I am working on my patio and I am on a budget. IBUT I still want it super cute! I have a table coming from Overstock, but I was in dire need of cute outdoor chairs. My wish list for the chairs was the following- white, bamboo detail, affordable. So I checked out my favorite place for a good bargain find- Craigslist.
the best Craigslist find ever
And… Spoiler alert, I scored BIG time! It may be my best Craigslist find ever. Are you ready for this??? I found 4 vintage white bamboo chairs for $40!!! Here’s the listing:
I am going for a Palm Beach Chic vibe for this space, and wouldn’t you guess it, the chairs were in West Palm Beach in a little storage unit. The frames need a little love and the chair cushions were upholstered in yellow with ripped plastic covers, but they had good bones so I brought my babies home with me.
On the bottom of the chairs, there is a tag that says they are Ficks Reed chairs. I hadn’t heard of this furniture manufacturer, so I did a little research. They were established in 1885 and are know for their outdoor and wicker furniture. When they were their most popular in the 1940’s-1960’s, they teamed up with Interior designers (like Dorthy Draper) to produce designer lines.
In top quality, these chairs have are valuable. But the more scratches and nicks, the lower the price (like mine). The Ficks Reed company went out of business in 2011 so their vintage furniture is starting to get more valuable. I think I got a great deal and it was fun for me to learn more about them.
As you can see by my mood board above, I wanted pink cushions. I could buy fabric and reupholster them OR I realized that I could use chalk paint (that I already owned!!!) and try painting the cushion pink.
diy- how to update chair cushions with chalk paint
Step one- remove the chair cushion from the frame. Give it a good cleaning
Step two- water down your chalk paint so its a little less thick (but not too runny). Use your paint brush and evenly brush it on for a thin first coat.
Step three- let your first coat dry. If needed, sand down any rough edges. Finish up by painting a second coat on.
That’s it! The finish cushion is a little stiffer than before, but it doesn’t crack when you sit on it. This is BY FAR the most economical way to change the color of fabric! I was fine doing it on these chairs because it was a low risk test since the chairs were so cheap and if it didn’t work out, I could recover the chairs in new fabric.
If you have a chair you love a little more, I’d test the paint is a less conspicuous place first before committing.
You’re getting a little sneak peek of the accessories I’ll be using on my patio! That pineapple canister and those palm candlesticks! Next week the walls are getting finished and after that, we’ll tackle the tile. I’m redoing my patio as part of the One Room Challenge and its been so fun to do a totally new space!
I LOVE the idea that you can paint over fabric to give it a little update! I have a whole post here with more tips on updating outdoor furniture if you need more ideas. Pretty much, if you like the shape of patio furniture, there are lots of options for how to update the furniture to make it how you’d like.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.