A couple of months ago while visiting my Italian mother-in -law down the street from us, she gave me two really old chairs to redo. My mother-in -law grew up in Italy during World War two. Her home is filled with all kinds of items. She keeps things because she remembers the time when the German soldiers came to her house and stayed. That sounds so polite the way I just wrote it up but it was actually a take over. The Germans just took over their house. It was a time when there was not a lot of food available so a home with chickens came in hand when it came to those soldiers.
My mother-in-law shares stories with us about how her and her siblings would sneak upstairs where the soldiers were sleeping in their rooms and beds and while they were out they would go through their luggage, making sure to put everything back exactly the way they found it. It was where she saw her first nylon stockings, so delicate and fragile when she carefully lifted them out of their gift box. Guess one of the soldier had a gift to take back home.
I explain to my kids that their Nonna keeps everything because she remembers what it was like growing up during a time of war when it was hard. Nonna keeps everything because she knows what it is really like to be hungry and scared. She knows what is really important in the end. The person with a ton of items stored away in case of times of war knew they could use those things to barter with. That will never go away in people that grew up in those situations. So her home is filled with what ever you can think of.
Anytime we need anything and I mean just about anything, my mother-in-law has all those items and more. Half the things we have up north at Our Little Red House from pillow cases, dishes and one couch, all came from her and she still has more stored away in her home.She loves it when someone in her family needs one of her supplies because she has a bunch of fun replacing them.
So a couple of months ago she gave me two really old and beat up chairs. I told her I would fix them up and do something with them. She knows I love fixing up broken things. I too have my own personal reasons behind that.
I had some left over chalked paint from another project that was just the right amount to cover two small chairs.
I also had an old pallet to take apart and clean. I had a great idea for the chairs and couldn’t wait to start putting these two items together.
But first I had to clean up the chairs and remove the seats.
The chairs were so old, they were pretty easy to take apart.
I probably didn’t even have to use tools to remove the seats. It was so cracked and worn, I probably could have just ripped it up.
I mean, come on, look at this…it’s insanely dry. That’s the main reason I decided to paint them, otherwise I would have stained and sealed the wood instead. I love the rich colors of anything wood but these chairs needed something to help hold them together.
I love this part when up-cycling something, just tearing apart furniture knowing that at the end of it all something new and pretty will come out of it, hopefully that is. I am not ashamed to admit that I have had my share of nailed it moments.It’s a learning process.
I also had an old mosaic table to take apart as well. The legs were broken in the back and the table was water damaged. I could save parts of the glass on the table and transfer it to something else to hang in my garden but that would be a project for another day. I will have to make sure to wear my safety goggles for that tear apart.
Once the chairs were painted and the pallet boards were cleaned and sealed, my husband screwed the boards into the base of the seats, combining the two chairs together to make one seat. Kind of like a bench.
This was such a fun project. Can’t wait to show my mother-in-law what I did with her two old chairs. They make the cutest bench out front. Now I need to figure out what to do with that mosaic and that to me is also really fun. Figuring out how to turn something old into something new again. Have a great time up-cycling something yourselves.