May 10

Deck Out my Deck: RED chairs

deck out my deck

Today I am sharing with you one of the most dramatic makeovers EVER on The Experimental Home. Ha.  I crack myself up. There isn’t a lot of competition. But, I am super happy with how this one turned out.

Remember these sad chairs?

deck chairs

Well they have turned that frown upside-down.

red deck chair

They are drabby no more! 

I knew I wanted to paint them a bright color that both AMGP and I could live with and I didn’t want them to be too trendy, so I went with a nice bright red spray paint. I used a Valspar paint and primer in one spray paint, and it took several coats, but they came out beautiful.

That said, the process of spray painting these chairs was tragic… Let me tell you a story.

I decided to spray paint them while AMGP was out of town. I could get it done without being in his way, and he would come home to a lovely surprise (since he wasn’t totally on board with the idea of red chairs yet). That meant I would have to do the bulk of it at night after YMGP went to bed. So, in order to see, I would have to do it in the garage. No biggie, right?

I put drop cloths over everything in the line of fire and got started. Four cans of spray paint later I had gorgeous chairs, and a mess. Red paint powder covered pretty much everything in the garage. It settled out of the air onto EVERY surface. Including AMGPs car. It wiped off with a rag, and I went on cleaning. Except I didn’t realize that it didn’t totally wipe off. Uh oh. You can imagine how well that went down. Not well at all. It was kinda ugly, actually. 

A good scrubbing took off 99.5% of the redness. An afternoon of PROFUSE apologizing finally led to forgiveness. But a lesson was learned, and I want to share it with you. Never spray paint anything big in the garage. If you do spray paint in the garage, don’t put a drop cloth over a car you can move. 

Back to the red chairs. I tried to pick out fabrics for the cushions to compliment, but not overwhelm the pattern of the chair backs. I found these outdoor fabrics at Fabric.com and got a pretty good deal (this is not a sponsored post, BTW). As you can see in the picture above, the ivory colors are much more similar in real life than they appear in these swatches.
black and ivory stripe red dandilion

To make the new cushions, I simply took apart the old, really-dirty ones and used the old fabric as a pattern. Surprisingly, the actual padding was in really good shape. I had a picture of the dirty, grass stained fabric pinned to the new fabric ready to include in this post, but I decided to spare you the ugliness.

We also had, stashed away in a closet out of puppy-reach, two faded outdoor throw pillows.


I also took these apart and made new covers. I had initially intended to just cover the pillows, but the patterns showed through, and we can’t have that now, can we? Here is some proof that I actually got out my sewing machine for this project. I really like sewing, I should do it more often.


I tied the cushions to my new red chairs and fell in love. It makes me so happy to be in love with those chairs again. They are filled with fond memories of our little apartment deck and the big outdoor bashes we used to throw when we were younger and stupider. Now, they will also remind me of a BIG oops, and and the big heart of my wonderful husband who forgave me.


Please tell me there is someone else out there that has gotten spray paint on their husband’s car.


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  1. Lauren

    Wow. I love these. Red and black and white stripes are my favorite. I also have a similar painting story in the garage. I spray painted wire baskets in the garage and the whole garage still has red paint dust on everything. No car was in there though. My husband would have killed me I think if I did that. I am hosting a link party and would love it if you would link this up.


    1. Laura

      Thanks Lauren… that story makes me feel a little better. That spray paint dust really catches you off guard doesn’t it?

  2. the cape on the corner

    oh man, i love how fun and funky that is now!

    1. Laura

      Me too! They just look amazing in our backyard.

  3. Kim @ {enjoy the view}

    Oh my gosh! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! I would never have thought to do that. I have a cast iron bistro table w/ 2 chairs that sit on my front porch – and my front door is RED. Hmmm…they needed to be repainted this year anyway…

    Stopped by from Strut Your Stuff Saturday – thanks for sharing!!

    Kim @ {enjoy the view}

    1. Laura

      Hi Kim!
      I considered just giving them a fresh coat of black paint, but I am so glad I made the bolder decision. I bet a red bistro set would look amazing next to your front door… go for it!

  4. Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    Bless your heart, Laura! I probably would have DIED to have discovered red paint on one of our cars…but that’s totally something I could have easily done, too. In fact, I totally spray painted my most recent DIY project (the birthday and anniversary calendar) IN the garage right NEXT TO our white car. Gasp! What was I thinking? Hopefully it was a small enough project not to damage much around it…but I better check tomorrow morning. Anyway, enough about me….

    You, my dear, have done QUITE the transformation with these chairs. I love it all, from the bright bold red to the fabric you chose, to the addition of a pillow. All I want to do is settle my tush into one and have a coffee talk with you! Brava on your hard work!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Lauren. That makes me feel a bit better… but I hope your car is still all white.
      I think I will go have a cup of coffee outside and pretend that you are having one with me… wait is that creepy?

  5. T'onna

    The chairs look wonderful! I love red, black, & white together! Great color combo!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

    1. Laura

      Thanks T’onna! They look so cheery outside, I just love them. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  6. Krista @thehappyhousie

    They turned out amazingly! Great job, love the red with the stripe and your fun accent pillow!!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Krista!!! I love them. I am not a pro at mixing patterns, so I am glad that you like my attempt 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Katie Adams

    I absolutely love your redo! Your chairs look amazing! I would love for you to share this on my weekly link party Blog Stalking Thursday. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Katie! I am glad they are inspiring. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Britany@32turns

    Um….., I am in LOVE with how these chairs of yours turned out! Seriously, they are beautiful, great job girl!

    1. Laura

      Thanks so much Britany! I love them too. Now if only I could find the time to relax in one of them 🙂

  9. rita

    Love this makeover! The color and fabric is so great! If you get a chance, please share this on my linky party: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/05/sunday-link-party-7.html

    1. Laura

      Thanks Rita! And thanks for stopping by.

  10. Ginger@gingersnapcrafts.com

    Featuring YOU today! 🙂

    Ginger @ GingerSnapCrafts.com


    1. Laura

      Times 2!?!?! Thank you so much Ginger! I will put your button on both posts right away. Have a good one.

  11. Alicia

    I love the nautical theme! Great job!!

    1. Laura

      Thanks Alicia! Those chairs seriously make me happy every time I look outside!

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