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. . . .

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