Friday, June 29, 2012

Guest Post & Outtakes

Happy Friday, everyone!

I'm excited to announce that I'll be guesting posting over at DIY by Design today, while Judy is off on a (hopefully) wonderful vacation in Florida.  Judy, hope you're having a great time! :)  And finally, you'll get to see what I've done with Fred, who made his first appearance here.

And before you head over there, here are a few outtakes from my photo shoot with Fred.  As always, I had lots of help from the felines.

For the full reveal, head over to DIY by Design!

Thanks so much, Judy, for letting me stop by and guest post today. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Citrusy Welcome Mat

Oh, spray paint.  How I continue to love thee!  In a few hours, I was able to take a rather dilapidated sisal welcome mat and spruce it back up to coordinate with my patio redo.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any before pictures.  I know, I know!  Bad blogger.  No cookie.  The mat was once just a plain tan with some autumn leaves sprinkled across it, but after a winter outdoors, it was faded and dirty.  A good hosing off helped the second problem, and after a few days to dry, I went to work with spray paint.

The first thing I did was use a color that was similar to the base color I'd chosen to prime the rug. It seems like this sisal rug wanted to soak up paint, and I wasn't able to find more of the lovely peacock blue Valspar outdoor paint I'd chosen, so I used a lighter mint green as a base.  This gave me some coverage, without wasting all of the color I really wanted to show.  Once the mint green had dried a bit, I sprayed the whole thing with peacock blue.

After a little drying time, I got out one of my Martha Stewart stencils.  I used the medallion shaped one in the right lower corner below, and with a little help from plastic and painters tape, I was able to spray paint a tiled pattern in the contrasting color.
With spray paint & this particular stencil, the edges ended up being fairly blurry, but I'm actually okay with that.  There's a hint of the detail, and that was enough for me!

Not too shabby for an hour's worth of work (if that!).  The most challenging part was making sure I lined up the "tiles," and as you can see, that's not quite perfect.  Again, I can live with it. ;)

I can't quite find the colors/type of spray paint I used online, but Tiffany has a great picture of the colors/can on Living Savvy.

This came out so well, I have been looking for a few other cheap sisal mats to redo, but no luck yet!  

Sharing at:
DIY by Design's Swing into Spring Party
And sort of at Five Days, 5 Ways Feature Friday Free-for-All, because I'm a bonehead and entered my linky submission incorrectly.  Argh.  I just love embarrassing myself.

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's All Rail-ative

In my last post, I mentioned a railing makeover.  All the stairs around the Handyverger house have lovely metal rails with some pretty grape and vine detail, all in a matte black.  This would be fine, except it's chipping away and rusting in many spots.  The paint on the railing leading to the front of our three-season porch has chipped away to reveal a red coat of paint beneath it.  Ugh!

I took matters into my own hands, starting with the rails that would be the least visible from the street.  This would, of course, be the railing on the steps that lead down to the patio.



I used Rustoleum's Universal spray paint, in Hammered Black and Hammered Copper.  Before I painted anything, though, I used a coarse grit sanding sponge to even out the spots where paint had chipped away, as well as the spots that had some rust.   Once that was done, I wiped everything down with a damp cloth, being sure to get in the little crevices (like those in the grapes).  I couldn't believe the amount of pollen that I wiped off the railings.  Ugh!

I laid down drop cloths and taped more to the side of the house (though I wish I'd used plastic sheeting, because there are a few splatters of paint on the house now... oopsie).  I was originally going to just paint the grapes in copper, but I decided to go wild and paint the ornate vertical elements in copper.  After a few coats, I made myself wait for the copper to dry, then began taping things off to do the black parts.

And this is how it looks, a bit closer.  What do you think?

(Also, see the welcome mat?  I did that too!  More on that next time...)

Sharing at
Five Days, 5 Ways Feature Friday Free for All

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Patio Saga Continues

I continue to be a bit more scarce than I intended - it turns out I've been working a good bit of overtime, so while I've done a few projects around the Handyverger home and garden, I haven't posted much.  But here I am, sharing the rest of my patio update.

A few folks suggested an indoor/outdoor rug for the patio, and on a trip to Lowe's, I nearly bought a small runner to dress things up, but then I saw the Perfect Rug.  It was a bit pricier, but with the overtime I've worked and some funds I'd set aside, I decided it was worth it. (And when I say pricier, I mean it was ~$70 instead of the $15 runner.)    I picked up a few other things, and here's what I ended up with.

I'm so excited - this was just the touch the space needed to make it look truly inviting.

I couldn't resist the silly solar kitty, of course, and you'll see I've added a top to my spring green table.  On a whim, I bought a single slate tile, and it happened to fit perfectly.  I plan to get two more and make more solid shelves on the other levels of the table.  The candle atop the table is a Off citronella candle, since it gets kind of buggy in our back yard.

The morning after I brought the rug home and set up the patio, I peeked outside and found that a friend had decided he has a new living room.

I'm not sure whose cat this is, but he was very cute and very friendly.  He sat there talking to Mr. Handyverger, our cats and me for a while.  I've seen him around before, and he looks pretty well-fed and cared for, so I think he must belong to one of the neighbors.  

Of course they knew where the suckers live... Mr. Handyverger threw him a treat.  Or two. (sigh.)

See that railing in the picture above?  It got a makeover, too.  I'll share it in my next post!

Thanks everyone for the patio suggestions.  I'm glad I took them!  I'll be sure to let folks know how the rug wears throughout the summer.  It's currently a bit damp from recent rains, so we'll see how it dries out...

Sharing at:
DIY by Design's Swing into Spring Party
Five Days, 5 Ways Feature Friday Free-for-All
Kammy's Korner Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Quick Patio Update

Hi, everyone!

It's a rainy, cool(ish) Saturday here in my part of New England, but since it's my weekend to work, it doesn't work out too badly for me.  I was off Wednesday and Thursday, so I took advantage of the lovely weather then to do a little updating of my patio.

Unfortunately, our patio is just a poured slab of concrete - and it's not even just concrete, it's the type with little pebbles mixed in.  Someday, we'll rip it up and put in a nicer surface, but for now, it'll have to do.  It's in desperate need for a power washing (which is on the agenda for this summer), but I thought that for now, it needed a little cheer.

No before pictures, alas, but here is what I managed.

The chairs started their lives out as a sage green, but over the years, they had become rusty.  A thorough washing, and a little spray paint later, they were a lovely peacock/turquoise blue.  It's an outdoor spray paint in a glossy finish, so hopefully it'll last a while!  It seems to be taking the rain fairly well.  Thank goodness it had a bit of drying time before the rain started.  I'll follow up with the brand and color I used - I just love it!

The little stand in the middle was initially white-coated metal - one of the little closet organization stands.  This, too, was painted with an outdoor spray paint, this one in a satin finish.  I'm very happy with the pop of spring green against the turquoise.

The planters were given to us by Mr. Handyverger's parents, who are in the process of cleaning out their house for a big move down South.  They've generously given us a few things in this process: a china cabinet, planters, and most of all - a freakin' piano!  Mr. Handyverger and I love playing piano, so we're both deeply appreciative of this.  But here, we have some of the planters. A few impatiens from Lowes (holy cow, were they cheap!), and some pansies that needed to be moved to a larger container, and voila!

It's a shame I'm working this weekend and can't enjoy the patio, but at least it looks pretty, even in the rain!  And the newly potted plants need some rain, right?

Sharing at
Feature Friday Free-for-All at Five Days... 5 Ways.
Outdoor Extravaganza Linky Party over at Amanda Carol at Home.

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