it's done! my bench project! thought i'd share it with you...
i tried to find a good 'before' picture so you could get a good feel for the transformation. this was the best i could find. this is from late last august - 1st day of school. you can see enough of the bench to see how weather worn and gray it was.
here's what i did.
so, i took it apart and sanded it with a hand-held power sander until most of the weathered coloring was gone from the wood. i couldn't get it all off, but it was much better than it had been.
then i cleaned it with TSP and bleach water. and then let it dry.
i stained the wood slats and spray painted the metal parts. spray painting works best in light coats. trying to cover everything in one spray coat leaves the paint heavy in spots and can cause dripping or pooling. definitely don't be in a hurry and rush through the painting process. multiple coats is well worth the wait.
lucas had to help me reassemble - mostly because it was too heavy and awkward for me to manage alone. but also because i had no idea that i would need to put it back together in exactly the same way it came apart (like every single board had to go exactly where it was before, even though there were 3 boards all the same size and length and whatnot... lessons learned). next time, i will most definitely label the end of the boards so the labels won't show when it's all put back together, but so there's no question about which was is up, and what order the boards go in.
so i threw the cushions on that i found at Pier 1 and plopped down to enjoy it! it's my new happy place. it's perfect for reading, and it tuckes into a somewhat shadey corner of the deck, so most of the time, with the exception of a few hours of the day, it provides some shelter from the heat of the direct sun.
it's so bright and cheerful. it makes me feel happy. *happy sigh*
also yesterday i went over to meijer specifically to snag this wood folding table they had on clearance. somehow i ended up paying even less than i had expected. the clearanced price was $39.99. after tax, i paid a whopping $32 for this guy.
also got the retro green chairs on sale at meijer. i have plans to brighten up the table a bit with some lanterns and candles (that will double as bug repelants). just have to get around to getting them.
yesterday evening lucas and i sat out on our deck for the first time since we moved here. he sat at the table with his coffee and i sat on my bench with my kindle (side note, i've been totally engrossed in the fever series of books for the past week. i'm on book three. i have basically ignored reality for a good chunk of the time and just plowed through these stories. i'm a sucker for a well-written story, and this series is phenomenally done!) anyway, when we finally got up and went inside, i sighed a happy sigh and thought, 'this is exactly why i did this.' it was so nice to finally be able to use the deck that has been hanging off the back of our house for the past few months.
one more side note before i go... i looked at the new benches at lowes yesterday. they were around $100. i felt very proud of myself for the fact that i only spent about $20 to redo the bench we already had.