Thursday, July 5, 2012

Patio Makeover

Most were $1-$3 at yard sales
So it all started with a garage sale purchase (or nine), as most of my projects do. Over the years I've collected various pieces of patio furniture, plant stands, garden decor, candle holders, etc.  Most of the accent tables and plant stands were old and rusty and I liked them that way because it gave them history and character. Then one day I decided that instead of being full of character, they just looked old. Shabby without the chic. So I decided to paint them all various bright, fun, tropical colors. Here they are before they received their spray paint treatment.

Don't be jealous of my fancy painting area.

I went to Lowe's and Home Depot and bought fuschia, lilac, teal, lime green, and purple Rustoleum spray paint. I also stocked up on sandpaper and a can of primer. I sanded down each piece to knock off the old rust and peeling paint. Then I sorted through the pieces trying to picture how I would rearrange them when we put them back on the patio so that the colors would be spread out. This is my very fancy painting area, and my furry painting assistant. You can see part of the new hammock (which I will mention later in this post) on the left of the picture.

Three years ago when we first moved to this house, I bought a black wrought iron patio table and four matching chairs for $40 at a yard sale. It had peeling black paint with a layer of hunter green paint underneath it, so I knew I'd have to repaint it eventually. Here is how it looked before.

 I sanded the table down to the original primer, then reprimed it and painted two coats of black flat Rustoleum. The chairs were in slightly better shape. I sanded them and only primed the flat areas because that's where the paint was peeling the most. We had a brand new table umbrella that we bought on clearance from Linens N Things years ago that was just sitting in the garage with the tags still on it. We never used it because we bought a gazebo instead. When we move the gazebo (which I will mention later in this post), the umbrella will help shade the patio.

A couple of years ago I bought a swing with a canopy at a garage sale for $40. Last year I bought a pair of wrought iron chairs with a matching "coffee table" for $40. These pieces used to sit on the other side of the back yard, at the end of the driveway--opposite side of the yard from the patio. I gave the table and chairs a good scrubbing and a fresh coat of black paint. We knew we'd be rearranging the furniture out on the patio because we wanted to move the swing to the patio. Now that we've moved it, the swing looks shabby in comparison to the rest of the freshly painted patio furniture. This winter I think I will try to take it apart, paint the frame, clean the canopy, and recover the cushions. But for right now, it's staying "as is" because we're enjoying sitting in it.

Three years ago I bought the gazebo from Kohl's. (I had to buy it new because I couldn't find one at a yard sale, but I got it on mega-sale). It's been on the patio with the table and four chairs under it for the past three years. It is pretty beat up--several holes in the top and a giant hole in the netting created today by one very spastic Labrador (my furry assistant, pictured above) who ran THROUGH it today while chasing the cat. My pets are idiots.

Our patio felt very claustrophobic with the gazebo taking up space in the middle and because of the fence that the previous owner put up around the patio. The poor fence was so old it was literally falling apart. The boards were bent and splitting and it looked pretty ghetto. Dan has been wanting to take it down for a couple of years now. It was a privacy fence, but instead of giving us privacy, it make us feel cramped. We couldn't see the rest of the yard, and we rarely spent time on the patio because it felt so confining. So, we took out a crowbar and ripped down the fence. Well, most of it. There are still eleven fence posts, but they have to be dug out of the concrete they're set in underground. Since the highs have been between 95-109 degrees Fahrenheit for the last week, that job is going to have to wait a bit. I have some crafty people coming to get the old, aged wood to make projects of their own. I have enough projects on my plate right now without figuring out what kind of crafty things I can do with the old wood. Although, I may hang on to a couple of pieces in case I get inspired later on.
Here's the falling-down fence before we took it down.
Here is what's left of the fence now.

I also bought a hammock on a stand at a yard sale two weeks ago (for $20) for Dan's Father's Day present. Our plan was to move the gazebo off the patio and into the grass alongside the patio, with the hammock under it (along with some white plastic chairs I found on the side of the road--my favorite price, FREE--a couple of years ago that I'm probably going to spray paint aqua blue). I have a really cool gazebo candle chandelier from Party Lites that I got at a yard sale for $3 last summer. I also have some gazebo lights that I bought on clearance at Big Lots three years ago, but have never taken out of the box. We didn't have a power outlet on the patio, but we do have one on the side of the garage near the gazebo's new location (which you can see above the bird feeder in the picture on the right above). I'm hoping to get that wired up before the gazebo roof completely disintegrates so we can enjoy for at least a little while.

Once we cleared everything off the patio, I decided to powerwash it. Here's a picture to prove just how dirty it was before. The left and bottom sides have been cleaned. See how black it looks on the right? See the big wave of black that I'm pushing away with the force of the water? Yeah, the whole patio was that dirty before.

 I'd bought some Quickrete transparent concrete sealer at a yard sale the weekend before, so I put that to good use. I paid 75 cents for a full gallon plus a gallon that had already been opened and was about half full. I prayed the whole time I was rolling it on that I would have enough to finish. I prayed, "God, I know you can do miracles. I know you fed five thousand people with those fishes and loaves. If you could make this sealer last just enough to finish this patio, that would be a miracle to me." And, of course, I finished with about half a cup to spare. :-) God is good.

So, here are some "almost finished" pictures. Dan took these before we ripped the fence down. There are a few of my candle stands and cute garden decor pieces that I had not put back out yet when he took these, but you get the general idea. I also bought some brick clips to hang some of my adorable artsy things from the walls of the house, but you can only see a couple of them (above and to the left of the grill in the third picture). We also bought a grill cover, but forgot to put it on before the pictures were taken.
Ignore the coffee mug. Focus on the freshly painted black furniture. 

See how clean the floor looks? Dear Swing: You're next in the makeover lineup.

Don't you love all the brightly colored tables and plant stands?

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