Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Re-Vamping Outside your Home

Since summer is coming to an end and my husband has officially gone back to work, I'm going to share with you some of the summer projects we did.  We bought our home last August and waited till summer came to Re-Vamp the outside. We still want to landscape and build a bench for our patio but those will have to wait.

We started re-vamping the outside of our house by removing the ugly bushes in the front. This was very difficult and we probably should of found someone with a truck to pull them out but we didn't think about it at the time. My husband first cut down all the bushes them we drilled holes and poured stump killer into the holes. After abut two weeks we dug up the remaining roots and filled the holes in with dirt.

Home makeover, painting shutters
Before & After of shutters and door

While waiting on the stumps to die we started painting the shutters and doors green. The front door was a beige color and the back was white and peeling. The shutters were grey with a greenish border so the colors didn't match and it looked very tacky. We found a shade of green we liked at Lowes and had them add a gloss to it. We bought a gallon of green paint for four shutter, two doors and the mailbox and still had at least a fourth if not more left. I recommend pressure washing everything (shutters, doors, deck, patio, mailbox) to remove the dirt before you begin painting and staining.

We painted our mailbox the same color we painted the doors and shutters and added cheap number stickers to it. We already had red spray paint so we spray painted the flag red so we didn't have to buy more paint.  Next we removed the weeds and the creek rocks, then we pulled up all the rocks using our hands and a shovel. After we removed all the rocks, we sprayed weed killer and put down landscaping fabric to help keep the weeds from coming back. We put most of the rocks back and added three small 12x12 stepping stones so we can now walk to the back of the mailbox without twisting our ankles. It looks so much better then it did when we bought the house. Sorry for the blurry before picture but that was the only one I could find because I forgot to take one myself.

re-vamping mailbox
Before & After of the Mailbox

The finished deck, patio, painted door and light fixture
We pressure washed then stained our back deck. We originally bought one gallon of stainer but that was only enough to cover all the side post so we had to buy another. We ended up using two gallons of Olympic Maximum Cedar Naturaltone stainer. It has a six year protection so we won't have to re-stain the deck for a while. The stainer was about $37 a gallon so it is expensive but it was much needed.  We used rollers and paint brushes to apply the stainer to the deck and I recommend fixing anything that needs fixing or sanding the rough points before you stain it. 

We also fixed the patio because it was placed only on dirt, uneven and weeds were growing up so whoever originally laid it didn't know what they where doing. My husband pulled up all the stones. He then dug up the dirt, making it deeper and as flat as he could and sprayed it with weed killer. We then layer landscaping fabric and covered it with sand. We weren't going to buy step 2 sand but ended up having to to fill it in more. We then laid the stones, replacing the broken stones with new stones. We also made the patio bigger then it was. We had to re-do part of it because the new stones are smaller than the older stones by a hair so it is a little off, but it still looks nice. We placed the broken stones under the deck to lay stuff on in the future and plan on building an "L" shape bench out of pallets to go by the steps, we just need to get some pallets first.

The patio with the bench and new fire pit

***UPDATE: We built a bench for the patio at the end of August using fence wood. Here is a link to the tutorial on how we built the bench: DIY L-Shape Patio Bench

re-vamping light fixtures
Before & After of the Light Fixtures
Lastly for our summer outside the house re-vamp, I decided to paint the light fixtures. We have four outside light fixtures and all of them were rusted and ugly so I gave them a makeover. My husband removed them and laid them out for me to paint. I used a small can of black paint from Lowes with a gloss finish, a sponge paint brush and a tiny regular paint brush for the smaller lines. The light fixtures look almost brand new and it only cost about $5 for the paint and we still have at least half of it left if not more. A lot cheaper than buying new light fixtures, just very time consuming. 

*NOTE: Be careful when washing out your brushes. The paint would not come off of the brushes and it ended up getting all over my hands trying to get it off. If this happens use goo-gone to remove the paint and clean your brushes.

We also spray painted the old patio furniture that came with the house and made a few decorations for the inside. We had a busy summer re-vamping the outside of our home. It cost a little more than we wanted to spend but out home looks a lot better then it did. The pictures don't do it justice. Plus we would rather do it right than have to keep re-doing it from doing it wrong the first time. Now we just need to landscape the front of the house where we removed the bushes (Summer 2016 project) then we will be done as far as I know!!! I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you have any questions about re-vamping the outside of your home commit below!

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