You might recall seeing the picture of these hand made vintage lawn pieces a while back. I posted a picture of them on Facebook after scoring them for just $25.00 at my neighbor’s yard sale here in Cornstalk Heights. What I didn’t tell you or anyone else for that matter, is why I had to have them. Don’t get me wrong, they are really, really, neat and as I cleaned and refurbished them I was just amazed at how they are put together, but here is the real reason I was so drawn to them.
You see, my Grandfather, Lesley’s Great Grandfather had a truck that was exactly this color. It was this same minty green flat color. I don’t know if he painted it himself or what. There was no shine to that paint on his truck and I thought it was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. As I grew older, it grew even uglier. What I wouldn’t give to see that truck and that mean ole man again. I miss them both.
As I scrubbed, sanded and varnished this old furniture, I really reminisced about that ole truck and Papa Ray. He was quite a character. Legend has it that he and his friend got into a disagreement. His friend stabbed him and then he shot his friend. They both ended up in the hospital and thankfully they both lived. There are many other similar tales, but I will save those for my book.
Here is the finished product placed on the front porch. On the other side of the lattice work, is the Vintage Washing Machine Fountain. This area is now a very comfortable and relaxing section of the large wrap around porch that is currently being repaired and refreshed. In the fall when the leaves are off the trees, there is a perfect view of the mountains from this area. It is so nice to relax and unwind here with the sound of the water fountain behind you.
Like I said, the color and aging finish of these pieces drew me in. However, I did not want the paint to continue to deteriorate. So I scraped off all loose pieces of paint and gave it a couple of coats of varnish, lightly sanding between coats. Now I can enjoy the finish without paint chips falling off.
The cushions were purchased at Walmart. I was thrilled that they fit perfectly. The apple pillow was made from a $2.00 vinyl table cloth. Similar to Make an Outdoor Pillow, but with a different twist. Tutorial to come soon.
Let’s take a look at some of those interesting details of the vintage lawn furniture. The most interesting feature to me is how the supports are done. It is really a simple cot like design that works amazingly well. This is one of the most comfortable lounge chairs that I have ever laid on.
The original springs had to be replaced. They were rusted and corroded. In fact, I invited John to lie down on the lounge chair and several springs broke and he fell though. So, I went on a great spring search. I found them at ACE Hardware, but they only had a few. I ended up going to 4 stores to get enough for both pieces.
What ensued next was nothing short of an epic struggle. The springs had to be stretched in order to connect to the pin and the end is curved so it was quite a job. We got er done and the chairs are good as new.
Here is John relaxing while wearing Papa Ray’s glasses and reading his now vintage fishing tackle catalog. These are two of the keepsakes I have of him. Papa Ray and Granny Stevens also had a wrap around porch with tongue and groove flooring. They kept it in tip top repair. I know they would love, love this porch. When ever I go out on this porch, I can’t help but think about them and wish they were still here to enjoy it with us.
These large wrap around porches are sadly becoming a thing of the past, as well as having the time to relax and entertain on them. As I look at all the porches here in CornStalk Heights, I imagine seeing all the neigbors in the late 1800’s sitting on them and visiting with each other. When our family came for John’s graduation in May, the finished section of this porch, was their favorite place to gather. Although short lived, it was like my dream came to life. Stay tuned as we work on our porch and create more lovely and inviting spaces. Long Live Porches!