Oilcloth Patio Set Makeover | Mint Green Sewing Machine: Oilcloth Patio Set Makeover

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Oilcloth Patio Set Makeover



I'm so excited to finally share this project with you! I bought this set at a local thrift shop almost a year ago for just $15! I fell totally in love with the adorable ice-cream shop vibe and snapped it up as soon as I saw it (even though I could barely fit it in my car!). It's been in our garage ever since, until I finally decided to tackle it a few weeks ago when I decided to give our backyard a little makeover. This isn't exactly a DIY, but I'll show you in detail how I re-did this set in case you'd like to do the same to your own patio furniture.


All of the pieces needed a lot of work! The wood was almost completely rotted out of all of the seats and the tabletop was missing altogether. There was a ton of rust on all of the unpainted parts, though luckily the metal is still solid and nothing was actually rusted through. My dad was nice enough to cut a new tabletop and chair seats out of plywood for me, and he even helped me get all of the rusty bolts out of the chairs with lots of WD-40, a wrench, and a vice (no easy task!).
After the pieces were cut out I headed to Beverly's in San Luis Obispo to pick out some oilcloth to cover it all with. I thought using oilcloth would be simple, inexpensive, and easy to switch out if I get the inclination. They have an awesome selection of oilcloths there and it was really hard to choose just one. In the end I decided on this pink rose print. I bought two and a half yards and that was more than enough to cover all of the pieces. I even used a 40% off coupon, so I came in at around $16 for all of it. Not bad!
I sprayed all of the metal pieces with a coat of spray paint to cover all of the rust (I used a 2-in-1 paint and primer and it covered really well). I replaced all of the carriage bolts too, and gave their tops a coat of white paint to match. I stuck them in a piece of cardboard to make sure I didn't get paint on the threads.
I used a staple gun to attach the oilcloth to the undersides of the table and chairs.
Though covering the tabletop went smoothly, I had to use thin 1/4 inch plywood for the chair seats and as a result, the staples went all the way through when I went to cover them. After a fruitless trip to Home Depot, (where I realized there were no shorter staples) I thickened them by adding a layer of cardboard to the undersides of all of the chairs. Problem solved!
Re-assembling all of the chairs proved to be quite a task. As you can see in the spray-painting picture, the back pieces really sprung out when they were detached from the seats. Bending the pieces back into position and putting the bolts back in was a two-person job that we will not be doing again for a long time if we can help it!
I'm so happy with how this project turned out! It was totally worth all of the hard work. I can't wait to sit out on our back porch all with a coffee book all summer long!  Now I'm itching to have a BBQ to show off my new patio set!

What summer projects are you working on?


15 comments:

  1. That turned out GORGEOUS! I love the oil cloth, very nostalgic. I did a way less ambitious project on the blog today, an easy lamp diy :D

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    1. Thanks Van! I'm pretty excited about it. I loved your lamp project too! I'm gonna have to try that one of these days :)

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  2. That is beautiful! I love the look and versatility of oilcloth. Great job!

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  3. So awesome!!! You did a really great job! The fabric you chose gives the whole set such a whimsical fun feeling.
    I'm not working on anything quite that big, just little projects here and there. This kind of makes me want to take on something bigger though...

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    1. Thanks! I loved your metal patio chairs!

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  4. This is great! Thanks for the step by step instructions, I would have been worried to take the whole thing apart. It appears to be quite a job, and the results are fabulous. I will have to look at old metal furniture in a different light. It can clean up beautifully and is quite sturdy and functional still.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was actually a pretty simple job, other than it being physically hard to take out the old bolts and put the new ones in. I think it was all worth it in the end though! Hope you can find some cool old furniture to fix up too :)

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  5. oh my goodness! those are lovely and I love the oil cloth you picked out--I have ONE chair and I might just recover it after this post!

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    1. Thanks! If you do re-cover it I'd love to see how it turns out!

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  6. It all turned out so well, it looks fabulous in person and in photos. You are the DIY queen!

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    1. Thanks! And you are the cute photo queen!

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  7. Your furniture looks great! Checkout our website OilclothByTheYard.com we have the largest variety of Oilcloth available and the best rates by the roll!

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  8. Omg I'm so in love wi this patio set! I wish I could steal it for myself lol. You have done an amazing job. Love it!

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