Tag Archives: Seattle weather

A Tale of a Vintage Metal Bistro Set

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A Tale of a Vintage Metal Bistro Set

To say I’ve been obsessed with upholstery is an understatement. Its hard not to get passionate when the universe keeps providing signs that this is what you are supposed to be doing! And I will take the signs of cute, all be it sad and neglected, free pile furniture as a sign.  Dan would be quick to tell you its a sign of a future episode of Hoarders. But I take it as a sign I’m supposed to give life to once grand pieces.

When my neighbor moved out at the end of July and her vintage metal bistro set was up for grabs I knew it was left for me. Dan and I, very ninja like, swiped the table and chairs and carried it up our very steep drive way into the apartment.
The score of the summer PRE me working on it

The score of the summer PRE me working on it

Once in the apartment I examined the project. There are two bistro chairs with cute legs and a matching bistro table, all with a fair amount of surface rust but overall very study. Two very gross, smelly, cushions.  But the cherry of the set was the glass! The round glass top was in perfect condition and in tact! Working in a salvage yard, I have learned that the glass is the most sought after piece because without that the set is worthless. I had the set and the ambition. Now if I only knew how to clean surface rust off metal.
a close up of what lay ahead of me

a close up of what lay ahead of me

Table actually looked worse than the chairs...

Table actually looked worse than the chairs…

After some research I learned to clean surface rust you can either sand the metal OR sandblast the metal. I wanted to sandblast it! I watch the restoration shows all the time and it didn’t look THAT hard.  Sadly to say, it was going to be far too much work to sandblast the chairs and table. I was going to have to do it old school and sand the set.
But I am one smart gal and on my way home from HomeDepot, I had 2 sets of sand paper for metal, steal wool, gloves, and of course face masks.  SAFETY TIP: Do NOT sand metal without a mask! Breathing in the metal particles is bad for the lungs. On my way home I picked up some beer, I had no intentions of sanding the set alone and I knew Dan would need a little persuading, After one movie, a pack of beer, and lot of sandpaper, the set was sanded and ready for painting. I went with Rustoleum Shell White and a clear gloss protective coat.
Perfect for a vintage-y look

Perfect for a vintage-y look

I was at a loss for a cushion fabric.  I knew I wanted it to be a neutral fabric for easy resale but I still wanted it to have personality. While I was home in Eastern Wa visiting my mom, we found ourselves at the fabric store and there on the flat fold table was the perfect fabric: a blueish teal, Sumbrella outdoor fabric! Best part? It was on SALE! I snapped it up and in a day had 2 cute new cushions.
Check out the legs and curves!

Check out the legs and curves!

I ordered new feet for the set and got rubber glass bumpers but the rest was all down hill.   Once it was complete it was ready for sale.  Sadly (or not too sadly as I’m still not sure I want to sell the set) I didn’t finish it in time to sell before the end of the season.  At the moment, it is being stored safely in my storage unit waiting for the promise of warm sunny days ahead.
Secretly want it for my house ;)

Secretly want it for my house 😉

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Sunny in Seattle

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As a Seattle-ite I have learned the true meaning of beautiful summer days. It is rainy, gloomy, over cast for what feels like forever and a day (more like 3 to 4 months but who’s counting) but with that first day of sunny 70 degree weather my life (and all of Seattle’s) is instantly better. We LIVE for these wonderful sunny days and when it hits every patio seating area, garden store, and park in Seattle is full of sunny, happy, smiling faces. It’s pure heaven!

Several months ago  was the first 70 degree day of the year and my heart (and head) has been racing since! It’s time for outdoor projects!! I started my outdoor life with my plants and garden but had been on the hunt for the perfect outdoor table.  I decided I would make one! I have to say I always sound so optimistic! *in upbeat voice* why buy a table when I can spend MONTHS making one?!

As soon as I put it out to the universe that I needed a funky bistro sized table, the universe responded with a SWEET decorative wrought iron bistro table base at my work. I quickly learned that a base would be the easy part of the challenge.

Sweet legs ;)

Sweet legs 😉

Now I needed a top. Traditionally it would have had a round marble top. But lets face it, I am a lot of things, but marble is not “Me” (plus I cant afford it). So my coworker and I started thinking out side of the box and tried many different wood/Formica/glass/even windows on the base. We found the correct square size but the materials were still off. I left work defeated BUT had a base and a jumping off point.

As I drove home it hit me! A past coworker made tables and frames out of lath.  My work happened to have a bunch of cool, weathered lath! Lath is a thin narrow strip of wood (normally fur) nailed to rafters or studding in an old house as a groundwork for plaster.  We don’t get lath in very often; it is very labor intensive to pull because the plaster must be pulled off first. But because I’m lucky, we have a garbage can FULL of it.

Lath but not least!

Lath but not least!

The completed table top.

The completed table top.

So with the help of wood glue, set nails, the work Chop-Saw, and help we built the FIRST table top.  Note to self do NOT use brand new 2x4s for a frame.  Not more than a month in the hot sun and my table framed warped REALLY badly. So back to work I went with a “ruined” table that sat in the office for a month until my coworker and I used the premium lumber (old growth, resawn fir) and built my lath a new frame. FINALLY a table top that wont warp. I sent a few nights pouring resin into the top. Attached the heavy heavy top to the base.  And now I can truly enjoy my porch which is good because it has been HOT in Seattle.

 

A little romance on a hot summer night

A little romance on a hot summer night

Orange you glad I finished a project?

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I have to be honest I suffered from post holiday blues! As soon as I was feeling a tad bit better, the January Blues hit. Now for those unaware of the January Blues its something the Seattleites get in January and early February. By this time you have endured several months of dark, gray, drizzly weather and are starting to think you will NEVER see the sun again. I know I shouldn’t complain about the Seattle weather when my sister on the East Coast is suffering from blizzards and freezing temperatures but I am 😉
I’m feeling down in the dumps and have started my first project for the month of finishing. I followed my mom’s wise advice and picked the easiest one to finish first. This happened to be in Dan’s words “The Biggest Eyesore of the Apartment” aka my 1930’s sewing table. This table has been needing LOTS of love since it came to me. It was missing drawer rails and one of the side buckets was held on and together with duct tape; it was just sad.

Here She sat for months

Here She sat for months

So I did my favorite thing in the whole world; I stripped it!! For the first time in several weeks I was motivated! I went crazy!! In the same afternoon, I sanded and prepped it for painting. I was on a role! The next thing I know, I’m at the paint store buying paint. At this point the process slowed. It had been discussed that She (yes my sewing table is a she) would be gray to match the rest of the apartment. Yet for some reason I just couldn’t bare to paint her a drab color. So I walked out with a secret surprise!

Next stop was my work because she needed new hardware. I had 6 different sets picked out when I saw THEM!! The most perfect 1930’s flower shaped crystal pulls! Yes, I spend more money on the hardware than I did on the table, but every girl needs bling! 😉

This is just PART of what I went through

This is just PART of what I went through

The ones I ended up with

The ones I ended up with

She needed to be painted or at least started before Dan got home so he could not talk me out of the color…

Four days from the start of my first project here is my “little ray of sunshine”!

tada

tada

:)

🙂