How 2 Junk Chairs Became Party Chairs in 4 Steps

Care for a Chair?

old samsonite chairs
Look at these old, dusty dudes. They need a good home, if you ask me.

Transforming an old piece of junk into a new piece of furniture never gets old. If you’ve ever taken a belt sander to a table or sewn a new cover onto an old chair, you know what I mean.

There’s just nothing in the world like fixin’ up a fixer upper.

When I came across these Samsonite stackable chairs from 1972, they were in pretty rough shape. They were buried under some vines in the New Orleans Bywater.

The metal legs were rusted, and the seats were grimey and had the stank all over them, but challenges just make life more interesting. So, I grabbed them up and took them back to the shop.

I Want Them Chairs Nice and Shiny

Step 1: Sand

Step 2: Paint

Once I removed the composite plastic seats, I sanded the metal legs down until that shiny chrome finish came back.

Then, I sanded the seats with 220 grit sandpaper to clean and smooth them out, and I shot ‘em with primer, then five cans of purple.

Maybe one can could have done, but when you start shaking that spray paint up and hear the propellant click click clicking, you just wanna keep spraying. Five cans gave them a nice, deep color that totally hides the faded ‘70s salmon underneath.

You would never know they didn’t pop right out of the factory yesterday.

Let’s Get Jazzed

Step 3: Jazz stripes

If you’ve lived in New Orleans for more than a year, just about anything will get you thinking about Mardi Gras. Looking at them purple chairs did just that.

As I was wondering where to go with them next, I couldn’t help thinking about king cakes and feather boas and all that purple and green jazz.

Five cans gave them a nice, deep color that totally hides the faded ‘70s salmon underneath.

So why not jazz them seats up a bit? A simple tape design and some green paint and you’re ready for the Mardi Gras season, champ. These are seats you can put out on your porch or on the neutral ground and not only be comfy but be comfy with some style.

Even better, put two stripes on one seat and only one on the other, and you done kicked it up a notch or three. Why two stripes on one seat? Art!

…and the bonus of covering the blemish I made when I dropped the circular saw on one of the chairs. Oops. Everybody who’s a human gets a case of the butterfingers once in a while, am I right?

But I can’t complain too much. You think a float rider on one of them Nola floats is gonna miss seats these bad boyz? Psh.

refurbished samsonite chairs
These chairs are all dressed up and ready to go!

Putting the Finishing Move on Them Chairs

Step 4: Joining table

With the purple and green seats all nice and fresh, I reattached them to the shiny chrome legs, stood back, and had a look. They were certainly living a better life than before, but were they living their best life? Something was still missing.

I had a sit and a think, and eventually I figured there was just about no better way to put the finishing move on these puppies than to link them up.

You think a float rider on one of them Nola floats is gonna miss seats these bad boyz? Psh.

It’s always nice to have a spot for your drink when you sit — especially if you’re out on the parade route–and a little buffer between the chairs for those of us who like our personal space seemed to fit the bill.

So, I ripped some pieces of heart pine for the joiners and used some laths, on bead board for the tabletop.

Laths are used everywhere — under roof shingles, in walls and ceilings, in lattice and trellis work — so you can always count on them for some quick and stylish borders to your tables or anything you want to frame.

Three in One

Only thing left was to join the chairs to the table, and hooray! Five hours of labor and a $40 investment later, and we have ourselves a mighty comfy set of chairs with a joining table — three in one!

Not only do they hold me up, but the little table holds just about any canned beverage. Perfect for a parade, football experience, or a nice southern evening on your front porch.

Roland sitting on the refurbished samsonite chairs
Perfect chairs for sitting back and enjoying some antique beer.

The only question left is how much to sell it for. . . .

Return to Home

Are records making a comeback?  People stop by and ask if we have any new records more than any other item we carry.  It’s attend for sure, so when are cds going to make a comeback?  They are easier to store and have better sound quality than a record…  Maybe we will pick up on the minor sound details a cd gives off much like the scratchy sounds of a record???  I hope they get popular once again because I have over a thousand of them.  Stop by to check out the sweet collection of 1996-2005 alternative rock cds.  I need to get rid of these.

I put plants in these

Green thumb I am not, but it may work by chance.  That is, not doing a dang thing with these succulents and still they grow.  One of the employees has an indoor greenhouse with multiple tiny plants.  Most are of the succulent type.  Some grow well while others do not, she states.  She’s so jealous of the outside garden at the store because it seems all plants continue to thrive.

“What’s my secret?” she asks me.

“Not a dang thing.” I say.

I scout out items made completely out of metal.  Depending on the item, these usually date to pre 70’s. Metallic items make excellent outdoor planters since they take some time to break down. Wood will start to deteriorate over time, and plastics become dingy.  Look out for cash registers, lawn mowers, typewriters, metal buckets, tire rims, etc.  Left outdoors, these junks will start to patina over time.  They will rust, ya dummy, and look great (if you’re into that).  Also look for ceramics (toilets, sinks) if you like white junk.

Heres a tip:  Place air filter material at the bottom of the objects for better drainage.

Most times, rocks are used to hold the compost while allowing water to drain. The problem occurs when you want to change out the soil or repot the plant and the rocks become mixed in with the soil. You’ll have to redo the rock layer while your soil contains more rocks in it.  Use filter material, dish scrub pads, or something similar.  Don’t use sponges. They hold in moisture creating bacteria.

Back to the succulents.  I’m not sure why they stay alive for me outside in the sun. I’m sure they get shading from the building and don’t require much water.  Maybe they love the fact that they are in the drawers of a cash register.

So plant your succulents in an all metal item and you’ll get the looks.

Sit your butt down

There was something about this chair that I found on the side of the road.  The seat was missing and I told myself I didn’t have enough time to redo, upcycle, fix, etc this little piece of crap.  So I offered it up for $1.  It sat in the store for about 3 months.  No one wanted it.  I couldn’t throw it out.  I liked something about it.  Was it junk?  Real wood, pan head screws, and a nice hand carved backing…  fine, I’ll do it.  With some copper and gold paint I started the revival.  Was it the color I wanted, not really but I need to start using what I have and I have an abundance of gold and copper paint.  Then the seat??? Uhh, foam with fabric? Patch a piece of ply wood in?  It had several holes for the twine…. ok, got it.  Parachute chord that bad boy.  And 3 Pelican games later there you go.  The end.

Junk haul December 17

There were several candles that looked like candy canes, so that was a must have. The rest was a grab bag of Christmas items. I don’t know why I get more Christmas stuff because it doesn’t really sell well. Tough titties, it’s all good I guess until I go broke. :(l