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

All Decked Out

…and nowhere to go.

They built the back deck at the same time as the wood front steps, but I never showed you the back because I wanted to get it all stained and stylin’ for ya.  I honestly don’t know when that is going to happen…so…there.

It rains every weekend that I try to rent the pressure washer to clean the old sections of deck.  When it’s dry, the oak tassels keep falling into the stain…freaking annoying.  I managed to get those front steps stained by some miracle reprieve in nature…and they aren’t even finished…just good enough for a distance photo!

Here’s where we are….or were, and are, this week.

This was taken during inspection….that corner where the hose is?  My nemesis.  We’ve been grading that with mud etc.. to keep water from pooling there, despite the french drains.  Today’s downpour showed us we were FINALLY successful.  WAH freakin’ HOO!  I was hoping for Madonna-esque guns after all that digging…didn’t happen, so I’ll settle for draining water.

There was just a small deck outside the living room, with plenty of mud on either side of it.  Phil/lipa‘s lair was under this small deck.

And that was the other small deck off the kitchen….

We had to tear off the boards of the living room deck in order to get the new siding done, but we kept the structural supports attached to the foundation since we knew we’d re-build it eventually.

We designed the new retaining wall to act as the support for the new deck.  The joists run across to the wall and are supported underneath by the new cinder block rather than sinking tons of posts into the ground.

Now we have an L shaped deck that wraps the corner and connects the kitchen and the living room on the outside.  The dining room is in between with the big windows.

I took these the day they finished, and the snow came the next morning.

Here it is in all its unstained glory…one day, I’ll be able to get this knocked out.

You can see where the old deck ended and the new starts…I’ll pressure wash the old so I can stain it all at once.  We also hope to replace these railings with the hog panels like in the front,  but these were already there and in good condition, so, we kept them for the moment.

I took the pictures below last night so you could see the carpet of oak tassels that are falling on us daily.  It was a nice warm evening and with torrential rains moving in, we knew we’d be stuck inside the rest of the weekend.  No proper cushions yet…

*UPDATE:  Boy, was that rain thing an understatement…things are bats**t insane here

You guys were right – I don’t regret painting the chairs orange

BTW….That fugly lantern? Best commercial mosquito repellent ever.

We should have bought stock in OFF Power Pads when they first came out, because it’s the only thing that allows us to hang outdoors at night without spraying down.  They WORK people…and trust me…we’ve tried EVERYTHING.  I am not getting paid to wax poetic about these things……REALLY.