We enjoy relaxing on the patio, so I’m always making little updates each spring. This year, I added some succulent displays, including my Miniature Garden. My “hens and biddies” in a pot weren’t doing that great, so I transplanted them to this cute French country looking planter I lined with plastic. I also built a quick wooden planter for the table for more succulents out of a naturally weathered board I had.
I’m sure you’ve seen the drop cloth curtains on Pinterest. I didn’t think seriously about making one until my husband commented one day that we could sure use a curtain on that west side to block the late afternoon sun.
A quick search led to the idea of using a 10 foot metal conduit purchased from Lowe’s for less than $4. We picked up a couple brackets to hang it from and 2 packs of curtain rings with clips. I already had a 9×12 drop cloth that I cut to 7×12 and hemmed the bottom. It works great and easily slides out of the way to avoid getting wet when it rains.
I pressure-washed the decks, sanded and coated them again – this time with clear Olympic sealer from Lowe’s. I didn’t like how the cedar tinted sealer turned orangey and peeled up after one season. They looked great after coating with the clear. Here’s a shot just before dusk, but you can tell how rich the wood looks now. (Update – Ok, I’m going to try another sealer – the Olympic didn’t last but a couple months before it was no longer water repellant.)
By the way, I love the new firepit. I’ve been looking for a small propane firepit for a couple years and just happened to see this one at Target for just $79. I works great and looks classy. I just worry about it when it rains. I guess it’s supposed to get wet because it sits outside – but I’m going to make a wooden top for it when I get around to it. That will make it more of a table when not in use with the fire. But the rim is nice for setting cups on.
Rustic Barnwood Fence Panel
Another project was painting the wooden lounge on the small deck. It was originally cedar, which I stained walnut, which I now put a coat of Kilz and then painted with exterior Glidden paint leftover from the playhouse. I love that little section of privacy fence we installed several years ago for privacy when we had the hot tub on the patio.
I got the rustic barnwood look by first staining with dark walnut, then dry brushing with the teal satin paint I used in my bathroom and on my front and back doors. I just love that color. Then I lightly brushed a little more stain on top. It now pops against the dark stained deck.
Convertible Bench Re-Do
I also painted the convertible bench I built a couple years ago. The stain just didn’t hold up (another Olympic fail.) I primed then painted it with the same Glidden exterior as the lounge. I love this bench. See how it converts to a table. It was so easy to build with 2x4s which Lowe’s cut to the same size for me. I got the bench kit on Amazon (affiliate link below). You can make the bench as short or long as you like. This one is about 7 feet I think. You can put two together to make a picnic table. Honestly, it’s the easiest way to make a bench!
Patio Table and Chairs
Next up was replacing the mesh chairs I had with my glass table. Even under the shelter, the mesh degrades from the elements and splits after a year or two. The chairs we found that were most comfortable and with pretty gray mesh were black metal – and the table was brown metal. Not a problem that a can of black spray paint can’t solve. It looks like it was a matching set. I didn’t even try to tape around the tabletop; I just wet the glass with soapy water and scraped the paint overspray off easily with a razor blade.
Believe it or not, I’ve made other updates, with more in the works – but this post is getting long and photo heavy, so I’ll save that post for another day. Coming up – I’ll show you the potting bench/drink station I built next.
We love our patio now that we got a roof over it. It’s so relaxing sitting out there in the mornings with our coffee and breakfast or in the evenings watching the squirrels play. And it’s been nice for cookouts and entertaining.
PS: Here’s a photo from a few years ago, so you can see how we struggled for shade before we got the roof on the patio. And also, how ugly and useless that section by the patio was – and why we decided to put a little deck there.