The two old motel chairs gave a certain Dogpatch feeling to our front porch. Mottled with rust by their—what?—nearly 20 years of being battered by the rain and weather.
The thing to do would be to pitch them and get new chairs that cost, what? A hundred dollars or so? That's what people do; throw out the old, move to the new.
But we liked these chairs. Comfortable.
"Pick a couple colors," I told my wife, and she did, grabbing two cans of Rustoleum at the Ace Hardware. I set about repainting the chairs. First I took a wire wheel brush, set on the end of a drill, and flayed the rust off. Then a sander. Then I masked the things off, and painted the selected colors. It took a few days, what with the drying and retouching. But finally I finished the first chair.
"The blue is a little bright," I observed to my wife.
"Yes," she said. "Brighter than I thought it would be."
"I could repaint it a different color," I suggested.
"No," she said. "It'll be nice bright."
Maybe it is. You tell me. I finished the first and am, today, beginning my vacation by going after the second. There is nothing wrong with bright blue chairs, per se. The neighbors won't complain. I hope. Who knows? Maybe they'll like them. I do. Or at least am trying to. Giving it a go. They seem an improvement over the rusty chairs. Heck. I'm sure that there are people who prefer bright blue. For me, there will be an adjustment process. I really need to have them both set up on the porch, and come home for a month, or a year, or a decade, before I decide.
"You know," I might observe to my wife one day in 2032, out of the blue, as it were, "Maybe those are too bright..."
The chair-painting process is oddly enjoyable, though time-consuming. Maybe because it's time consuming. I'm not sure what I'm really accomplishing, writing this. But those chairs sure are re-painted. No denying that.
I don't repaint chairs much. In fact, I don't think I've ever repainted a chair. It's rather peaceful, with the masking and the going over rough patches with steel wool. The result wasn't perfect; that is the hardest part, for me, even harder than the bright blue. And perhaps the most valuable part as well. I'm used to polishing sentences, going over the imperfect improving it. Just stopping, and having it be finished, though a bit homemade, well, that's a new skill. I was aiming for a higher state of perfection. But didn't make it. You can't really tell from the photos but, well, rough around the edges. A bit ragged, close up.
Which is how the world is, and accepting it as such is a useful skill. I can't fix anything, completely. But I can get rid of the rust and repaint, though not in the shade prudence would dictate. Anyway, the sun's up, and I better get at that second chair.