Vintage Metal Chair with Painted Sign

I have an old vintage shell-back metal chair. When I bought it, it was lime green. I painted it pale yellow, and then I painted it  orange, and then a putty color.

But what I really wanted was to try painting a sign on the metal chair. Since it was the vintage shell back style, I wasn’t sure if it was a good surface for signage. I decided to try it out anyway.

And it actually turned out quite well. If I do say so myself ūüėČ

Vintage chair with painted sign -

I was inspired by these quirky painted chairs from an old Route 66 Diner in Arizona.

Vintage metal chair with painted sign -

Two tone vintage metal chair with painted sign

Mine isn’t quite as funky, but it you’ve ever questioned whether or not you could put signage on a shell back metal chair. ¬†You know, because of the ridges or indentations. The answer is, yes, you can.

To paint this sign on I used: 

  • Store bought vinyl letters
  • The pencil transfer method with the work “Garden” printed from my computer
  • And blue painters tape

Two-tone-Painted-Chair-House of Hawthornes

To paint the chair two tone, I followed these helpful instructions from House of Hawthornes.

How to paint sign on metal chair -

After I painted the chair two tone, I taped off a square-ish portion in the center of the shell back. I placed out the vinyl letters that read “market”. ¬†I painted the taped off section with white paint, using a paint brush.

Paint sign on metal shell back chair -

I used PicMonkey to make the word, “Garden” on an 8-1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. Next, I cut the word down to size, meaning I cut off the excess paper. I scribbled with a pencil on the back side of the paper. I outlined the word from the front, using a pen.

How to hand paint sign on metal shell back chair -

For the last step, I hand painted the word with a thin craft paint brush in the coppery-red color.

How to paint sign on shell back vintage metal chair -

I was worried that the divots in the back of the chair would make the wording all kittywampus.

But actually, it didn’t.

(Although it might be just a trifle crooked. ¬†But that’s another story.)

Painted sign shell back metal chair -

I had to take my time with placing the lettering. ¬†Although the divots weren’t a deal breaker, I had to play with the wording to get it placed just right.

Before and after

paint vintage shell back metal chair


This is what it used to look like.

Two tone vintage metal lawn chair with sign -


What do you these two colors as accents for the blue house?

Similar to the two spray painted lawn chairs, these are two of the accent colors I am thinking about for the exterior.

Sometimes I think you have to actually paint an object, and then place it in front of the main color to see if you like it.

Vintage metal lawn chair painted with sign - Stow & TellU

The red and brown against the blue is really growing on me. ¬†The brown is Iron Gate, and the red color is called Roycroft Copper Red. They’re both from Sherwin Williams.

how to paint sign on metal lawn chair - Stow & TellU

So if you ever want to paint a sign or a design on one of these metal chairs, this project might convince you that it can be done. If you are going to go for it, make sure to paint that is durable enough for outdoor weather. Or make sure to clear coat with an exterior worthy paint.

 Thanks for stopping by ~ Amy


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2 Responses to Vintage Metal Chair with Painted Sign

  1. Bliss August 9, 2016 at 6:51 am #

    Me thinks the old metal chair has made a comeback.

  2. Doreen@foxdenrd August 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

    I agree. The colors go great with your house colors.

    I picked up two metal chairs recently also. I guess they are making a comeback :).

    Question: after you printed out the words via picmonkey, what did you mean when you said you cut them down to size?

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