When we were looking for apartments, the only reason we wanted outdoor space was for our dog. When we moved it, my first thought was, yes, DIY space! And yes, DIY space it was… and puppy space it was… and that’s it. It was getting a bit embarrassing really. I was planning on doing the bare minimum to clean it up, but then I saw this:
One of my all-time favourite bloggers set up her latest monthly organizing challenge and I just had to participate!
But clearly, I had my work cut out for me.
(And that’s not even the worst of it. When the patio’s completely finished, I’ll force myself to show you the full before picture…)
Those cheapo Ikea chairs were came with a basement apartment my friends and I had a few years ago (yes, those were literally our kitchen chairs for 6 months!) and the table… I literally picked up on the side of the road. You may think it looks somewhat reasonable based on the colour, but really, it was in rough shape.
I decided to try my hand at spray painting them all, plus a cheap little plastic side table we had out there too. Admittedly, I had only really sprayed various frames up until this point… I didn’t quite realize how long (and how many cans) four pieces of furniture would take!
First, I sprayed them all with a primer (Rust-oleum for metal). The guy at Home Depot recommended I choose the lightest grey colour they had since they were out of white, so I ended up using the one meant for metal, not for metal and plastic.
First I cleaned the heck out of them with soap and water and left them to dry. Then I sprayed a light-ish coat of primer (let’s be honest, I clearly had drips on the chair backs).
And then… had to wait a week because it wouldn’t stop raining.
A week later I tackled the white:
It took me two or three coats of white to get them all covered. I would recommend going with a white primer instead of grey if you have the option!
As much as it was a longer process than I had expected, I’m really happy with how they turned out. I didn’t have high expectations for the Ikea chairs, but actually, they’re so much prettier!
A fresh and crisp coat of white and you would never know they are a bunch of mismatched hand-me-down plastic furniture!
I opted to go for little hits of nautical colours. The dark blue was easy since I just brought a few elements from my living room outside, like the pillows.
I would love to have separate pillows for outside too, but storage is at a PREMIUM in this place. If I did that, I’d have to forgo something else and have to worry about them in the winter. Because I used outdoor fabric, I can use them in both spaces, and keep them inside in the winter months.
I also branched out and went for little pops of red. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before! I think they work really nicely against the dark blue.
Plus, these are citronella candles, so Shaun and I can enjoy our little outdoor space without the bugs. Win-win.
I added a spare piece of navy fabric I had lying around to add some colour to the table. The tray is a great space saver because I can simply take it off when we want to have dinner, or if we want to bbq on the table. (Yes, even the bbq. I need multi-functional furniture in a 4 ft wide space! We’ll just put a piece of wood over top of the table to protect it when we want to start up our little grill.)
1 primer and 2 cans of spray paint at $7 each, so $21 total. (Though I went through another half a bottle of white I had hanging around too…)
Citronella candles: $10
New plants: $7 (which is ridiculous because I’m pretty sure I already managed to kill the one I bought last week.)
Table and chairs: free
Everything else I had on hand at home!
Total mini-makeover cost: $38.
Again, here’s what I started with:
And here’s how it looks now:
Not bad eh? The sunshine in the second photo helps. My patio’s only half-way done (I still need to tackle the other side) but I feel like I’ve made progress!
Any projects you have to tackle for the summer? Or would you rather spend your long warm days lounging or going away? I found it funny when I realized I’d rather spend my long weekend sweating in work boots and painting clothes than going on a little mini-trip!