Tag Archives: makeover

Deck Reno

So, it’s painfully obvious that I don’t really have time to write this blog anymore, right? Yeahhhhh…apparently when you have a full-time job, blogging gets a little more difficult.   Doesn’t mean I’ll stop…just might be awhile in between posts.  I appreciate those of you who still check in every once in a while!

Just because we’re busy working doesn’t mean we’ve stopped all our projects.  This summer, our main focus has been improving the outside of our house…particularly our backyard.

Actually, I call it a backyard, but it is really a big deck and a postage-stamp sized patch of grass.  For purposes of this post, the grass is unimportant.  Let’s focus on that deck…

Hmm. Yeah.

Actually, you might remember that one of my Houseolutions this year was to give the deck a little makeover.  We’ve had our eyes on a product at Lowes called “Restore” for a while.  It promised to resurface the deck and seemed pretty easy to apply.  So, one day we just bit the bullet and picked up the supplies.

We read a bunch of info online before deciding on this product.  Based on reviews and the Restore website, we figured we’d need 2 of the big buckets to cover the deck (we ended up having leftovers, but 1 wouldn’t have done it).  We also picked up the stain so we could make sure the rails matched (the resurfacer is not recommended for vertical surfaces).  As far as color, we ended up going with one called “Timberline” (below).  Once you pick the color, the paint dudes at Lowe’s mix it into the product and stain, just like you were buying paint.

We started by prepping the surface.  The product recommends power washing but we went ahead and skipped that part out of laziness/lack of power washer/not wanting to wait for it to dry.  Instead, we used a leaf blower and broom to get as much dirt off as we could, and used a small sander to even out any rough spots.

Here’s some evidence of why we needed such a heavy duty product…nail holes, cracks, and huge spaces between some of the boards…

We used some caulk to fill in some of the bigger spaces, just to give the stuff something to stick to:

Pretty sure this counts as cheating in the deck restoration world, but I don’t care.

So once things were all prepped, we got to work on applying the first coat.  The general consensus with online reviews is that it goes on like sandy paint.  Some reviews recommended watering down the stuff to make it easier to apply.  Almost all reviews recommended against buying the Restore-brand special roller.  In the end, we skipped the pricey roller (instead using a couple of roller covers made for painting stucco, so they were nice and thick) but also didn’t water anything down.  I don’t know about the recommended roller, but if you use regular ones you will definitely need a fresh one for each coat.  This stuff destroys rollers.

Anways, we started rolling on the first coat…

And of course had the same reaction that you’re having right now….something like, “wow that’s super orange…”  Yep.  Sure was.  Don’t worry – it mellowed and darkened with a couple of coats.

The consistency was also just what we expected…thick, sandy paint.  Here’s a close up of a thin first coat we put on the top rail:

And after a couple of coats:

The instructions recommend 2-3 coats, so we painted ourselves off the deck* and took a break.

(*when we painted ourselves off the deck, we also painted ourselves away from the only unlocked door to our house. Typical.)

Speaking of the above picture, you can see the rails and other places where we ended up using the stain instead.  We just applied it with a small roller and it basically covered the old deck color in one coat.

Anyways, by the end of the afternoon we had a couple of coats on and most of the hard work was done (this stuff was not the easiest to roll on…maybe watering it down would’ve helped a little?). I’m happy to report that it really did a good job of a covering splinters, nail holes, etc.  After going back and touching up with the stain, our deck looked totally different.

We still want to paint the fence, but that might have to wait til next summer.

That’s it for this one! Enjoy the weekend :)

About these ads

Leave a comment

Filed under DIY

Triumphant Return!

Well, I bet you all thought we abandoned this thing, huh?  WRONG! Joke’s on you, suckers. We’re back, yo (not unlike IU basketball…94 days til Hoosier Hysteria!)

Alright so we’ve definitely been neglectful to our little blog here.  I blame it on a couple of things: first, I started a real big girl lawyer job which has been taking up some of my free time (thankfully!), and secondly it has been FREAKING HOT and not at all conducive to house projects.  Lastly, we’ve had an adorable new addition to our family in the form of our new Godson – Foster Jacob!

But don’t worry, we’ve been getting plenty done around here too, and I just uploaded a bajillion pictures as evidence.

I’m not sure where to start, since the next several posts will not be in any type of chronological order.  I think I’ll dedicate this post to a little table makeover I did one afternoon.  My mom picked up this table on clearance at Kohl’s a couple of years ago when I got my first apartment:

It didn’t have those marks when she bought it…those, unfortunately, were incurred during multiple moves in a short time period.  Plus, the cherry colored wood didn’t really go with our new decor.  So, on a day when I was feeling like going on a painting spree (pay no attention to that orange frame…that’s a post for another day. UNSEE IT!!), I unscrewed the wood top from the legs…
And took our random orbital sander to it, to rough it up and remove some of the glossy finish..notice the shine before:
…and after:
Probably unnecessary, and nothing a coat of primer couldn’t have fixed, but oh well.  I was in a power tools-type mood I guess. I had some gray paint on hand (leftover from painting our dining room), so I gave the table a couple of coats:
I debated painting the legs, but they were in good shape and I didn’t want to deal with the paint chipping off in a couple of years.  For now, we have it down in our newly remodeled basement as a little side table (ignore the messy blankets and pillows…this was clearly taken around 10:30am while I was watching the Nate Berkus Show during my unemployed phase):
I hope you appreciate the little vignette we set up for this picture.  It remains relatively unchanged today, even though it’s been a good couple months.  I never claimed to be a master photo stager.
Ok, so hopefully you’ll take this as a good faith effort that I’m gonna try to revive this blog.  Keep checking back, because – I’m not gonna lie – I totally thrive on number of hits and comments. At least I’m honest, right?


Filed under DIY

Basement Built-Ins

Hi and happy Tuesday!

I really want to wrap up this basement project, but I feel like the projects just.keep.coming.  Luckily, in “real life” it is finally all finished, but in blog land there’s still a couple little things we haven’t shared yet.  Hopefully I can get them knocked out in the next few days so we can finally move on with our lives. Sound good? Ok, here we go…

So this post is basically a photographic progression of the built-ins that we added to the back wall of our basement…remember this lovely area, complete with a random “what is this??” block in the corner (for more about the beginning of this project, check out this post):

Never content to just paint a wall, we decided to add some built-in storage across that wall to add some architecture to an otherwise pretty plain space. Since I’m not really up on all the details of cabinet making, this will mostly just be pictures with my ingenious descriptions.  Let’s be honest – you probably just scan the pictures most days anyways. If nothing else, pay attention to how much progress we make in the basement while making relatively no progress on the cabinets.  There’s a reason this post took so long!

Here’s the base that we built after painting, starting the ceiling, and installing the beadboard/trim, but pre-floors:

Oooooo look! Progress! Floors, furniture, and some cabinet carcasses (FYI: Bryan told me that the “bones” of the cabinet are called “carcasses” and I straight up told him he was lying.  Turns out he’s right…I only believe it cause I heard it on the Nate Berkus Show, and if Nate says it, you know its true).

Fine Strawbridge craftsmanship (no, seriously….it’s legit):

Here’s a close up of in interior:

I gave them a couple of coats of the same white semi-gloss paint that we used on the beadboard…you can see it in the background.  This is how we were living with the room for a good couple weeks.  Notice the little decorative boxes and candle we set up to try to disguise the weird corner block. Fancy.

Here’s the last bit of the lower cabinets installed and waiting for paint…and check out the wine fridge in the far right cabinet! And yes, that’s beer inside that we were trying to cool down.  Classy (and, as it turns out, ineffective).

It was finally time to paint over the black tile-esque top on the corner block, since it would be visible when we opened that cabinet:

So after giving the final cabinet a coat of paint, our built-ins needed a top.  You may remember our precarious trip home from IKEA, resulting in this situation for the 2 hour drive…

Notice the cardboard mass taking over the upper half of the photo?  That’s the countertop we brought home, and here she is partially unwrapped. Yeah, somehow we fit that in the Tahoe…but just barely.

Here’s the info packet if you’re interested in the type we purchased, and here’s the link to the IKEA page about the countertop.  This is one of those things where IKEA is an amazing resource…the 96 inch countertop only set us back $69 and we think it looks pretty amazing!

It was a little longer than we needed, so we had to cut it somehow.  The instructions suggested using a hand saw, so that’s where we started after measuring the cut line and covering both sides of the countertop with painters tape to prevent chipping.

The handsaw method flat-out sucked.  It would have taken all day. Enter, jigsaw.

We popped the countertop on with a little glue and some screws on the underside to hold everything in place.  We had also added some more beadboard going up the wall to create a back for the next project…bookcases!

I’ll spare you the details (since I don’t have any pictures), but here are the bookcases up and painted, along with some crown molding across the top to finish off the look.  These still needed some caulk and paint touch-ups, so ignore the messiness.


Alright…home stretch! We touched up the paint/caulk around the bookcases and decorated them with empty picture frames (anyone else do this? I just haven’t found the right picture yet…oops):

…added some cabinet doors (also made by Bryan…he’s so handy to have around):

And FINALLY this project is finished! (Ignore the glare on the wall…It’s not a crazy painting mistake, I promise)

Eventually we’ll find some baskets or other chotchkies to fill the open shelving, but for now this is it.

Don’t worry – there’s only 1 basement post left and then we can all finally move on with our lives. Til then…





1 Comment

Filed under Build It, DIY