If you are disabled your fashion makeovers have to include your hardware. Whether it be wheelchairs, scooters, crutches, or canes every once in a while you have to replace or refresh your appliances.Although it's in sad shape I have a particular attachment to my wheelchair. One reason for this is it's a "young adult's" chair, meaning it's smaller in scale than a regular wheelchair and, therefore, is a better fit for my petite frame. The second reason is the price. I bought this wheelchair at the same thrift store I bought my Louis Vuitton Keepall 60 - and for the same price, $50. As you can see it's badly in need of some TLC. It's been in my possession for at least 7 years and has chips, rust, loose parts and a worn, torn back piece. Even my dog Sasha agrees, this needs work.
The rims used for pushing had an experimental layer of duct tape wrapped around them to keep the worn-off finish from turning my hands gray. It worked well enough but this, too, could be inproved upon.
So my wonderous husband began the process of painstakingly disassembling the chair in order to assess what needed to be done.
Some parts just needed a good cleaning. Others, like the handle bars, would need more than that. So we bought a can of spray paint in purple, of course! I set about cleaning up whatever could be cleaned while Mr Spashionista gave the worn, rusted, and chipped bits several coats of paint.
While the chair was apart we added some tennis racket grip tape as an underlayment for the purple rims and a cushion for an overly worn backrest pad. Then it was time for Sasha, Jack and I to watch the assembly process.
Here is the almost-finished restoration.
We've decided the arm rails could do with some purple paint. The back piece has also proven to be problematic in that the hard rubber edges rub my delicate fabrics like cashmere the wrong way; literally. Next weekend I'm going to devise what I think will be a fix for that, too.
Oh, I should mention that the cost for all of this so far is around $20. At some point I'll need new tires but there's plenty of life left in this chair and now it's unmistakably mine.