This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Back Yard Spruce

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Back Yard Spruce

Last summer I did a little back yard spruce and I realize I never blogged about it.  I wanted to call it a makeover, but really it was pretty minimal.  So it's a spruce.  After all we are just renting this home and can't do any major changes, nor do we want to spend the money on short-term investments.  I was still surprised how much work and effort went into such a small project!  I did a post once on our backyard and the overall layout, which I love.  But the porch was just a sad little mess.  It looked like this.   Well minus the two green chairs and planters--I bought those for my project, so it was quite bare with only a few scattered outdoor toys.  

First up were these great vintage metal outdoor chairs.

I wanted this paint job to last and to turn out really well--which is one reason it was so much work.  To begin, there was quite a bit of sanding.  I sanded until there was no more peeling paint and everything felt smooth.  

Next came priming.  I can't remember how many cans of paint and primer were used, but I want to say 5 cans of each for both chairs.  

Lastly, many many coats of mint green paint.  These two chairs alone probably took 2 weeks total.  Waiting for each coat to dry before I could move them into a different position to make sure I got every angle...well it took some time.    

Then there was this little chair.  Cute, vintage metal chair that looks like it could fold down only there were so many thick coats of paints, complete with paint drips and cracks, that it no longer folded.  I knew I needed to strip it down and start over.  

I was going to impress you all with my amazing stripping skills.  Paint stripping skills that is, but the end result was sort of horror movie-esque.  There were too many curves, nooks and crannies to get this thing properly stripped and sanded.  So I looked up some numbers for power sanding on craigslist and after a few ridiculous quotes ($200+) I found a couple of guys who did it for $40.  More than I spent on the original chair, but worth the cost to avoid scrapping it altogether.

After a nice power sanding the chair looked like this.  And it could fold once again!  Cute.  In the end I placed it next to the fence with some plants and another vintage chair I just decided to leave in vintage condition.    

 Lastly, the planting.  (See?  A lot of work for a small project).   I really wanted there to be lots and lots of planters of all shapes and sizes--I was envisioning an old oil drum for a large planter.  But sometimes you just have to go with what you can get and a mixture of white and terra cotta planters were what we could get.  Of course these two stinker doodles were eager to help.  

 We had to stop and admire the spotless lady bug.

I also planted 4 of these under the window.  

I added a little Ikea cart we had just hanging out in the garage, a couple baskets from target to corral toys, sun screen and other items.   And done.  I probably should have washed the side of the house before snapping these photos... oh well.  

Small spruce, lots of effort but still worth it in the end.  And while the picture is terrible I'm also a fan of the globe lights strung around the back perimeter for a lovely evening ambiance.  

We lived here almost 2 years and I can't believe I still haven't done a home tour of our place either!  Remember how this place was the home I was dreaming and pining for and we got it?  Although we only have one more year left here I promise I'll do a tour before we go.    


  1. luff a garden spruce up!

  2. Very cute - I did the same project:

  3. I've just installed iStripper, and now I enjoy having the hottest virtual strippers on my desktop.