I have vintage patio furniture that needs restoration. A garage sale bargain: 12 “regular” chairs, 2 gliders, 2 chaise lounges, and a large table, all matching, for $50! Nothing like being green and giving these pieces a new life, right?
So, my husband and I went to a “famous brand” home improvement store the other day to pose some intelligent questions to people who, unfortunately, don’t know anything about the products they sell! Sorry to say this, but several years ago, it appeared to me then that the employees at the big boxes could indeed answer your DIY questions.
It wasn’t rocket science: I simply wanted to know if there was a spray paint that would stick both on vinyl and metal. All the vinyl slats on these chairs are in good condition, and really don’t need to be replaced, but alas, the metal is not.
The first fellow I asked told me to tape off the vinyl slats. Sure, there’s only at least 24 of them per chair, hmmm, times 16, equates to a time-consuming proposition. I said no, that’s not an option. He immediately grabbed a canister of spray point and started reading the fine print on the back, looking for that golden nugget hidden in the directions that would make me go away.
Alas, the nugget wasn’t there; so he put a call in to another “expert” in the store. Funny but this guy wouldn’t speak directly to me; he used helpful employee #1 as a go-between! I noticed that we both spoke fluent English, however, perhaps he heard a sampling of my Jersey accent, and this being California, my diction may have been alien to him.
My husband shot a “you’ve got to be kidding” look at me. I shot back an “oh, be hopeful” stare, complete with eyes that pleaded “have a little patience”. I wasn’t ready to give up hope…yet.
Well, hope went out the window. Helpful home improvement store employee #2 gave me a once-over, and deciding that I was insane, boldly spoke to me without going through his buffer. “The only solution is to remove the vinyl slats. Vinyl slats are flexible, they move, unlike plastic. Paint will chip off because of movement. You said plastic, but they’re actually vinyl slats.”
Oh. Good point. When you put your fanny on them, yes indeed, they flex. But hey, doesn’t plastic “flex” too? Guess it doesn’t.
I walked out of there with my head hanging down. Defeated. And all I want to do is restore and reuse. And do it myself. For now, those chairs will remain in the garage. Maybe I’ll call Steve the powder coating guy. And order new slats on-line, pre-cut, no less. My $50 bargain just had another zero added to it. Sigh.