Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to spray paint (kind of)

About six years ago my buddy Zoe gifted me with a fun little metal bistro table and little metal and wood matching chairs. She thought I might like this hand-me-down for my one-bedroom apartment's balcony, and she was right. It was the perfect size.

Fast forward to home ownership, and that table started to look a little silly by itself on our significantly larger deck. We bought a full-size patio set, and the bistro table became a side table/glorified plant stand.

Updating this table and chairs has been on my to do list for about three years, but last week I finally got around to making some updates, namely spray painting.

Here's the table before...note the rust and gray-blue color that doesn't exactly match our bright flowers and umbrella on our deck.

So I read online about what to do, and every site I visited recommended investing in a wire brush to help remove rust. I am pleased to report that I used my DIY intuition to track down the wire brush section of Home Depot without asking anyone for help. I figured they'd be near the sanding materials, and there they were! I left the store with my $5.97 wire brush and two cans of Rust-oleum Keylime spray paint at $3.44 each.

I laid down a tarp and went to work trying to tackle the rust. It was not an easy task, but it was in the same genre as picking dried glue off the outside of an Elmer's bottle, something I loved as a kid, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. (Also, notice all the grass in the backyard! All but a couple little patches are completely filled in! VICTORY!)

But then it got old quickly. I hit a wall and I could not easily remove any more paint or rust, and my thumb really hurt from the injury Maxwell inflicted on me a few weeks ago. So I decided it was time to paint. After all, this table will spend its days covered by a giant planter, so I don't necessarily have to strive for perfection.

If you're new to spray painting, you should know that it's critical to keep the can about 6 to 12 inches from the surface you're painting. It's also important to move the can in sweeping motions, never keeping the paint spraying on one area for more than a second. Here's a perfect YouTube video by Rust-oleum that illustrates exactly what I'm talking about. (I couldn't believe there was a video out there about spray painting metal bistro furniture...)

A short time later, I had an almost new (and exceptionally bright) bistro set. Yes, the paint color is bright, I realize, and I am not convinced I love it, but it's better than how it looked before. That table was on its last leg. As my friend Zoe said this weekend when she was visiting, "That table was on its last leg when I gave it to you years ago." Well played.

I even managed to finally repot that hydragena I bought at Costco last month. Notice how the planter from Home Depot ($19.98) and the spray paint are the exact same color. It's made by a company called Southern Patio, which makes these high-density resin planters, and they've got some cute, summery stuff.

Now I'm ready for this latest cold front and rain to go away so we can eat on our deck, but at least we enjoyed it this weekend when company came to visit!

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