Bistro Love – Before and After

I introduced you to a charming bistro set here. And it was pretty cute then.

Chippy but cute

 The problem beyond the chipping paint is that it had begun to rust.  Our favorite method of stripping paint from metal is a wire wheel on a drill and just a few days ago I purchased a whole set of wire wheels to help refinish this bell. 

Black and Decker Wire Wheels

 Get it? A whole set of wire wheels to refinish A BELL! Really I was getting someone (Hi, Charlie) prepared to strip the entire bistro set so I could repaint it.

Last night Charlie got started with his new wheel set. (He loves a new tool and a whole set is even better.)

Electric drill with wire brush attachment

 There are a lot of little curlicue places on the chairbacks so Charlie also used our Dremel tool with a little coarse wire brush to get into the tight spaces.  That worked well but is very time consuming as in “Don’t try to Dremel the entire chair or you’ll be here six months from now”.

Dremeling the curlicues

 Here’s one of the chairs after being wired.

Bistro Chair stripped of loose paint

 Once the metal is stripped fairly clean (it need not be totally devoid of paint, but everything chipping or flaking must be removed) I sprayed dark grey primer onto the chairs and table.  I started with the underside. (I stuck circles of painters’ tape on the bottom of the feet so the plastic slides would not have paint on them.)

Self-etching primer used on the undersides

 Then I flipped everything over and gave it a couple of good coats on the top. I could have stopped here because I really like the color of the primer, a medium dark grey with a slight greenish cast.

Primed Bistro Chair

  After letting the primer dry for 24 hours, I pulled out my new favorite color of spray paint:  Metallic Charcoal by Rustoleum.  It has just a hint of sparkle and more depth than traditional black. I coated everything with 3-5 light layers of the  finish color.

Metallic Charcoal Bistro Chair in the morning light

 Again I started on the underside.  Then flipped everything over making sure every nook and cranny was painted. (This took about a can and a half of paint.)


 In a couple places the paint started to drip a little bit so, while it was still wet, I touched is lightly with a rag which removed the excess paint.  Then I sprayed it lightly in those spots to restore the sheen. The photos show the lovely, restrained sheen of this paint: akin to gun-metal.

 Everything dried for at least 24 12 hours before we replaced the glass on the table and the pale green cushions. (Not sure we’re going to stick with the pale green but for now that’s what we have.) Of course, it also rained all night on the newly painted set!

Bistro Set - Before

 Ta -dah! Voila!

Bistro Set - After

 From another angle

Bistro Set - Finished

 Detail of chair .  .  .

Bistro Chair - Metallic Charcoal

 When the house renovation is complete, this set will move to the east side of the house onto a second-story porch where it will get the dappled morning sun. 

In place until the renovation

 Now it’s time to enjoy!

Morning Coffee at the Bistro

 Have you finished a satisfying project recently? Or has it been way too long?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

7 thoughts on “Bistro Love – Before and After”

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