the domestic tales of four sisters

A Hand-Me-Down Swing Re-do

Hand-Me-Downs are always fun, aren’t they? I mean, who can argue with free stuff? I’m by no means a hoarder, I’m quite good at saying ‘no’ actually.  But sometimes, when it’s the right thing or if it belonged to someone special, I just can’t refuse it.  Even when I’m looking at it and seeing a TON of work ahead of me to make it useful, I just know that I can’t walk away and leave it.

That is what happened with this swing.

You see, it belonged to my husband’s grandparents.  I will always remember pulling into their driveway to visit and seeing it sitting there outside their garage.  I never saw it actually used, though I suppose it was at some point. I only remember it outside, weathered by time and the Pennsylvania seasons.

It has actually been a rough year on his family as both his grandmother and grandfather passed away. So as family does, we all took our turns making our way to the house to choose a few treasures that bring fond memories of two of the most wonderful people I had the pleasure of knowing.

I chose a Norman Rockwell print of a Teacher because they had his work throughout their home and Nanu (his grandmother) always wanted to be a teacher.  Each time I see it, I think of her.  My husband (who is a teacher) found an old Pepsi lanyard and ID (His grandfather worked for Pepsi until just two years ago when he had to quit to take care of his ailing wife.) it now houses his school ID.  Just little things. Reminders.

When we were leaving his mom pointed out the swing, mentioned how ‘handy’ I am and said we should take it.  “It’s going to end up in the trash.” I looked at it, and thought, and looked at it some more.  It needed so much work.  I knew it was going to take several hours at best. I wanted to leave it, but before I knew it I had folded down my seats (darn that stow-n-go) and we were heading home, swing in hand.

I had grand plans of getting it fixed up quickly to enjoy for the summer. Well, then life got in the way and the swing hung out in my garage for longer than I’d like to admit.  Finally, this past Saturday, I told the husband that I was getting it done.  That day… Yeah right.
I started with a very aggressive grit sandpaper. Once I had most of the peeling paint off, I switched to a less aggressive grit.

This was me. For HOURS. On Saturday.

I had thought hoped I would be able to just knock the loose paint off, smooth everything out, and paint the swing. No go. Every time I thought I had an area smoothed out, it would start to peel.  When it was all done, I had removed almost all of the paint. If I was wanting to stain it, that would have been great. But I didn’t.

I wasn’t going for perfection, I just wanted a smooth surface to make sure the paint would stick. I succeeded…for the most part. After letting my back rest overnight (I thought I was going to die), and cleaning my house after church on Sunday, I set out to paint the swing.

I didn’t get it done. Didn’t finish it Monday night either (I had an assignment due for school), but tonight was the night. I cooked and ate dinner, left the dishes with the husband, and went to finish my painting.

A couple hours later…
We used a latex outdoor paint purchased from Wal-Mart.

Swing Renovation |

Thrilled with my results.  It’s not quite done just yet. I still want to buy some cushions for it (hoping to score them on sale since it’s the end of the season) and it needs to be moved from my garage to it’s home on our front porch but, I’m 99% there and I’m happy to have it.

Was it a ton of work? Yep. Would I do it again? In a minute.

I’m thankful to have some more seating for our front porch. I’m thankful that it was almost free (only costs being sandpaper and paint). I’m thankful to have family that recognizes my strengths and abilities and forces encourages me to use them, even when I may not see the value of doing so all the time. And I’m thankful that I was able to know my husbands grandparents, and have a few things as reminders until we meet again.

Have you renovated a hand-me-down? How about something special? I’d love to hear about it!


Check out other fun DIY ideas at the Lou Lou Girls Linky Party!!!

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3 thoughts on “A Hand-Me-Down Swing Re-do”

  • WOW!! The swing looks TERRIFIC!! And the family connection means so much! I had a swing from my dad’s yard but it washed away in the last hurricane down here. However!! I scored an 8 pc metal patio furniture set on Craig’s list for $100. last fall and finally got around to addressing some of it last week. Wire brush, soapy spray, rinse, dry, rustoleum primer, and a different fun bright color for each piece! 😉 Thanks for sharing! I really enjoy reading y’all’s posts.

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