June of 2017, I took my swing down so that I could repair it. Some of the support boards had rotted to the point where it was unsafe and someone was going to fall to the ground and go “boom.” While I got a lot of things accomplished last summer, I never did get around to repairing my outdoor swing. I really missed swinging and this summer I was determined to get it done!
The first step in the repair was to take the swing apart to assess the damage. I got this swing about 25 years ago and it was already vintage then. So I carefully removed the seat slats so that I could reuse them. The idea was to just repair the damage, not make a new swing. I love antiques and I like for my antiques to keep their aged look.
As I took the seat slats off, I turned each one over, numbering and marking the front edge with a Sharpie marker. This would make it much easier to fit them back on in their proper place.
After all the seat slats were removed, the damage was clear. The rotten supports just crumbled to the ground.
I measured the rotten support boards and determined that I needed 1″x2″. Mr. Menace has an odds and ends stash of wood at his barn, which is on a different piece of property a couple of miles away, so we took a ride over there and I found exactly what I needed.
Hoping that this repair will make my swing last another 25 years, I decided to not only replace those rotten seat supports, but to also add additional support to the front and back of the seat. These boards on the front and back were not rotten but they are soft.
I had one long 1″x2″, so I measured the length of the front and back pieces and the 3 support pieces and cut all 5 pieces.
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Using my favorite spray paint, I gave all 5 new pieces several coats of paint on all sides. I also spray painted the swing frame itself with several coats.
It doesn’t take long for spray paint to dry in July heat, so I was soon able to begin attaching my new supports. As I said before I like for my antiques to look old, so I wanted to reuse the original nails. They were easy to back out by just using a hammer to hit the “wrong” end to expose the head of the nails and back them all the way out.
Using these original nails I attached the front and back supports. I then used new screws to attach the 3 seat braces.
Somewhere along the way I realized that I still had enough of the new board that I could add an additional brace to the back of the swing. So I cut it to length, spray painted it and attached it to the top of the back of the swing. The original board is the one on the left, and the new support board is behind it on the right in the below picture.
Now it was finally time to add back the slats for the seat. Since I had numbered them it was easy to test fit them before nailing. Again, I wanted to use the original nails, but I did need to add a few new ones to hold the old soft wood.
Now that it was all back together, I hung it back in my old oak tree. It looked pretty good, but it needed one more thing…. well, actually two… Using a spray nozzle on my water hose, I washed the seat down real good, let it dry, and then gave the seat several coats of spray paint. I used Rustoleum Moss Green. See link below for easy purchase.
Sitting here with my glass of tea is one of my favorite afternoon chores. I am so happy to have it back up and available for many more hours of summer relaxation.