Spray It Out, Spray It Out

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.

Patio furniture before

(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.

Table before

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.

Spray Paint

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).

Primed chair

And then… had to wait a week because it wouldn’t stop raining.

A week later I tackled the white:

First coat

Second coat

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!

Apartment patio

A fresh and crisp coat of white and you would never know they are a bunch of mismatched hand-me-down plastic furniture!

Patio bird's eye view

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.

Apartment patio DIY

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.

Candles

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.

Flower trioFlowers in the sun

Plus, these are citronella candles, so Shaun and I can enjoy our little outdoor space without the bugs. Win-win.

Citronella candles

Pops of red

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.)

Table top

Costs:

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:Patio furniture before

And here’s how it looks now:

Apartment patio

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!

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Easy Breezy Outdoor Art

I’ve recently become a little obsessed over outdoor fabric. I seem to find much prettier and modern prints at my local fabric store in outdoor prints, but I never realized how much more versatile the material is. Not only is it pretty for pillows, but it also keeps clean as place mats (since it’s stain repellent) and can be used as art on a patio!

In my pre-blogging days, I still DIYed a project or two, like these:

Art to hang

I used them as cheap “art canvases” in our hallway.

To make them, I cut out four pieces of plywood, each 1’x1′. I chose a pretty piece of fabric (you’ll notice I’ve done this twice already!) and, used a staple gun to attach each piece securely into place.

Back of art canvases

Originally I had hung them with velcro command strips. I’ve had them cluttering up the our bedroom floor for a while, and I had yet to find a place for them in this apartment… Until I realized they would be perfect with the nautical colours I’m using for our patio!

The must-have before shot:

Patio before shot

The rental patio… Pretty bland, must like the rest of our place. I wanted to add some privacy to either side. The view from this angle isn’t too much of an eyesore (more on the other side later), so I just needed something small. My canvases fit the bill!

To put them up, I used some extra wire I had left over from a Christmas project and again, my trusty staple gun.

Total Material Needed: a staple gun, wire, pliers to cut the wire, a level, a tape measure, hammer and nail, outdoor fabric and precut plywood.

I started off by attaching two canvases together with two pieces of wire.

How to attach the wire

With the weight of the wire, the staples didn’t push down completely flush to the plywood. To keep them in place, I just bent the wire back. Holds easily :)

Floating art behind the scenes 2

I followed the same process on the bottom frame. To keep it level, I recommend stapling the same distance apart and of course, keeping the wire the same length. Keep the bottom staples entirely level to avoid falling crooked to one side. That being said, don’t worry about it being perfect. Because the wire is only bent in place, not fastened, it’s easy to adjust once you’re done.

On the top end, I attached one long piece of wire, and hung it on a nail above our balcony. Simple.

Nailed it

I had to tweak them a bit, but it was such an easy project. I’m surprised at how happy I am with the result!

Floating art 5  Floating art 3

Since I already had the canvases, it only took about an hour to put together. My patio is starting to take shape… Here it was this morning:   

Patio before shot

And this afternoon with my newly hung floating art:

Floating art

There’s a little sneak peak of the patio furniture I just finished too… Pretty excited to show you all! I would today, but the paint needs to fully dry before I can style it.

Total costs for this project:

Free!

I already had everything on hand. It’s still super budget-friendly though: less than two yards of fabric and a bit of wire and plywood. Cheap cheap cheap.

Floating art 1

Check back Wednesday to see my new patio furniture. Pretty exciting what a can a few cans of spray paint can do!