The Vintage Glider Makeover

I have wanted a metal vintage glider for-like-ever. You know the full metal ones with the pie-pattern cut outs..I just adore them. So when my mother-in-law offered us her vintage glider I jumped at the opportunity.

Even though it wasn’t one of the one’s I had been eying up over the past few years…it was much much better. Better because this vintage glider, from the 50’s, set on my husbands porch all throughout his childhood and had sentimental value. {something I would never be able to find in any other piece}. My mother-in-law had picked it up more than 25 years ago and it was dear to her because her mother had the exact same one on their porch when they were growing up. So I was more than honored to finally have this special piece in my possession.

The cushions were long gone but the frame was in exceptional condition. It even came with a matching rocker, which will be added to next year’s to-do.

The cool thing about this glider is the back folds down and it coverts into a bed – something I have not seen in other vintage gliders. I thought it would make a great addition to the seating area of our deck and the perfect place to relax and rock away in the summer breeze {or fall breezes, now that it is finally complete}

I have never painted anything aluminum before and read a few different methods before I decided to just go for it developing my own spray paint method along the way. The glider was first cleaned thoroughly and completely sanded with 800 grit sand paper – then rinsed and sanded with 1200 fine-grit sand paper. This took away any imperfections, making the aluminum smooth, and better to adhere the paint. The entire glider was then wiped down with rubbing alcohol and left to dry.

The glider was first primed with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer in Ruddy Brown then sprayed with Krylon Brushed Metallic in Oil Rubbed Bronze – to better coordinate with our existing furniture in the space.

Since the Oil Rubbed Bronze is an indoor paint, I finished it with a final coat of Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear in the satin finish for added durability and protection.

Since it was impossible to find replacement cushions I purchased a piece of high density, 4 inch upholstery foam, cut to size for the seating area. For added support a sheet of plywood was cut to size and placed underneath the foam, on the frame.

Instead of just covering the cushion, I envisioned a longer cover – more like a dust ruffle. Since I am a self taught sewer {without a ruffler attachment on my machine – hello, Santa?} I put the cover together piece by piece.

The fabric was purchased at Joanne’s and is by Mill Creek Fabrics.

I made long ruffle pieces for the each of the sides then attached it to a top piece that was fitted to the foam.

To fit around each of the corner bars, I finished the end of the ruffled pieces and enforced them with a seam. I definitely made this one up as I went along and in the end it worked like a charm. The fabric cover can easily be removed and now that I have a pattern, it can easily be replaced when I get tired of the floral print. Since the fabric is just regular home decor fabric, not outdoor fabric, I purchased a cover to place over the entire glider when it rains. I still have intentions of scotch-guarding the fabric for added protection – I have just not gotten around it to.

For the back I picked up some over-sized floor pillows that can be easily moved around and propped up against the sides to create a nice little nook to lay and relax. My little guy has pretty much already claimed this as his own personal outdoor lounge area ~ wasting what’s left of the summer days away. It’s a space totally worth fighting for.

Happy Friday my friends ~ Enjoy.


  1. That is absolutely beautiful. I would say it certainly went to the right person.

  2. Love everything about it. I want to come sit on it now. The surroundsing look so peaceful and sirene.

  3. Wow came out great!! I love the fabric and the paint on the glider! Looks amazing!

  4. Gorgeous! All of your projects are so beautiful, and thanks for the instructions! I can totally imagine reading a good book there and falling asleep…

  5. Very pretty! Love the fabric and the pillows!

  6. The fabric is so pretty. I have coveted a vintage glider for years and have yet to find one in good shape. Maybe next year.

  7. Great job! It looks fantastic! I love the drapes behind it too.

  8. Love the fabric ~ what a great makeover!!

  9. Wait… There are ruffle attachments? I’m so out of the sewing world loop! Anyway, the rocker looks amazing! I’m a huge fan of ORB, I’m in the process of changing all our knobs and fixtures to it!

  10. Beautiful job! I don’t know if you are aware of it but you can ruffle easier by zigzagging over a piece of string inside the seam allowance. There is no breaking of your thread with this method. When you have the ruffle sewn together to the piece that you are applying it to, just pull on the string.

  11. Great job and how nice to receive such a great piece of furniture..I have never seen one that folds down into a bed..Unique..Your fabric is beautiful too..

  12. You did an AMAZING job! I would fight over sitting there!

  13. I love gliders, too. Yours turned out beautiful. I love the fabric. Great job! 8^)

  14. You did an outstanding job on this one…love that fabric!! Stop by and enter my current giveaway…it’s a $40 Pottery Barn gift card plus a coastal goodie!


  15. I like everything about it. All of your projects are so beautiful, and thanks for the instructions! Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.
    wood polishing

  16. I like this.

  17. Hi Stephanie. I have an aluminum glider that I want to restore like yours. I started to sand with 800 sand paper and it is making scratches. I love yours and was wondering if you would help me. Should I continue or use something else. I would appreciate your advice. Mary

    • Hi Mary, Excited to hear you are refinishing a glider. If you are seeing any scratching on the metal, try using a lower grit sandpaper. I would suggest trying a medium 120-grit sandpaper to remove any rust spots or peeling paint then follow that with a fine 180-grit sandpaper. The role of the sandpaper is to give the metal an even, extra smooth finish prior to priming and painting. Good luck with your project and please let me know if you have any additional questions. – Stephanie Lynn


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