Saturday, July 20, 2019

Painting Progress

I've made some pretty good progress on my painting projects.

The redwood table is all finished and just waiting for us to make it to the hardware store to buy new bolts and deck screws so we can reassemble it.

I'm not sure how much I like the finish. I used a resurfacer made by Olympic, Rescue It! I probably should have read all the words. It's actually an acrylic coating, not a stain. And the finish has a weird gritty texture, as if it has sand mixed into it. But it does look pretty nice and I expect it will be durable and perhaps this new coating will survive our neglect.

I'd been hoping to get to work painting the metal patio table this weekend, but I've been having a bit of a challenge finding primer that will work. When I first found the shiny metal, I thought it was aluminum so I ordered Rust-oleum's Self-Etching Aluminum primer. Then Jeff discovered it is still magnetic, so I switched to Rust-oleum's Clean Metal primer. But when I sat down to read all the directions on the can, I found this:
I spent probably two hours last night trying to find a spray primer that would work on galvanized metal and failed. I was getting pretty frustrated.

This morning Jeff went to our local Miller Paint and came home with a can of XIM Urethane Modified Acrylic Primer-Sealer-Bonder. It was really expensive as spray paints/primers go, but I'm just ready to be done with this project. And I don't feel right using their expertise and then buying it cheaper someplace else.

If it doesn't rain or get too hot, I'm going to try to finish priming and painting the set this coming week.

I made a couple samples of the colors I am thinking about using. The pot on the left is painted with Rust-oleum's Textured Forest Green, and the right pot is their Hammered Copper.

The Textured Forest Green is a reasonable match to our exterior trim paint.
I believe I'll paint the table with the forest green, though I do wish it was a bit shinier. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Busy Week

Jeff and I have finally given up our distracting computer games and we're making good progress on our projects again. This week we've finished prepping all the furniture for painting/staining.

Jeff pressure washed the wicker furniture a few days ago and it's drying comfortably on our newly-cleaned front porch.
And we ended up disassembling the redwood picnic table set so we could sand, repair, and stain all the sides of the pieces.
I'd gotten set up to start staining today, but when I opened the can of stain, I discovered they'd forgotten to tint it at the store.

Aaron came again today and helped Jeff in the yard. I had bought another couple trays of clearance plants from Santa Rosa Gardens to just do some general filling in in the back of the yard, especially under the red oak tree.
Jeff and Aaron planted them all, then we got an unexpected—and most welcome—load of tree mulch when our neighbor had their huge maple tree trimmed this morning. So the guys spent the rest of the afternoon emptying the driveway of the large pile.

In a day or two, when the threat of rain has passed, I think we'll jury rig up some plastic walls on the pergola and use that as our painting area. That should prevent most of the floating paint from adhering to the garage.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Ready for Paint

I spent two very long days stripping paint off the vintage white patio set.
As usual, I was pretty obsessive about the prep work. I watched several Youtube videos about prepping outdoor furniture for painting and most of those folks just took a quick wire brush to flaky paint before their repainting, but I'm way too picky for that. When I bought this set, I could actually see outlines of old paint below the top coat. I would not have been happy with that long term. I'd rather do it right the first time. Besides I'm not someone who needs to change the color of my patio set every season.

It was kind of nice to find a use for the leftover paint stripping supplies. We still have two opened containers of KleanStrip and Jasco and had quite a few wire brushes that had been useless on the wood, but they were perfect for the metal.
Waiting for the paint stripper chemical to do its work.
It is funny to look at the photos of the set. To my eye, the bright metal color almost makes it look like it's still white, but I can assure you, I stripped the decorative parts down to bare metal.
I'm actually a little perplexed about the metal. When I first found the bright silvery metal, I thought the set was aluminum, but it's magnetic. I've never seen iron sets that are silver like this. It glimmers very pretty in the sun.
Now, I'm actually wondering if it's galvanized iron but I doubt I'll ever know.
Anyway, after a quick wash, the set will be ready for priming and painting. Now I just need to figure out where I can do it and not get overspray all over the house.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Month of Painting

Somehow I managed to maneuver myself into a whole bunch of painting projects this summer. We have the obvious shed project. I'm embarrassed we still have not finished painting it; we finished building it in 2017. The siding is primed, but the door desperately needs to be painted before the rainy season. I'm hoping we'll finish painting it before Fall.
Looking almost good as new. A few tweaks left to fix the low spots.
Jeff was cleaning up the back patio because there were some pavers along the edge which had sunk down at least half an inch and were below the level of the wood edging, creating a trip hazard. He wanted to fix those. As he was looking at the state of the patio, there was quite a lot of vegetation growing between pavers, which he didn't like. So, he decided to pressure wash out the sand, readjust the sunken pavers, then re-sand it all.

I also decided I wanted to fix up my grandparent's old redwood patio table. This set is probably 50 years old. They lovingly cared for it and put it in the garage each winter. Sadly, we put it outside year round and didn't even bother to cover it during the winter. I was ashamed of how it looked when my father came to visit last month.
I have since cleaned it and it looks much better. But while I was cleaning, I realized it was just nailed together, so I pulled off the tabletop boards and I've sanded all four sides. Despite the appearance, the wood is still in good condition. I'm planning to pressure wash the legs and benches, then I'll stain all the boards with a rust-colored opaque stain. Then we'll reassemble with deck screws. However, once it's finished, I am not going to put it back out on the patio. We're going to store it at the house in Prineville and use it on the covered back porch.

For Portland, I decided I wanted chairs for the patio. We've been eating outside most mornings, and it would be nice to have comfortable seating outside. Last Saturday, we bought this set off craigslist.
I got it home and started prepping it to repaint, then this set became available.
I thought it was pretty, and decided I liked it more than the other set I had purchased. So, now I need to prep and paint both sets and resell the top one.

Finally, as we were buying the white set, the guy mentioned he was having a garage sale and I noticed some green wicker chairs in a stack. I asked if those were for sale, and he said yes and named a really low price. So, we brought them home too. They are not in awesome condition, but we really needed additional seating on our porch. We had to bring out dining room chairs when my father visited. Obviously, they need to be cleaned and painted too. (Our pressure washer is going to get lots of use this summer.)
I spent over 8 hours sanding the white patio set yesterday. I'm hoping by the end of the weekend, I'll have it ready to paint. I want to finish all these sets by the end of the month.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Santa Rosa Gardens Order

After the Wholesale Nursery debacle, I had pretty much sworn off of buying plants from online nurseries. But this year, when I wanted very specific plants for my particular color scheme, I began thinking it would probably be okay to order from nurseries in Oregon because at least the plants wouldn't have to travel as far.

While I was poking around doing searches for the heuchera in the specific colors I wanted, I found all of them on clearance for $5.99 and $2.99 at the Santa Rosa Gardens website. Then I found some columbines in good colors for $2.99; those would be perfect for the backyard rain garden. And the more I looked, the more I found that I had to have. Honestly, I got a little shopping cart happy when I was perusing their clearance plants. Even though I was reluctant to order from them, I had a moment of weakness and clicked the order button.

At the time, I thought they were located in California, which seemed not so much further than Oregon. At least it's on the west coast. But I learned after I placed the order that they're actually in Florida! Oops.

Anyway, my order arrived today, just three days after I placed it. This time, my result was MUCH different.
Wow, each plant was individually wrapped
The boxes come with these neat little trays designed to hold the pots perfectly
When you pick the pots up you can feel a little of the dirt has been knocked out of the pot. If you support the netting, you can shake most of the loose dirt back into the pot.
Each plant has this little net thing on it to hold the dirt.
They recommend you cut off the netting from the bottom and pull it off from the top so you don't bust stems/branches.

The columbines were looking a little parched, and there were a few broken stems here and there, but they're looking pretty good—and alive—which is a nice change.
Here they are! A little bedraggled, but mostly looking healthy.
Some of these plants were ordered for the backyard Hidden Garden, which isn't ready yet. So, those will get repotted into gallon pots and we'll keep them on the back patio until we're ready to plant them in a month or two.

Update: They just sent me a 50% off coupon for the holiday if anyone is interested. The discount is off the clearance prices.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Reimagining the Rain Garden

Now that Jeff and I have been spending so much time in the yard, I'm starting to reconsider some of my earlier plant choices. I think I'm ready for some more flowers. :)

We planted two small thimbleberry plants in the backyard rain garden and it obviously loved that spot because it has been a chore to control it in the backyard.
Here was the rain garden at the beginning, Oct 2011
Before Jeff realized he could literally chop it to the ground and it would come back, this is what the thimbleberry looked like. It felt like an impenetrable wall splitting our backyard.
After a severe pruning, it got better by Aug 2016. Also, in summer 2016, a friend of ours brought over two large garbage bags of ferns and quite a few of them ended up in this large rain garden.
Here is the yard tidied up in Aug 2016
Here is where the rain garden is at this summer.
Maybe there are too many ferns. LOL
I think I'm ready to remove the thimbleberry. It's a fine plant if you have a huge yard, but we don't. This plant is occupying one of the few sunny spots in our backyard and I would prefer to plant some flowers there. I think we'll also dig and relocate some of the ferns. I predict quite a few will be moving down to our soon-to-be installed Hidden Garden.