Pretty in Plastic

I once had the brilliant (NOT!) idea of buying a little white patio set for my backyard. It’s just one of those inexpensive plastic sets that have stackable chairs and usually come in either white, green or red and has a round little table with a hole in the center for an umbrella. I bought a white set because I figured it would be neutral enough not to clash with my flowers. It looked lovely for about a week or so but then dust, wind and rain began to take their toll. The table and chairs ended up with a coat of grime that was all but impossible to remove. I tried scrubbing them with laundry detergent and a scrub brush. I tried degreaser. I even tried spraying them with bleach and letting them soak in it overnight. Nothing could remove the stuck on grime that seemed to have become part of the set itself. I was about to throw them out when I remembered that I had several full cans of brightly colored spray paint. It couldn’t hurt to try and they certainly would be no worse off than they were to begin with.

A glimpse of the patio set in it's "white" state.

Before spray painting them I tried to wash down the table and chairs again but it was practically impossible to eliminate the black stains. Even though the chairs were quite clean, the stains remained. For some reason my kitties insisted on walking all over the freshly washed chairs and getting their muddy little paw prints on them.

This is how my patio set looked after several years of wind, dust and rain

Among my stash of spray paint cans I had blue, yellow and green all left over from my painted barstools project.  It was difficult to choose just one color. I loved them all! So decided to use them all. I painted each chair a different color, and I painted the table turquoise.

I painted one of the chairs purple. It needed three coats of paint. Here it is after just one coat

Another chair was painted bright green. Again, three coats were necessary, this picture was taken after the first coat was sprayed on.

I found that in order to completely cover any traces of the stains on the table and chairs, I had to use three coats of spray paint on each.  That did the trick.  However, I didn’t want this to look like a kindergaarten school set for toddlers so I decided to make seat cushions for each chair using a bright fabric that contained all the colors of the spray paints I’d used. I figured that if I gave them all matching seat cushions that would serve as a unifying factor which would tie them all together.  First I cut a carboard pattern that was roughly the shape of the chair’s seat. Then I cut out a piece of 1-inch thick sponge using the same pattern. Lastly I cut the fabric as well, folding it in half so that I’d have a top and bottom for the cushion and leaving approximately one inch extra all around the cut edges for seam allowance.

I cut the sponge and the fabric the same shape as the seats. I left approximately a one inche seam allowance on the three edges that were cut (not on the folded edge) this also allowed room for the fullness of the 1 inch thick sponge piece.

I also added two ties made of the same fabric, to the back of each cushion so that they could be tied on and secured to the back of the chairs and they would not be blown away by the wind.

Now I have to decide what color umbrella to buy for the center. That's going to be difficult. There's so many colors to pick from.....

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