Have you ever read that sweet child’s story, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”? The story goes, “If you give a mouse, a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he’ll probably ask you for a straw”…and so on. It’s a circular tale about a series of events happening all because of a cookie. Our patio makeover is titled, “If You Give a Lady a Patio Set”. Seriously.
Last winter my parents said I could have their worn out patio set, and I gladly accepted. It had seen better days, was missing a chair and coffee table that had rotted out, but the couch, other chair and ottoman were still functional…sort of.
The back rest of the chair was missing a slat, the ottoman had a rotted leg, and the couch back slats were about to fall out as well. So why would I take these things? If you know me, I just couldn’t let them go to the dump or fire pit.
Our current patio had consisted of the mud bar and sand table we built our kids (DIY tutorials if you click on each project), a hand-me-down grill, and a mixed set of curbside patio chairs paired with Freecycle glass table. It served us well for several years and wasn’t planning on replacing unless it fell apart.
So, when my parents offered, I thought, “Why not?”. I’d like to change it up and I wasn’t about to spend big bucks to buy something my kids would mutilate. tsk. This, my friends, is how you end up spending more time and money than you’d ever think because you give a lady a patio set.
Originally, we were going to just paint the set, and call it quits, but then DFOHome contacted me to see if I would like to try some of their product. My jaw hit the counter because they were offering patio supplies. What awesome timing?! I eagerly accepted knowing this was a blessing. Let me just say choosing what to pick was not easy. They have an awesome selection!
After deciding to pick out some curtains, we had planned to put up some posts and hang the curtains between them in the corner of our patio. Well, like I said, the story goes on…we went from posts to full-blown pergola. Oh yeah!
*side note: We do plan to replace the sidewalk (damaged from a ginormous tree we had removed) and to have the patio elevated to close the crack, but the estimate for that was $800 and didn’t fit our budget. We plan to wait for the freeze and thaw of winter then get it done.
Just getting started with building the pergola had a bit of hurdles. Our head-banging experience with ordering lumber from Menards set us back (we will never use them again because this is the second time they’ve screwed up our lumber order and make no recompense to fix it). Finally, the lumber arrived late, but at least arrived, and we got started.
Our patio is roughly 18′ x 20′, and that is no small space at over 300 sq ft. This was no “let’s just paint the patio set” project anymore. wow. The whole family got into it and we have been working our tails off to get this thing done.
A pergola is a simple build, but when custom orders come in for my shop, lumber delays, required overtime for my hubby comes along, it can slow things down. But…we got it done.
Here it is in rough form…still needs the grid slats on top and another header in the middle.
Once that was done, my husband pressure-washed the patio, and I spent some 10 hours up on a ladder staining. This was my view for about 3-4 days. Remember, I have 6 kiddos, so getting a large chunk of time to work is nearly impossible. Oh, and they all got sick while I was working on this, so time went v e r y s l o w….
I considered using my HomeRight Heavy Duty Paint Sprayer we used in our boys’ room, but since this was a lone job and I didn’t want to climb up and down to backbrush, I decided to just brush it out myself. whew.
The stain of choice is Sikkens Proluxe in Oxford Brown. A rich, deep color that suited our rustic exterior. It went on easily and created such a lovely color.
Once the structure was up, it was time to get to work on the extras, like the patio set that started all this. hee hee.
There was no way I was going to brush the set by hand, so I eagerly whipped out my HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer, the one I’ve used several times on a dining set and a highchair. I had this set first coated in about 20 minutes. SCORE!!
My color choice was an exterior seconds paint I found a couple of years ago that I’ve used on our shutters and on our home. It’s a subtle taupe color that blends well with the outdoors.
Now don’t laugh, but I also sprayed the cushions. They’re in sound condition, but had fading. We were given a free glider swing at one point that was really rough, I cleaned it up and spray painted the ENTIRE thing, including upholstery. It lasted until the day we SOLD it 5 years later. So of course I would do it again.
I went for another neutral beige color, gave each side a couple of coats, let cure, then sanded down with a bit of sand paper. You would never know the difference. Here’s a sneak peek from my last post how I’m creating the decor for our space.
Next came the free porch swing my dad gave me about the same time as the patio set. It was originally green, but we gave it a good pressure washing, removed the rusty hardware and chains (I’m keeping those in my stash!!), and gave it a fresh coat with my sprayer too.
We gave it a dry run before painting and I can already tell this is going to be a sweet spot for everyone.
One coat done in 1o minutes…you can’t beat it!
After that, it was time for the curtains and hardware. Just look at how gorgeous they are!
Easy install and functional right away. I’m lovin’ it.
One other addition that struck my brain was a coffee table. Not just any coffee table, but a funky one, of course.
I had this pair of washtubs that I found on Craigslist just burning to be used for something, and when the idea struck me I ran with it…a coffee table with storage…and on casters! YIPPEE!!
My stash had the most perfect pallet wood for this project…
…and it dawned on me to make use of a side of our torn down trash bin I just couldn’t send to the dump. It’s been leaning on the side of our house for a year and I’ve used it as a photo backdrop, but now it will be my coffee table top. You’re seeing the back side here, the other is rounded paneling.
I got to be friends with our table saw again – I buzzed my fingers a couple of years ago, and have been nervous ever since, but this got me back in the saddle.
This is the underside of my coffee table lid using the trash bin wall torn apart and rebuilt. Just needs a spine and some screws.
Also, my favorite tool, the Kreg Jig, was also my best friend. If only you could see inside my head at all the things I want to build with this thing. It makes it so easy!
Don’t you love how I’m using a vanity to work? tsk. Gotta get my work table built…soon!
Here are my casters of choice…they’re rustic, industrial style and oh so perfect. ♥
I can’t wait to show you it completed…not yet, but soon. We are also building a farmhouse table with benches, adding some lighting, and fun stuff, like these orb planters I scored for a dollar. Can you guess what I’ll be using them for?
My hope is that you’ve had fun seeing our patio transform, and that it gets you thinking how to make use of random items to create your own unique space. We hope to have the complete reveal in the next week or so, so become a follower to get all the updates. I have fun sharing sneak peeks on Instagram and Facebook too.
I’d love it if you’d share to inspire others too!
UPDATE: The final reveal can be seen HERE!!
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