Not Normally In My Wheelhouse (Pun Intended)

I hesitated in posting this project on my blog because it is not within my normal realm of refinishing furniture.  It is, however, a very sentimental story and you know how I’m a sucker for sentimentality!  A wonderful client of mine asked me to refinish her childhood tricycle so that she could give it to her granddaughter for her birthday.  I don’t normally work on metal or with spraypaint, but decided to give it a go at her (gentle) insistence.

vintage red white and blue tricycle before

The tricycle is so stinkin’ cute!  The seat and the handle grips were going to remain as-is (with a gentle cleaning), and the pedals were replaced by wooden blocks years ago by my client’s father. Those were certainly staying too!  The original brand label was also still visible, so I decided to tape it off to add more of that vintage charm.   The trick to this project (ok, there were a few) was to blend the old with the new.

The original tricycle was painted red, white, and blue, and my client asked if it was possible to recreate the original look.  I started by giving all the metal surfaces a coat of rust converter.  It takes a rusted surface and makes it a hard, paintable surface.

vintage red white and blue tricycle before

I chose a flat finish for the paint colors in an effort to blend the old with the new, as I thought too shiny just wouldn’t look right.  I also selected an off-white to blend a little better with the original seat.  Once I finished painting, I covered all of the metal surfaces with a clear matte topcoat.

vintage red white and blue tricycle after

I’m so excited about how this finished project turned out!  Ride on sweet granddaughter!


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