Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Totally DO-able Summer Patio!

I wanted to focus today's post on my lovely, DIY Summer Patio.  I am super proud of this project; I had the vision in my head back when there was still a ton of snow on the ground, and to see it work out pretty much exactly the way I wanted it to, is the bee's knees!  Let's get right to it! 

Patio furniture is ridiculously expensive.  We've all seen the picture-perfect store models, set up with bright cushions and fancy outdoor place settings... we wander over in a hazy daze... check that price tag and.... OH HELL NO!  I've always wanted nice, outdoor furniture that is not only sweet to look at, but durable against a Michigan summer.  But I've never been able to swallow those hefty price tags!  Then, last summer, on my way home from work, I noticed a gorgeous, white wicker set for sale on a nice old lady's front lawn.  I immediately slammed on my breaks, turned around and headed straight for the yard.  She had the entire set, with cushions, for sale for $200.00!!!  Amazing!  Why?  Because some sets retail ONE CHAIR for close to $200.00!  To find an entire set for this price?  Wow!  I was even able to talk her down to $150.00.  Like I said, she was super nice and seeing how excited I was, she wasn't able to resist my squeals of delight!  So there's that.  An entire set: One sofa, one love seat, one chair and two ottomans, for $150.00.  The cushions were less than pretty, and I'm not a fan of white wicker, but with a deal like that, I could make things work!  Here are some before pics:

Repainting wicker is a relatively easy process.  Unless you have a ton of time and mountains of patience, I suggest you always use spray paint for this process.  You want to make sure you use a great primer to begin, a great color and a FANTASTIC sealant at the end! 

Simply clean your wicker with a slightly wet rag and then you're ready to spray a good, light coat of primer.  I chose a dark gray primer because we are going from light to dark here and a dark primer to start will give us less coats of our main color.  Once the primer dried completely, start your color process.  I wanted a rich color to make the furniture look brand-spanking new, so I chose an espresso color.  This stuff is amazing.  Looks like chocolate!  Each piece required two full coats of paint, along with various touch ups as it dried, to ensure that no white wicker was peeking through.  Spray from all angles, and make sure you walk around your pieces looking at them from every point of view.  Once all the paint had dried, I went over every piece with a clear gloss spray, to seal and protect the furniture from the elements. 


Once the furniture was painted, I was tasked with picking the perfect cushions.  This was not easy.  Cushions are expensive too!  I debated using fabric spray paint and just painting the cushions myself, but after trying 3 colors of a popular fabric paint, I was completely disappointed and very unsatisfied with the results.  I ended up waiting for some cushions to go on sale at Pier 1 and was able to find comfy cushions in a pretty blue, to match my already painted garage door re-do project.  Because the cushions were still a little pricey, I only purchased 3, and that was enough for my love seat and chair.  The sofa will have to wait until next summer. 

How many cans of paint you purchase for a project like this, is up to your discretion.  Estimate your usage beforehand and that way, when you're at the store, you have a plan of action and won't spend a lot of time staring blankly at walls of product.  I purchased 8 cans for my furniture project, and ended up using about 2 cans per piece of furniture as well as the beginning of one more can for touch ups.  Which left me one and a half cans to use for any outdoor accessories to coordinate with the look of my patio.  This is why I don't mind over-purchasing spray paint.  I ALWAYS will have a use for the leftover paint! 

I painted two planters I've had for years in the rich, espresso color and filled them with bunches of Happy Gerbera daisies, which I found on sale at Home Depot.  I happened upon another planter in the back abyss that is my garage, and painted it with left over, blue spray paint from my garage door project.  Into that pot went a gorgeous variety of succulents, also found on sale, this time at Lowe's.

This photo was taken after the planters had been outside for about a month.
I've had a hand-me-down patio table that has spent time on a balcony in Brazil, had another stint on a balcony at one of my first apartments and even more time on a balcony at my cute little flat where I lived up until last year.  It has been painted twice and had shown it's many years of wear.  The paint was chipping and faded.  I decided to paint it in the pretty blue, to pull the color theme together, and this time, I made sure to sand it down with my electric sander and made sure to put a good primer coat down before painting.  Again, once the piece was painted I went over it with a good coat of the clear, spray gloss.  So far, it's held up against the rain, wind and harsh sunshine. 

This pretty, custom painted pot is courtesy of my lovely, little Livy who wanted to try her own paint project; just like Mommy!
The finishing touches were an outdoor area rug, on sale at Lowe's for $17.00, and then, of course, the piece de resistance... our patio umbrella!  I spent a ton of time researching gazebos and after reading one too many customer reviews about how these types of decor items do not stand up well to windy weather, I decided to check out umbrellas.  I was able to snag one on sale at Kmart and with Boyfriend's help, we had it set up within a day! I hung a wind chime from the umbrella arm and it gets just the right amount of breezy day wind to give us some calming background music when we're in the backyard.  I also found a used lawn ornament, that was a slimy green color and sprayed it in the pretty blue color I had on hand, and it now sits in my slowly-but-surely-growing garden right off my back door.  Its a peacock and I love it!

So that is the story of my Happy little patio.  This project was completed over the course of a year.  The furniture sat in my garage all winter, and as soon as the weather was nice this year, I dragged it out and started painting.  Searching for cushions and that patio umbrella took about a month.  The flowers were found by just wandering around the garden area any time I was at one of my favorite, large-scale home improvement stores and snagging anything pretty that was on sale.  The finishing touches were some twinkle lights strung up on our fence, just to give the space a little bit of Happy sparkle.  Who doesn't love a little sparkle...

Happy Backyard Paradise Everyone!

1 comment:

Rose Mandarino said...

As usual-perfection. Also I have seen this in person, it's very inviting!