Sunday, July 08, 2007

Real decorators don't use spray paint. Real cheap ones do.

Y'all know how it is when you move into a new place. After you go through all of the boxes and put things away, then you are able to start the fun stuff. Decorating.

We've had our patio furniture for about five years. All this time, it has been either on a screened porch or outside, exposed to the elements. The set was a deep, forest green and still in pretty good shape. I threw out the old cushions because, frankly my dear, I hate mildew and after so many bleach applications, the lovely magnolia pattern just became a faded flowery mess.

There were a few rust spots and some craft paint spills. Other than that, the set was completely salvageable. All it needed was a fresh coat of paint and some bright, new cushions.

I bought some sunshine yellow cushions while they were on sale, so all I needed to finish the revamp was to spray paint the furniture. I originally thought I would spray it all black, but when I went to the home improvement store I saw it.

Charleston Green.

Oh. My. I was just giddy. You mean this huge place filled with trucks that go "beep" and piles of plywood has a little bit of Charleston history tucked neatly on a shelf and packaged in an aerosol can? Someone give me a tissue. I think a tear actually trickled down my cheek.

Charleston Green in a can. Spray Paint Heaven. You shall never see it on any interstate overpass. This color must be reserved for patio chairs, front doors and porch railings.

"I Love Bobby Ray" in Charleston Green on the Willacoochee, Georgia water tower? {Gasp!}

I fell in love with Charleston,SC while on our honeymoon. We rode our bikes down Meeting Street, along the Battery, and past lovely homes with sideways porches. I learned of the culture and history, including the story behind Charleston Green. The story just reminds me of how people in the South used what they had to still try and make things beautiful. I love that.

So I was in the yard today spraying my patio furniture, just tickled to death that it was going to be Charleston Green, knowing that everyone is going to think it is black, and thinking to myself, "I don't care. The chairs and I will know the truth. Sniff, sniff."

While spraying the gorgeous hue of greenish black from an aerosol can, I also realized something else. Although we may be known for our culture and history, we Southerners are not known for our protection of the environment. I realize Al Gore is from Tennessee, but, well, he's Al Gore.

As Mama would say, "He's just different."

The closest thing to recycling my grandparents ever did was turn in their glass Coca Cola bottle at the local grocery. (To get another "Co-Cola.") My grandmother would have looked at you funny if you had told her not to use her Aqua Net hair spray or even suggested that she recycle newspapers to save the trees. My grandfather worked in the Lumber Industry. They don't save trees. Trees are planted to be cut down or leaned upon in a nice tree stand during deer season.

I have never seen a Bubba cut up his six-pack rings or drive a load of recyclables to the recycling center. Um, what recycling center? The only load Bubba hauls is to the city dump or to the place everyone has designated as the city dump- that spot at the end of the clay road past the Old Johnson Place.

I'm not sayin' it's a good thing. I'm just sayin.'

My generation is really starting to change things, but for the most part, The South's contribution to the organic approach is cotton. (We grow it.)

Well, what do you expect from a People who had to mix their own paint? Other people were painting their front doors in Colonial Blues and Reds. We were mixing black with a touch of yellow just to get by. The horror of it all.

*Uncle Peter... my smelling salts!

Go here for more on Charleston Green. :>)

The smelling salts quote is from Aunt PittyPat in Gone With The Wind.


Linda said...

Man, your southerness really comes through in this one, Melanie. Some of it I'm not sure I understand, which is kind of cool, because it shows how different parts of the country are. I like reading these posts about all things southern.

Susanne said...

I actually knew what Charleston Green was! Go figure.

Barb said...

I'm falling out of my chair. "He's just different." Ya think? LOL

I'm a huge fan of spray paint. There's no such thing as a surface that can't be improved by spray paint and Charleston Green is just the best.

steffj89 said...

So glad to have found my way here from Rocks in My Dryer...Have to ask when you painted your patio set did you start with a primer or just paint right over the original?
I am getting ready to paint ours and was just curious.

yeah there are a few things spray paint doesnt work on tho. my husband has banned its use for indoor furniture after he had to "repair" some of my botched paint jobs.

jackie said...

Have you read 'Girl from the South' by Joanna Trollope? That's about Charleston, and a good read too!

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Ooooo-kay! I'm obviously from wwaayy too far north to understand!*wink* Made for a cute post though! LOL

Melanie said...

To answer your question-

I cleaned the furniture well with plain water. Some of the paint was already rusted off. No flaking. I didn't prime it. I sprayed over it all using Rustoleum.

So far, so good. It is out in the open and has been rained on. Looks like it will work.

Thanks for visiting!

Jenny in Ca said...

I love your 'southern-ness'- I now have to go google about the origin of Charleson green, you have me curious!

and I will forever think of your description of Al Gore..perfect! -it fits well just before the remark, 'bless his heart!'... really lol!

lisa h. said...

love Charleston Green! I was born in Charleston and my parents still live there, we get to visit every summer and go to the isle of palms beaches and walk downtown and eat at hyman's! you're making me homesick!