I have finally gotten around to finishing them and I have to say, they fit in nicely with our outdoor space. We first gave them a good once over with David's sander. We figured that because the paint was already chipping off, it would easily strip away, but we were surprised by how tough it was to get a smooth surface.
We did what we could, filling in holes and sanding down really rough areas. Once the tops had been sanded, you could even see that they used to be painted white before they were given a dark green color change.
The seat was also difficult to really get into with the sander because of the scoop. We managed to clean off most of the debris, but we would need a tiny little (yet powerful) sander to really get into the seat itself.
I think we used a sanding block just to finish it, but I'm not specifically sure. There was quite a flurry of sandpaper, sawdust, and paint chips flying around while we worked.
Believe it or not, this is actually where we stopped. It doesn't look completely stripped because it wasn't. We felt that the adhesion of the paint that had remained was good enough that covering it with a paint-and-primer-in-one would do the job.
Before painting anything, we were sure to examine all of the screws that held it together, tightening them where we could. One of the arms needed a little extra support, so Scott screwed a small block of wood underneath to shore it up.
It was finally time to paint. I wanted them to match the two plastic Adirondack chairs that we already had around the fire pit, so I chose a color that felt close to them. I have found that when it comes to spray paint, you can't beat the new Valspar line at Lowes. They have a nice selection of colors and paints for different areas of the house, both inside and out.
I started with two cans thinking that two coats would be enough. I was wrong. One can barely covered one coat.
It's kind of hard to tell in the photo, but it didn't saturate as well as a paint and primer usually do. The wood was so worn that there were distinct guttered streaks that followed the grain. Covering those took 4 cans per chair overall. Here is a better example of the texturing issue I'm referring to.
After the fourth can of spray paint ran dry, though, the coverage was much better. Once they were ready, we moved them out to the fire pit. They fit right in. The colors matched even better than I could have imagined!
The fire pit feel so nice and established now (except for, you know, the actual pit itself. We're hoping to build in a permanent one so it's not so sad).
We have already used them once and it was cozy. We can't wait for Fall so we can sit around the fire and drink pumpkin beer while roasting our marshmallows. The only question is who wants to sit in the plastic and who wants to sit in the wood!