I think you made a good decision to have a professional sandblast them and reprint them. I’m guessing you had them painted a bright turquoise?

    I love Nellie’s face! What a sweet looking dog!

  15. Oh, I did not “hear” you mention purple–and of course, that’s BLUE mixed with a bit of red. That would be so blue-tiful!

    Thanks for sharing.

    BTW: the chowder was a bit thin.

    Happy Blue Monday, Linda.

  16. I enjoyed your post very much! Love the chairs and the family history they share! Would love to see them after their makeover! Tell Nellie she’s beautiful in the pictures! :0)

  17. Hi Linda, Oh I just love your chairs and whatever color you decided upon they will be fabulous. I have my parents original chair too like yours. They were there way before I was born and I now have them and just this summer painting them in a cottage cream. Love them but they had been many colors through the years, green, yellow, red, black and now ivory. I cause that is the shabby and chic in me. LOL

    Love your sweet Nellie. Give her a hug from me. She is beautiful.

    So nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by and your encouraging words and pray. It really touched my heart more then I can say.
    I have so enjoyed my visit here to your lovely blog and now a happy new follower too.
    Have a great week and looking forward to seeing your gorgeous retro chairs when finished.

    Hugs, Celestina Marie

  18. I agree, mint green sounds good but I guess it depends what colors you decorate with. I think my Gma had some chairs like this in her yard at one time.

  19. Those are such wonderful chairs, Linda, and with such a touching history and so many memories. I’m so glad you’ll be able to enjoy them again. (I’m guessing you chose green….) I’ve always wanted a pair of metal “Bayou” chairs. Our neighbors had some when I was small and I loved the way they “bounced” slightly when you leaned back in them. Take care!

  20. Those chairs are gonna look fantabulous when you get them re-done, Linda, Good thing you absconded with them before your sister, huh? What a sweet face on your doggie. 🙂

  21. awww, your dog DOES look sad but I can see its just his breed. He is adorable.

    A sunny yellow, probably. No matter what color you decide on, they will look fabulous in your yard. It’s the memories that will shine the most.:)

  22. Boy, I can’t make up my mind either, and I’m not even a Libra! My favorite color is red, and I think they would look wonderful in that color, but I made the mistake of reading the other comments and I could equally see them in yellow or blue. These chairs look so comfortable and they have so much history, I’m glad you’ve taken the trouble to restore them.

  23. I like red too, but the blue is nice too. Wow, what special chairs, I remember my parents having similar chairs on our patio and we used them everyday. Maybe I should help the chairs disappear to my house when my siblings aren’t watching.

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