Butterfly Chair Makeover

Modfrugal Butterfly Chair Rehab

I have been picking up BFK/Hardoy, aka butterfly chairs for years, and they are showing some wear, plus the last pair I acquired were peeling and rough. While I would still like to get them sandblasted and powder coated, that will cost hundreds of dollars, and I wanted a down and dirty rehab before our last movie night that wouldn’t cost much more than time.

Sanding with 100, then 200 grit sandpaper and spray painting them a flat black did the trick, but my biggest concern was the feet. I finally re-stained our decking, and I didn’t want the metal chairs to leave rust stains on the fresh new finish as they had previously.

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

This is what I had all over the deck before I gave it a top coat….


Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

Annoying, right? The CC thinks I have unrealistic expectations of the deck, when I point out these things, he laughs and says – “It’s a deck, not the hardwood floors!”

No, it’s not, but it doesn’t mean I want our barely 4 year old deck to look trashy already..K?

Modfrugal Deck Rehab

So I did my thing. I had to pressure wash it a second time since our summer was so wet, all the gunk I had washed off this Spring was back, and it took quite a bit of the stain with it.

For those wondering why we stained the deck rather than let it age naturally – we salvaged wood from our previous deck when this one was built, so we had sections of different age etc.. The boards would never look uniform as a whole area, so we stained it for both a cohesive aesthetic, and a way to reflect sunlight in the hot Tennessee summers.

Back to the chairs!

So, my dilemma was that I needed some kind of foot, or moisture barrier for these chairs. I have seen feet where you have to drill into the base of the chair – um, NO, and I don’t actually want to SEE any feet, because I’m picky like that.

So we thought we were pretty darn clever, and decided the best solution was to put black silicone on the bottom of the chairs.

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

Awesome!!! After sitting in them for a day, we peeked underneath and this is how it had settled in! Problem solved. Now we can start working on something else, like FINISHING THE PANTRY.

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

WRONG. After a few more days and a little dragging around, this is what the feet looked like….

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

Back to the start. Then I had another bright idea -  for real, this one might work, maybe.

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

So we scraped the remaining shreds of silicone off and had a dipping party – twice. Two coats for good luck.

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

Modfrugal Butterfly Rehab

I’m in love. How has it taken me this long to discover the joy that is Plasti-Dip? I want to dip ALL THE THINGS. They have a spray version and I am seriously considering using it on…something, anything, I don’t know, but I’ll find something.

Anyway, it is doing just the job I wanted. It is sturdy enough to handle some light dragging and both deck and chair stay protected. The BEST part is that you really have to look hard to see it, and for resale value etc.. Plasti-dip is completely removable. YES, you read that right. How is it holding up? Why, let me show you….


Modfrugal Butterfly Chair Rehab

Yup. Aaaaand is it noticeable when you look at the chairs?

Modfrugal Butterfly Chair Rehab

You tell me? I’m giddy, GIDDY I tell you.

This will come in handy for all hairpin legged furniture. Protecting hardwood floors, anything – you get the idea.

I should also mention that I ordered new covers from D & J Patio – white “space weave” designed for outdoors. About $20 less than the ones at Circa 50 BUT, they only come in one size. They fit the largest frames the best and we might take in the seam a smidge on our lower set frame covers. I just couldn’t face spending $60+ shipping per chair when I needed 6 new covers.

Another tidbit to know is that they are SLOOOOOOOOW to ship, so establish their stock availability before you order for a particular event. (ours came a full MONTH after ordering). With all that in mind, I am pleased with the quality of the covers and think they are going to work out just fine.


Modfrugal Butterfly Chair Rehab

Modfrugal Butterfly Chair Rehab

Modfrugal Butterfly Chair Rehab

Keller Chairs

The Keller chairs were finished up this weekend and I think they turned out great. To those who thought I should have kept the pink velvet, the photos didn’t really show how stained they were. Trust me on this one!


The pink was truly gross up close and I’m sorry I didn’t capture it better.




There were a lot of staples in these babies (aren’t there always?) so I made a magnetic sculpture out of them to amuse myself amid the drudgery of removing them.




These were in great shape structurally, so a little fresh batting and fabric was all that was needed. THAT makes a nice change.






We don’t need them, so I’ve listed these on Craigslist. I’m not putting them on e-bay for a few more days. While I haven’t seen any currently for sale by Keller in this particular style, I did see this Keller chair for sale:



Here on Etsy

I’m offering two for the price of her one!


I’ve been Instagramming, but not blogging…again. That’s why I set up the tweets to import a weekly post, so those Instagram photos are available here as a post instead of just in the sidebar. Do we like this, or notsomuch?

Would you rather I perdiodically post the photos as a recap on the blog, or is the weekly tweet recap good enough? This is a poll, without my having to activate a poll plug-in, so I’ll be looking for some piping up from you fine people.

Here’s just a very little of what’s been going on…some have been on Instagram and some never quite made it.

We had another evening of treehouse glamping, where there might have been a jedi lightsaber show.

I don’t know anything about editing and resizing video, or I’d show you some moves, but the file is too big to upload here.

The lightcube glowing through the treehouse window was our nightlight.

Otto spent half an hour staring down this deer one day, and will watch them as long as they hang around. He seems cool with them, and doesn’t bark often. It’s the chipmunks that seem to piss him off.


These are two projects currently in progress.  The CC is building a firewood shelter/shed which will also hide our ugly air conditioning units when finished.

I am working on a pair of Keller chairs. The CC doesn’t think I am we are ready for the living room chairs yet, since the bottoms might be a bit complicated for newbies like us.

Otherwise it’s been cooking, digging, mulching, weeding and hanging by campfires. Y’know,  springtime stuff.

One of our favorite farmers markets opened today, so that makes us happy…but the humidity started to roll in this week, which makes us sad..and sweaty.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think about my attempts to integrate the different media. If you want to follow me on Instagram, I’m @modfrugal, same as Twitter.


Becks and Bieber

They’re done, and they have attitude.

Let’s take a step back to see where we started.

If you remember, the frame was broken, so the CC cobbled it back together like a pro.

How many celebrities have furry chair namesakes?

You’re welcome, David Beckham and Justin Bieber.


…and Bieber

Otto photobomb!

They are for sale here. Once it gets too hot to work outside much, we’ll get started on those other chairs.

UPDATE: I have heeded your advice and re-shot he chairs in the dining room…and raised the price to $300. It was a LOT of work, for the CC especially.


While Craigstweeting today, I found something I couldn’t resist.


WHAT?! More chairs? Ummm…Yes.

*holds head in shame*

As for rehab- it’s mostly surface rust, so I brought out my trusty and crusty friends to help.


Once I got to work, I found a few spots that required the cola treatment. Sigh. That just added another hour to the job. The not-leather, but pleather had only one tiny nick on the backside, so yeah for that!


They cleaned up pretty well!

Currently, they are in the dining room heading up the table. I’ve now got my Burke/Saarinen knock offs as side chairs ever since the galvanized ones have moved outside.


I’ve been hunting for the perfect set of 8 Baughman beauties for almost 2 years now, but those don’t come cheap, so patience is been a virtue I must pretend to have.

Have a great weekend!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that while I was in Brimfield last Summer, I fell for a pair of these, but they were $495 for the pair.




To Do: Cure Table Woes

I have table woes. One of the only pieces of furniture in this whole entire house that was purchased new, has failed me.

Am I shocked? Not really.

Am I resentful? Absolutely.

Our dining room table was bought on sale at Pottery Barn, and I think I know why the clearance price was so good. The finish has the life span of a fly. It’s called Sandrift Gray and it started chipping only 6 months after we got it. Now, this is what we see all over…little nicks and chips.


I contacted Pottery Barn right away when the first nicks appeared to see if they sold a touch up kit or something that would match the finish…NO. So now I throw a canvas dropcloth over it if I have guests coming because it’s at the point now where it’s just looking…shabby.


I love the lines…I wanted a Parson’s table, and still do, plus it has a leaf, so that we can seat 10-12 for special occasions.  I want to fix the table finish, but how?  The “finish” is textured, as you might be able to tell in the photos. Because of that, an opaque paint color might highlight the chips in the texture. If I did some kind of overglaze, would that be enough to hide it? I don’t know that I have it in me to sand off the finish completely and start over…but it’s a last ditch option. I tried a silver paint pen on one spot that I promptly wiped off…sigh.

This will be a big project either way and I’m open to suggestions on how to hide these blemishes…I don’t want to have to live with tablecloths forever.