33. Restore An Antique

22 Jun

287121c23f4add6acef66590f2bcf8beI am so excited to post that I have completed another item on my bucket list! My mom had bought an old 1950s/1960s era chair/step stool combo at a garage sale. Its red, rusty, and beat up pretty significantly.

This chair was always intended to be used for the “one day” grand-kids at the dinner table, and now that my nephew is here, this chair is his. Granted he is still too small to sit on it on his own but time goes by really quickly and being summer, it is the perfect time to be outside working on a project such as this.

I started by taking before photos of the chair, both for a before and after photo but also so I would have an idea how to get the chair back together. Then I used pliers and a screwdriver and took the chair completely apart. I put all of the nuts and bolts into a zip lock bag and separated the parts that would need to be painted from the parts that needed to be recovered in vinyl and finally that parts that would stay chrome.

Before Photo

Before Photo

Pile of all the parts! "Yikes! What did I just get myself into?!"

Pile of all the parts! “Yikes! What did I just get myself into?!”

I cleaned all of the parts so they were free from dust before painting. I purchased an approved for metal, outdoor spray paint as well as a glossy clear coat finish spray. This chair will stay indoors but it’s going to be abused I’m sure I want to protect it the best I can.

While these parts were drying I used the 1 yard of vinyl I purchased from Joann Fabrics to cover the seat back and the seat base, setting these items aside as they were done until the reassemble.

Miracle Naval Jelly

Miracle Naval Jelly

The biggest part to this project was removing the rust from all the chrome parts. I purchased a bottle of Naval Jelly from Lowes, near the paint section. Do this outside, its messy! While wearing gloves and using a rag you wouldn’t mind throwing away apply liberal amounts of the jelly all over the parts that need rust removed.  Leave to set for 15-20 minutes and come back and scrub the rust a bit, adding more jelly and letting it sit a while longer. I had a LOT of rust to remove so I did this at least 10 times until I was satisfied with the result. Once you’re happy with the amount of rust removed use a clean rag and the garden hose of clear water, no soap, to get all of the remaining jelly off.


Legs soaking in Naval Jelly

Take the bag of rusty nuts and bolts into Lowes (or whatever hardware store) and ask for help choosing new nuts and bolts that are identical to the ones you took off.  I suggest getting lock tight bolts they won’t ever loosen on you, as well as stainless everything so it won’t rust in the future. This way everything looks shiny, new, and uniform.

I also used Goo Gone to get some gummed up rubber off the steps before I painted them, and then cleaned everything with Clorox wipes to make sure there was so oil residue left or naval jelly.

With the rust removed from the chrome, the colored parts repainted, and the seat parts recovered now you’ve reach the reassemble part of the project.

I’ll be honest I got this chair put back together just to realize I put two of the legs in the wrong place and had to take the whole thing back apart to fix it. So try to pay attention to what you’re putting where.



The finished Product!!

Things you’ll need to buy:

  1. Outdoor, metal approved spray paint
  2. Glossy clear coat spray
  3. Naval Jelly
  4. Rubber Gloves
  5. Replacement nuts and bolts
  6. Vinyl
  7. Goo Gone
  8. Rubber to replace the rubber on the step part if you can’t reuse the original

Steps to restoring the Cosco chair:

  1. Before photo!
  2. Purchase materials listed above
  3. Take completely apart
  4. Alternate between spray painting, removing rust and changing the vinyl as the paint dries and the jelly does its thing
  5. Clear coat spray the painted parts
  6. Reassemble
  7. After photo!
Before, and After!

Before, and After!



4 Responses to “33. Restore An Antique”

  1. laurie August 8, 2017 at 11:49 PM #

    How did you match the vinyl with the paint so well ? Nice job !

    • jamielynnneal August 9, 2017 at 5:49 AM #

      Luck honestly! I bought a paint color I liked first and then went to Joann Fabrics; they have a pretty good size selection of vinyl. It really was just luck that I got it as close as I did.


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