Tag Archives: vintage furniture

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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Pardon the projects…

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I was doing soooooooo good at not taking on another project until I’d completed one. Ok, lets be honest, I was doing soooooo good at not taking on another project until one was close to being finished OR I could find a place to hide one from Dan. Dan wants to send me to PA (projects anonymous), he thinks I need help. But I can prove to him otherwise! And I recently did.

After a giant melt down earlier this week about the state of the apartment and the fact the projects are (once again) taking over, I was positive I would NOT have another project until ONE WAS FINISHED!! But it must be said the Universe hates when I say that! Because not more than two days later I’m sneaking a project into the apartment. I have always wanted a coffee table/foot rest.  But I always go back and forth on if I have room for one. I have have several different ones in the space but nothing worked.

A secret bench with turned legs FINALLY came out of storage.  I have been eyeing this bench for almost 2 years and as soon as it came down it was in my car! The color was perfect! The distressed wood I love, in colors I love, and it was small and the perfect size for my house. I bring it in, set it down in the space and before I have a chance to say anything, Dan’s feet were up on the table and he goes on with his life.

The bench moments after entering the apartment

The bench moments after entering the apartment

Perfect! It’s a keeper!! And it was a simple fix! It only needed a new plywood bottom, 3″ foam, batting, and fabric for the cover (I wanted a POP of color and bold patters, Dan did not, so we compromised). The cats and Dan are happy and I can rub it in about how I DO finish projects!! Well, sometimes…

The fabric compromise

The fabric compromise

Must be a keeper

Wait I didn’t make a cat bench…

My finished product (though it will probably be a cat bench more often)

My finished product (though it will probably be a cat bench more often)