A coat of paint and some new cushions

A while back I bought some wrought iron garden chairs on eBay and knew they needed a bit of TLC. I also knew that I didn't want to repaint them white either, but I wasn't sure which colour to choose.  We already had an old iron table in Antibes Green - another eBay purchase which needs some work - and I was keen to keep the table the same colour, but was struggling to find the colour I needed and I absolutely refused to go the Hammerite route. I mean there's nothing wrong with Hammerite but i) they didn't have the colour I wanted and ii) I still wanted the table to retain its character, and some of its rust much to MOH's dismay.  

Anyway I've discovered that Annie Sloan's chalk paint comes in exactly the colour I want and although I haven't bought it yet, or started to tackle the table I knew that whatever I did with the chairs, they had to match the table I was planning.  When I saw that Farrow & Ball had a new yellow colour in their range I went to investigate. It is a bright yellow and has the fab name: Yellowcake - so with a name that includes two of my favourite things I was sold!

 THE EBAY PICTURE

THE EBAY PICTURE

 GETTING READY TO PAINT

GETTING READY TO PAINT

 STIRRING THE PAINT: YELLOWCAKE 

STIRRING THE PAINT: YELLOWCAKE 

 YELLOW!

YELLOW!

Before any painting could start the chairs needed to be rubbed down and a rust treatment applied and MOH set about this with gusto. I think he'd rather I'd bought new chairs as there was "years and years of paint on these" but I was less keen. So painting them became my job, so paint them I did.

Bright yellow. Yellowcake yellow.

In fact they're not as yellow as I'd hoped!  But I am pleased with them. I like that they're bright and cheery and I don't mind that the paint finish isn't smooth as a new chair would be. And most of all I like them because they're yellow and quite unexpected!

They're the sort of garden chairs that need a cushion and when I saw this material I knew it was perfect for my pre-loved chairs. So I bought some quizzing the lady in John Lewis about how much I'd need and checking my instinct on how to make the cushions I had in my mind - you know the sort, the sort with neat piped edges.  I had it in my mind that I'd make these cushions and overlooked the fact that I'd never done anything quite like this...

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So with foam inners that were cut to fit the seat of the chair I was running out of excuses so I set about finding a tutorial on how to sew the piping and get sewing.

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It turned out the lady in John Lewis was right when she said she wasn't much of a sewer as I've more material than I needed - which I don't mind as it's lovely - but quickly ran out of bias binding so came to a halt until more supplies arrived. It was quite a timely pause as it gave me time to work out how to do the next bit and to get some tips from my dressmaker mum.

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When the additional bias binding arrived I was flying and both cushions are now complete:

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I added ribbon ties to the back of the cushions. I considered making ties from the bias binding but then remembered I had this grosgrain ribbon with the same yellow and liked the contrast it gives.

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And here they both are together

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I'm really pleased with how both the chairs and the cushions turned out, and they look great at the end of our garden. They're comfy too - now I just need to get the French table sorted, and perhaps a smaller side table for everyday use, as it's always nice to have somewhere to my gin and tonic (or cup of tea!)