Friday, April 23, 2010

One Very Special Chair

I had been wanted my own adorable metal chair for quite awhile, when one day last fall my sister and I passed a huge pile of trash at the end of someone's driveway. Low and behold, there sat a dirty, musty, tan and orange metal chair. I almost stopped, but lost my courage. It probably had a broken leg anyway. I dropped my sister off at work, and then headed to the office, passing the chair again... I saw it freshly painted in clean white, with a pretty blue seat that would go in the blue and yellow and white kitchen I'd always wanted. It would be the chair my children sat on while they talked to me as I made them chocolate chip cookies, or the "helping chair" for the little cherub who wanted to help mommy stir the pancake batter Saturday morning. I thought all day about that chair, and imagined the certain doom it faced as it got carried to the dump, wasted, instead of reused. And then, for no reason really, except that I know I can be rather ridiculous at times I prayed that God would let the chair stay so I could keep it. I laughed out loud at myself as soon as I whispered that prayer under my breath, but it was done, and I did rather hope my silly little prayer would come true.

Five o'clock finally came and driving back through town to get my sister I passed that same house again, and there in the front yard was the huge pile of trash, and that old, ugly chair. I squealed with delight and shouted a "Thank-you Jesus!" and picked up my sister as fast as I could. Then, I jumped out like a maniac and threw my new found treasure into the back of the suburban, with a stupid smile on my face. We laughed half the way home.

Sadly, the chair then sat in the garage all the rest of fall, and all through winter, untouched. My mom wondered aloud a couple times if anything would ever happen to it. But it's spring now, and the fresh blossoming crab-apple trees, and the abundance of dandelions in the front yard remind me that brown ugly things don't have to stay that way forever. :) 
See the gross seat, and the rusty legs? There were even cobwebs and food stains underneath. **gags** (I wore gloves when I cleaned it)

So, I honestly like to cut corners. I don't always like to do things in the most thorough way. So when I asked my dad for a can of white spray paint I had every intention of just shaking the can, and spraying over the chair, seat and all. Surely it would look better than it did. It was just a dumpster chair anyway. But my dad, the engineer, steered me very far from that route, and handed me a screw driver and two pieces of sandpaper. So, with a sigh I took off the seat and then we set to work sanding down the rough spots, paint chips and gross food stains and rust. Then he told me I had to wait until it was at least 70 degrees outside to spray paint it. So, my 15 minute project turned into a three day ordeal, but I ended up learning a whole lot more, and got a better finished product in the end. Dad even told me it "looks really great." :-D

But when I got to use the heavy-duty staple gun to recover the seat (which I scrubbed thoroughly with hot water and disinfectant) I felt pretty cool.

The stiff linen that I covered it in was a goodwill find from awhile back. The only money I had to put into this little project was a new bottle of spray paint (which I'm keeping for future projects!). All the extra work really paid off. It looks fresh and new.

When I said I was going to take pictures of the chair, Aliza thought that it would be a good opportunity to get some pictures of herself. ;)

She loved it though. My four youngest siblings watch me through the whole process. When it was finally done they all had to try it out. This morning Nolan (7) came downstairs and asked if it would be alright if he used my chair to sit on while he read. He was so happy when I told him yes. I hope lots more happy little kids sit in this chair. :)

And that's the longest story about a little metal chair that you've ever read.

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