Sunday, July 28, 2019

More Plants

In my never-ending quest for color palette perfection, I dragged Jeff to a couple of nurseries somewhat outside of Portland this weekend.

Loen Nursery was having an end-of-season sale so we went on Saturday to get our Japanese maple. My plan called for an Acer palmatum 'Sherwood Flame' because all my research told me it maxed out at 15' and was burgundy in the summer and red in the fall. But, the 'Sherwood Flame' Loen had in stock was neither burgundy nor red. It was green, which would not do. So, right then, I ditched the plan and instead bought an Acer palmatum 'Wolfe', called Emperor I. Its mature height is a little taller than the Sherwood Flame, but it is at least burgundy/red.

We also picked out several perennials, which were 50% off. And we bought a tray of plants for groundcover.

On Sunday, we drove out to Blooming Junction in Cornelius because they have an online inventory and it looked like they carried a few plants I'd been looking for for a while. They, unfortunately, were not having a sale, but we did get a couple of plants I'd had trouble locating. And, of course, we brought home a few spontaneous purchases. It's hard to pass up beautiful blooming plants.

So, now we've got most of the plants for the Hidden Garden here, lined up and ready to go in the ground when we're ready. I'll probably re-pot most of the 4" pots into gallon pots to survive the August heat. The rest of the plants not yet purchased are just not available right now, so I'll have to wait. (I hate waiting.)
We are getting quite the fern collection. It seems like every time we see a fern we don't already have in our yard, we pick up at least one.
Last month, Jeff spread some leftover crimson clover seeds and has been watering the area. I think he is trying to bring up the mint and blackberry so he can remove them, and to amend the soil by turning under the clover in a few weeks when they're ready to dig in soil amendments.

I finally got primer for my vintage patio set, so I plan to start working on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Painting "Booth"

Jeff jury-rigged up a painting booth in the pergola and, despite the heat, I've been busy the last several days painting the wicker chairs. I've never painted wicker before so I didn't realize how much paint they require to do a good job. Jeff had to go buy more cans in the middle of the project. I think I used eight cans for the four green pieces.

I used the Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Gloss Hunter Green Spray Paint, which was on sale at our local Ace Hardware. The gloss is nice, but I don't know how long it will last, and it makes the wicker look vaguely plastic.

I also need to sing the praises for the Can Gun 1 which made this project SO MUCH easier.
First I painted the white chairs and they're listed for sale.
These look much better now.
Painted and drying
I need to figure out if I can recycle these
I still need to paint the metal table, but I need to make a trip out to Lowe's to get primer; I finally found a reasonably priced option that will prime galvanized metal.

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. :)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Yes We Can!

One of my favorite parts of summer.

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.