Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer Spruce Up: Painted Planter Tutorial

As I mentioned in this post, I wanted to transform this plastic planter for my front porch. I could have easily gone out and bought a new planter, but I found this one in the garage and I knew I could make good use of it again. Besides, there is a budget folks. For about $7 I was able to take this dirty, sad looking planter and turn it into a cheery one. Here is how I did it.

  • Plastic planter
  • Rust-oleum satin spray paint plus primer in Heirloom White
  • Rust-oleum satin spray paint plus primer in Lemon Grass
  • Clear satin spray finish
  • Painter's tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen or pencil
Step 1:  Wash the planter with a mild soap and water. Let dry.
Step 2:  Apply the Heirloom spray paint to the outside of the pot. I didn't worry about spraying the top portion too much because I knew it was going to be the Lemon Grass color.
Step 3:  Measure the desired width of the stripes you wish to create and mark all the way around the pot.
Step 4: Apply painter's tape to cover where your white stripes will be. Don't cover the marks you made with the tape. Also, make sure the tape is  applied securely, but not so much that the white tape will come off.
Step 5:  Spray the Lemon Grass paint on the exposed areas as well as the top 4-5" of the inside. Allow to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 6:  Carefully remove the tape. If you do have any areas where the tape would have removed any of the paint, spray some of the paint from the can into a small disposable container and fill in any areas with a small paint brush.
Step 7:  Spray with a clear finish and allow to dry.
Step 8: Plant your flowers and admire the beauty of it all.
Pat yourself on the back for saving a plastic pot from potentially going into the landfill.

I'm down to one more item to do on my exterior front Summer Spruce Up - the chair cushions. I'm hoping to wrap this project up this week.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Spruce Up: New Table Painted

You may remember this table from the before pictures of my exterior front spruce up post. Yes, it's a sad sight. This table was a free find by my brother, along with a set of wicker chairs that we've since given to another. We kept the table only because it fit on the porch with the wicker rocker. And I don't "fit" as in belonged or complemented. I mean it was the right size. The wood wrap continues to fall off every year and I am tired of trying to make it look presentable.
I was on a mission to find a new table that would complement the wicker rocker and found this one on clearance at Hobby Lobby.
Not only was it the right size, but I liked the rustic, not-so-perfect look.
I wasn't concerned about the color because I figured I'd probably paint it anyway. From yesterday's post, you know that it was a little bit of a challenge deciding which color to go with, but I ended up going with a bright blue color called Lagoon from Rust-oleum.
I cleaned the table up to remove any dirt and went to work spraying. And here it is painted bright blue.
It certainly makes a statement on the freshly painted porch floor.
Things are really coming together on this project. There are a couple things left including the flower pot reveal and sewing new cushions for the rocking chair. More to come soon.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Spruce Up: Color Conundrum

At the end of my post yesterday, I mentioned that I was having a more difficult time choosing colors for a few of the items I had left to work on for the exterior. Today, I thought I'd walk you through my dilemma and the thought process to how I decided on colors. This whole sprucing up the exterior front really came about when I found this outdoor rug at Target. I just fell in love with the colors and decided I needed to have this rug and I finally needed to make some decisions and changes to the front to give it more curb appeal.
I'm tired of being so safe and neutral in my home decor and want to push myself  to incorporate more of the colors I love. The ones that make me happy. This rug is going to be the start of helping me do that. So, back to choosing colors. I needed to decide on what colors to paint my porch furniture and a planter that would be on the opposite side of the door.
Originally, my husband voted for all three pieces to be black, which I hadn't considered, but liked the idea so off to the store I went to buy black paint even though my head was telling me I wasn't 100% sold on this choice. Sometimes you make decisions just to get them done. Before I started painting, I thought it would be wise to place all the items on the front porch as is and try and visualize how they might look in all black. I even draped the fabric that will become the new chair cushions over the back of the chair and put out the plants that will go in the planter. Neither one of us were crazy about the all-black idea anymore. We both thought it would clash with the almost black door instead of being complementary. For me, it was also just too safe and matchy-matchy. I had to go back to my original reason for doing this project, which was to add more of the colors I love and to push myself to be a little more bold. Two trips to the store later, I came home with these colors from which to choose.
One might think having all these colors to choose from would be more confusing, but it actually made it easier for me to eliminate colors that I didn't feel would work and take a chance with the ones that I thought would work. In the end, these are the colors I chose. You'll have to stay tuned for how I'm incorporating them.

More to come soon.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Spruce Up: New Outdoor Lights and Porch Floor Painted

The outdoor lights on the front exterior were fine and fully functional, but I had a few things I didn't like about them. First, they were a bit ornate for my liking and their grayish color blended into the siding. With me now incorporating more contrasting features like the shutters, columns and rails, and the front door, it was only appropriate to do the same with the lights and balance out the front of the house. Here are the old and new images of the ceiling light under the front porch.
The real difference in appearance came from changing out the wall hanging lights. The old ones were a bit small so I wanted the new ones to be slightly larger to make more of a statement. That, along with the black instead of the gray color helped to do so. We changed out four of the wall lights - three on the front and one on the side. A big thanks to my husband for doing to installing for me.

I also was able to get the front porch floor painted. I hadn't done this for three years and it was definitely looking grimy. I used the same gray porch paint I had in the past, but just gave it a couple fresh coats of paint after cleaning it up really well. It's now a refreshing sight.
So, I have a few more things to do including the rest of my plants, the porch furniture and some finishing touches. I have to admit, I am a bit stuck on some color decisions that have to be made so it might take me a little while longer to get these things done.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Spruce Up: Front Door Painted

The next tackled project for the exterior is the front door system. It had to be painted for a couple reasons. First, the door was a different color than the sidelite, which also had a color inconsistencies. See the yellowed grilles?
Second, now that the wood columns and rails have been painted white (see post), there was too much white at the entry. I knew I wanted to create contrast, so I painted the door the same almost black color that I painted the shutters. You can read about that post here. But first, prep work. I cleaned the surfaces really good and allowed them to dry. Then I taped off any areas that I didn't want to get paint on like the glass, the trim and the handle.
Since the door was going to have to remain open for pretty much the entire day so the paint could dry properly, I built this barrier out of plastic bags and painter's tape to keep bugs, birds or other critters out of the house. Is that a little crazy? For me, it was better to be safe than sorry.
I kept the door in place with wood shims and began the next step of priming. Whenever I am painting a dark color on something light, I always tint the primer by mixing it with some of the paint.

This will help to provide better coverage when painting with the dark color. It doesn't have to be as dark as the paint but it helps to be somewhere in the middle. I ended up with a medium gray.

I've also found that priming your surface twice provides even better coverage and makes painting go faster. This applies even for paints that include primer. It really just depends on what you are painting.
After the primer was dry, I added two coats of the paint and let the door sit open for the remainder of the day. And now there is consistency in color and great contrast.
Love it!

Next up, new lights, porch floor painting and my plants. More to come soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Spruce Up: Columns and Rails Painted

If anything on the house needed some TLC, it was the columns and rails at the front entry. I've been indecisive about the look of these since we moved in over three years ago. I did like the rustic feel it gave the front and the stained wood was a nice tie-in for the brownish brick and gray siding. Two years ago, I went to the pain staking effort of stripping off the orange colored stain that was on them when we moved in. I sanded them down and re-stained them hoping for a more rich brownish color, but it didn't quite turn out that way. The whole time, my husband told me to just paint them. He hated the stain. I said I would give it one time around staining and if in a year or two it looks bad, I'll paint them. And here we are.
You know when you live in your house and you don't realize how bad something looked until you change it? Well, I have that feeling about these columns and rails. There are a number of problems here. First, the columns are all scratched up from the winter holiday lights and greenery that I hung from them. Second, the sun just beats on them in the afternoon and fades the lower portion. Third, the color is gross because it yellows from the sun and the stain never really went on very even.
To get them ready for painting, I first had to properly prep them. I sanded them down and got as much stain off as I could. I planned to use my sander for the larger flat areas, but in the middle of it all, I realized I was out of sand paper for it. I decided that by the time I clean up and go to the store to get some more, that I could have it done by hand. Let's just say, my triceps were burning by the time I was done. I probably won't make that mistake again.
Here is a crappy photo I took of myself with my phone while I was sanding. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.
After sanding, I washed everything down and let it dry for at least 24 hours.
Here they are all cleaned and ready for the next step.

Next, I had to fill the gaps that had occurred from probably shrinkage over the years. The gaps at the base of the columns were quite large in some areas so instead of trying to fill them all with caulk, I first filled them with wood shim, secured the bases with long nails and applied a paintable exterior caulk.
After filling any gaps, cleaning again and taping off, I was ready to prime and paint. Yes! My favorite part. I chose a white that would match closely to the windows and exterior trim. The color is called Powdered Snow by Behr.
I was blown away at how bright and clean it all looked after finishing.
And here is the after shot.
I am SO pleased with the outcome. I should have done this two years ago. Does that mean I have to admit my husband was right? Just kidding. You can see that I am prepping for the front door to be painted. I'll share that transformation with you soon.

Have a great weekend!