I scored this 30+ year old beauty at a recent garage sale! I knew the second I saw it that it was for me. You see, I found this picture on Pinterest... (that's how most of my stories will probably start from now on.)
And I was smitten. I had to find a highchair like this for my daughter's upcoming 1st birthday! Not only would it be a great photo prop, but it would also be the perfect setting in which she could demolish her first cake! Miracle of miracles, there it was at my friend's sale. I knew I could fix it up!
I prepped it by removing the belts. (No plans to replace them, because we're not really planning to use it as an honest-to-goodness-safety-first type of daily highchair.) Just some pliers and a screwdriver were all that were needed.
These staples holding in the belts were vicious, though. I scratched my arm once. Not really sure how. But it made me grateful I'd just had a tetanus shot!
(Yeah, for stepping on a rusty nail in the woods on the side of the road as I was on my way to deliver a baby wipe to my hubby who was helping my daughter go potty behind a tree during our evening family walk. It was awesome.)
At first I thought I'd just tape off the hardware so it wouldn't get painted, but it was pretty corroded with 30+ year old food. It wasn't pretty. So it had to come off.
I threw away the rusty screws cuz I knew I wouldn't be reusing them! But now what to do with the hardware? I'll keep thinking about it. I've got a high chair to paint blue, by golly!
I'd read about a miracle called liquid deglosser for roughing up a surface, taking off the finish, and preparing to paint WITHOUT SANDING. That was the kicker. It was like goo-gone on steroids. I knew I couldn't get into all the crevices on the spindles with sandpaper, so I was so glad I found this!
Well, half a bottle of deglosser and several rags later, the high chair was sticky-ish and clean. And begging for a new coat of color. The tray had a crack in it and so the previous owners had covered it with contact paper. That came off pre-photos, but the adhesive residue didn't go quite as easily. I scrubbed on it with serious elbow grease and about a cup of
I was skeptical as to what color options of spray paint I might find at Lowe's. I hoped it would be more than just black, white, and all the neons. Well, what do you know? Valspar makes spray paint in all kinds of "designer" colors. I chose a Mediterranean blue.
Here's what she looked like after one coat. Thin and even is the key to avoiding drips and globs, my friends. The blue wasn't everything I'd wanted, but I was hopeful it would improve with more coats.
I actually started with the underside of the tray (below) to hone my non-existent spraying skills.
After a few coats of paint and even an upside-down adventure to get the undersides of everything, I ran out of my one can of blue that I was now convinced I loved! So on my next trip to Lowe's to buy another, I also picked up some of this:
...cuz now I was sure what I wanted to do with these dirty, rusty, and corroded pieces of hardware:
That's right! Cover those suckers up! That metallic spray paint was something else. (My mind is now flooded with ideas of how else to use the rest of this can of awesomeness.)
I gave one side of each piece a good coating, waited about 30 minutes, turned them over, and sprayed some more. The beauty of the can that I bought was that it could spray at any angle, so I could really get good coverage in all the nooks and crannies of these little guys.
While I was there, I found the wood screws section and had to eyeball the right size since I forgot to bring one of the pieces along as a guide. Luck (and phenomenal spacial skills! but mostly luck) was on my side!
Okay, so the metal screws could probably have used a quick coat of silver awesomeness to completely match the rest of the hardware, but who's really gonna be checking out the way the tray attaches to the seat??
And now this is a much as you will see until I unveil actual photos of the chair in actual use by my actual daughter at her 1st birthday party!