Below is the story I sent Design Sponge for their Before and After series (thanks for the idea, Judy!)
Ever since I saw my friend Betsy’s red-painted metal glider that had belonged to her grandmother’s, I knew I had to have one. They’re so charming and who doesn’t want to be rocked while potentially lying down? Betsy’s was, I think, from the 40’s and solid metal with no need for cushions. While searching and searching ebay, Craigslist, and vintage glider websites, the only ones I could find like hers were not only super-rusted (I expected that) but also $400 and up (I did NOT expect that). And most of them were at least 3 hours away from my house.
Then, halleluiah, I found Fern. That’s what I call this little beauty, below:
I found her on Craiglist at a house that was right around the corner from where I work AND she was owned by fellow alumni of my grad school, AND she was $75! I’m not sure what I love more—the Bakealite handles on the ashtrays (ASHTRAYS!) or the chrome on the sides that makes her look like a ’57 Chevy. Though she was rusty, it was only surface rust. And though most of the cushion covers were in good shape, they weighed a ton so we figured there was a lot of potentially moldy cotton filler in those bad boys. Everything but the Bakealite handles had to be redone.
Renovating her was a group effort; I decided to have her professionally sandblasted and powder-coated and then I painted her with trusty Rustoleum spray paint, my husband shined her chrome accents (with wet aluminum foil) and my friend Kris who owns One Green Poppy made the cushions. I even got over my own sewing fears by making some throw pillows for her! Now she looks like this:
I may never get up again.