a pair of motel chairs.

I showed you guys a terribly blurry photo of my haul from the Prospect Park sales last week.

I’m afraid this will have to do for a ‘before’ photo of the pair of motel chairs that I found there because I never took a better one.  It’s a bit hard to tell, but they were painted brown.  What’s with the brown anyway?  The planters I shared on Monday were originally brown too, but from an entirely different garage sale.

Anyway, I mainly snatched these up because they were super cheap and thus too good to pass up.  Once I got them home I realized I didn’t have a spot for them and would most likely sell them.

I knew I wanted to paint them, and I thought spray paint would be the easiest option.  Since I happened to have a bunch of black spray paint on hand, I decided to go black.  I also felt black would be a neutral choice that would sell well.

This is RustOleum Canyon Black in a satin finish.  And even with the satin finish I feel like they are just a bit too shiny for my taste.  Plus the sheen isn’t perfectly even, which bothers me.

But I went ahead and moved on anyway, adding one of my favorite stencils to the backs of the chairs.

I used my normal trick of stenciling in a color called Deep Taupe, which is actually a dark greige color but reads much lighter when used over black.  This worked beautifully on my baby grand …

But I think the sheen of the spray paint is messing with that combination.  At certain angles it’s hard to even tell that these chairs have a stencil on them.

I don’t know, maybe that subtlety works for them?

Or should I spray over them and try again with a lighter color?  or maybe a different stencil entirely?

It would be simple enough to do.

Or am I just being too critical of my own work (which has been known to happen)?

Go ahead and share your thoughts on that with me in a comment.

Fair warning though, I’m on the road today with my mom and sister.  My cell connection might be a bit spotty so I may not be responding to comments right away.  We are heading to South Dakota to visit my mom’s cousins for the 4th of July holiday.

Speaking of which, my simple staging of these photos was supposed to represent the holiday in question.

I’ve got the red, white and blue colors right, plus the Country Living American Style book.  But I have to laugh because I’ve paired it with French lemonade and a German stencil on the chairs.  What can I say?  I fully embrace all nationalities.

That being said, Happy 4th of July to my U.S. readers!

30 thoughts on “a pair of motel chairs.

  1. Love the chairs. The sheen is not bothering me at all, I think people will like it because it suggests that the finish is like enamel, therefor durable. The stencil is perfect, subtle but very classy. I wish I could buy them, but alas, the trip is too long.


  2. I think they are good as they are now. I am glad to learn what they are called. I grew up with chairs like this at my Grandparents house. In fact, I have a pair from my husband’s side of the family. They have sat in our back yard by the woods for years. They have been several colors before I got them. They are peeling and you can see they have been, orange, green, and I painted them white years ago. They look awful! Now you have me thinking of giving them a makeover! These chairs are comfortable, the gentle rocking is nice too!


    1. I was with one of my cousins yesterday and she mentioned memories of sitting in our grandparent’s backyard in ‘those metal chairs that bounced’ and I said ‘motel chairs!’ Yep, my grandparents had them too!


  3. I love motel chairs! I found one in my woods and also used spray paint. It’s a little rusted through on the seat, so it’s just decoration by the chicken coop 🙂 I love the black with the stencil and would definitely leave them as-is. Have fun on your trip! Is that where the farm is?


  4. The French is only too appropriate for our Independence day celebration, having been one of our earliest and certainly best allies during the AWI (American War of Independence).
    Germans creep in everywhere, so you got that covered appropriately , too!


    1. Hmmm. I didn’t really outline my process here did I? I did scrub these well with TSP substitute, rinsed well with the hose and let them dry. Then I added a coat of RustOleum black spray primer, then a couple of coats of the Satin finish Canyon Black. This results in a finish that is suitable for outdoor use with no need for additional protection.


  5. My honest opinion Q…and, seriously I adore you. I am not grooving on the black. The esthetic of the chairs deserves a green or white. And, I don’t feel it needs the stencil. The beauty is the line on the chair back. You lose that detail in the black and the stencil doesn’t help. But, I’m sure I will be outnumbered…I just think it would look cool in a bolder color and reminiscent of these chairs out along the Route 66 motel and pool/picnic area! Happy 4th!!


    1. I can totally see where you are coming from Kimberly. In addition, the black really will get lost if the chairs are placed in a shady spot. But if they are up against a white or light color house I think they will really pop. They also would look great on my three season porch with its black and white checkerboard floor. But if I had to do it all over again, would I choose black? Probably not.


  6. I have had issues with Rustoleum’s spray paints also! About 5 years ago I spray painted our vinyl shutters with “Satin” canyon black which came out so shiny I had to redo them with Flat instead, which to me was much more of a satin than flat. And just last week I used bright white spray paint which turned out very uneven. Spray paint is so much easier sometimes, but not when the finish turns out the wrong sheen or uneven, so I totally understand your frustration! From the photos, it’s hard to tell that are any issues, so I would just try to sell them as is. I think they are very cool!


  7. Love them as is! Very subtle and classy. Grew up with some of these at grandmas house. Wish I had a pair and maybe one of the benches in this style too! I know they will get snapped up right away. Have fun and enjoy the holiday!


    1. I remember my grandparents having these chairs, but I definitely can’t remember the color. I suspect my grandparents saw them strictly as utilitarian and never even thought about the color though.


  8. I really like this color and sheen!. Black is so classy and fitting for these chairs. Also, really like your Adirondack chairs that your neighbor Ken made! They are a great color too! Since you intend to sell these see what happens!
    Your garden is beautiful too,


  9. I say keep them as is and see if they sell. I like them. They probably are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I would see if they sell first before I repainted them. If you are going to keep them that’s a different story. 😊


    1. Nope, I’m not going to keep them. I realized that I just don’t have a good spot for them, nor would they get used much. What I really need are some collapsible chairs that we can bring out when we have more than 4 people for dinner on the deck, and they need to be small so we can squeeze them in at our square table (the chairs, not the people).


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