As promised, here’s the step-by-step for making over your very own crummy plastic Adirondack chairs into something fun and unique. We had some of the classic “computer monitor beige” chairs that were leftover from our past lives in Santa Fe where you just get used to everything being brown. Somehow, all brown stuff just doesn’t fly now that we’re back in Portland, so red and blue polka dot chairs seem much more appropriate. We’re really enjoying our new and improved chairs. Hope you have fun with this!
1. Locate some old plastic Adirondack chairs, and clean them well (you don’t what to immortalize old cobwebs). We’d suggestion first looking in your garage (everyone seems to have some of these sitting around). If you don’t have any, check garage sales, dumpsters and/or sales at Target. They’re cheap. And comfy. And pretty damn ugly.
2. Get yourself two cans of contrasting colors of Krylon Fusion for Plastics spraypaint; this will makeover one chair. You must use this type of paint. Anything else, you’ll have a huge mess on your hands. It takes one can of each color, per chair, more or less. For some reason, neither Lowe’s or Home Depot carries this brand; we found it at Fred Meyer, and hardware stores seem to have it too. They have a ton of colors, including some new, intriguing-looking metallics. Avoid the new textured spray paint for this project—the stickers would likely grab onto the texture and destroy all your hard work.
3. Get some weird foam stickers. We got our in the “foam” section at Michaels. They have all sorts of shapes and sizes—stars, letters, monkeys, you name it. You could use regular stickers, too, but these will make your life easier in the long run. So go with the foam ones, assuming that the foam section of the craft store doesn’t scare you too much. (Consider yourself warned.)
4. Move your chairs to a well-ventilated area, and lay out a drop cloth. Or do as we did and use the yard and just mow the lawn afterward. We’d suggest following the safety precautions on the can of Fusion. Don’t breath this stuff, okay!
5. Select your color that you want to have as the dots (or whatever shape you’re using). So if you want a red chair with blue dots, select your blue paint.
6. Spray your chair with the base color. You don’t need to be thorough, but you do need to make sure that you’ve got good coverage of the area that you want dots on. When you’re done, it should look like the photos below.
See how we just focused on getting a good coat on the places we planned on having dots? The nature of this paint means that you don’t have to worry about having even coats at this point.
7. Let dry. The can suggests waiting an hour before adding a second coat, and that’s what we did, which turned out fine.
Now the fun begins…
8. Take your “foamies” (we were not aware they had a name until we googled “foam stickers” to write this tutorial), and stick them randomly all over the parts of the chair that you’ve painted. Stick them on firmly. We had a few that weren’t stuck on solidly, and we got slightly funky results. A nice random scatter works well. We used around 20 medium-sized stickers for each chair, but it really depends on your preferences and the look you want. Your chairs should now look like this:
9. Take your contrasting can of spray paint and completely coat your chair, stickers and all. Give it a nice thick, even coat so that there’s none of the previous color or original plastic showing.
10. Let dry. Wait at least an hour. It dries to touch really quickly, but takes some time to set.
Now even more fun…
11. Start peeling. This is why the foam stickers work so well. Because they’re very thick, it’s easy to grab them and pull them off the chair. They should lift right off. It there’s any foam left behind after you peel off the stickers, don’t worry—it rubs right off with your fingers.
12. Voila! Let these set for a week before you use them. The Krylon Fusion needs to cure. The colors will also deepen. After a week, you can clean them like any other plastic, if they get dirty. (We suggest a garden hose.)
Enjoy! There are more pictures over at this Flickr photo set, too. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section!
~Sarah & Josh