Tuesday, May 27, 2014

So we may be hoarding

And if we aren't hoarding we certainly are collecting some...stuff. We moved from a 2 bed/2 bath apartment to a 3 bed/2 bath house. While the third bedroom isn't that much extra space, we also gained a sun room and another random room we refer to as the sitting room. That’s three entire rooms that we don't have any furniture for and lately we've had an eye out for treasures on the side of the road.

The Engineer brought home this table that he thought would make a great little end table for the love seat in the sun room that we have been searching for (in stores for the love seat, not the side of the road!). I think he was right though! With a $0.00 price tag, I spruced this right up with minimal effort. :-D

I let ideas brew for a few days. The only part that was in rough shape was the top surface; it had just been worn over time. Which is why, I’m sure, it came complete with a place mat…which I promptly discarded. I knew all it needed was a few coats of paint on the top and it would be good to go! Well, and a good cleaning. You never know ;-)

I chose white to lighten it up a bit and because I knew it would tie into the sun room well once it was finished. I simply free handed around the edged with a small stiff brush and went to town on the middle with a larger angled brush.

Two coats would have done it on the middle, but I was doing a much thinner layer on the outside with cutting in the edge so that took three coats. Since I wasn't in a rush (after all, there isn't anything else in the sun room haha!) I let it dry overnight in between each coat.

A few days after I started I was finished and for $0.00 (since we already had the white paint) I have a sweet new end table for the love seat when we get one!

Our more recent side of the road snag was literally from right down the street and it was a bit of a fiasco, in a funny way though. I’m actually really sad there is no video evidence of it. I saw it on the way home and literally did a second drive by! I felt a little weird picking it up because even though an abandoned piece of furniture by the road is the universal sign for "free, please take me" I needed some backup. I called The Engineer and told him to look for it on his way home, and if he liked it and if it was still there than it was mean to be. Well he had the same response I did when he got home so we figured we could tackle this as a team. I'm making this whole thing sound like a big deal, it wasn't. The 'piece' was a table of sorts, about 3 feet tall, 2.5 feet long, and 1 foot wide. It had one small drawer at the top and two open selves for storing wine.

Regardless, we both hopped in the truck and headed down the street. The Engineer was driving so I was to be the heist-er and since I was in the passenger seat and he was the getaway driver. We pulled up to it and I jumped out expecting to pick it up, throw it in the truck bed, and be back in the cab in a few seconds. That did not happen. I had grabbed it by the table top unaware that it wasn't attached! So when I lifted it all crashed to the ground. I considered aborting but I held strong so I dropped to the ground to grab the bottom of the table, which The Engineer found hysterical since from his view I had dropped everything and then just disappeared! I threw the bottom in the back of the truck and grabbed the top and barely got myself back in the truck, table top and all. I was laughing so hard that I couldn't even tell The Engineer to go, and he was just dumbfounded at my epic failure. It was highly amusing, I’m sure even more so if you were watching. We were both crying from laughing so hard. At the end of it all though, we have another piece for me to tackle. This one is cool too because it is very well constructed. After reattaching the top and giving it a face lift it will be awesome. I’m not sure what I’m going to do to it yet mostly because I haven’t fully decided exactly where to put it. There are a few options for it around the house. In the meantime I will be brainstorming, I already have some thoughts!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Seal That Deck

Since we started working on the yard, we can't really keep our hands off it. Ahem, exhibit A and exhibit B. We are really starting to love the yard now that its had some TLC. It has a long way to go still, but it is closer. One area that really needed attention was our deck.


I love this deck! Buuttt the wood was rather weathered and we wanted it to last as long as possible so we decided we should clean it and reseal it. BEHR all-in-one wood cleaner and semi-transparent weather proofing all-in-one wood stain and sealer were our products of choice, mostly because of comfort level with the brand name.

We followed the instructions on the bottle and wet the deck, sprayed the diluted mixture on, scrubbed after 15 minutes of sitting time, and rinsed. 

Now the all-in-one cleaner claims pretty intense results with its before and after pictures, but I was not a believer. Granted, I knew the cleaning of our deck wouldn't be that dramatic since we didn't have stain or paint we were stripping off, but still, I didn't think I would even notice a difference. Admittedly, I was wrong. I could definitely tell that it did its job. 

The next morning I started staining the railings. Thaaattt took a little while. I did the first layer solo and it took about 4 hours :-/ I used a sponge with little soft bristles to apply and it worked really well. The difference between the railing and the untouched deck were already obvious after the first coat and became more defined after the second coat. Thankfully The Engineer helped the second time around. and it only took us about 2 hours. 

Once the railings were finally done we tackled the deck with a sponge type applicator on an extended pole. 

It already felt like a new deck after one coat! Unfortunately our little whim of a project turned into an all day deal. After a dinner break we came back for round two (1-2 hours of dry time was recommended between coats), mosquitoes and all. 

The rest of the night we kept looking out the window and saying, "Woah, look at our new deck!" It is a good feeling to know that we did out part to keep it lookin' good. 

A few days later when I went outside to take some after pictures I was greeted with this.....

WHAT!? Right after we rented the man lift and trimmed all our trees! We hadn't trimmed this one because it didn't really need it (or so we thought) and knew we could get some of the small stuff later if we wanted. Turns out that last time this tree was cut it wasn't cut properly and the stub rotted back and through this perfectly healthy limb. :( Luckly no one was out there when it came down and it didn't damage anything. We are sad though because that limb gave the best shade. 

Back to those after pictures though. 

And the view without that shady limb.

It was a great one day investment because it makes the deck look so much better. I don't feel like it is going to fall apart anymore and now its protected and will live a much longer happier life :)