I had planned on showing y'all a few before and afters, but I saw I had 85 pictures and we weren't even half way done! So this is part one of-I don't know how many-outside improvement posts. Here we go...
Since we are getting a brand new pretty pool liner, the outside had to get done. Here's the list:
- Find a way to hide the big honkin' A/C that's right off the deck.
- Remove all rocks and pebbles and replace with cobblestone.
- Add a new deck addition.
- Take out all the ugly shrubs around the pool and replace with pretty plants, bulbs and grasses.
- Try a pallet garden this year, instead of fighting this Texas clay again.
- Plant bulbs all around.
- Remove 25 ft dead palm tree.
- Get new patio chair cushions and umbrella.
- Trim the outside of the guest bath block window.
- Anything else I can come up with along the way.
Hmm. Can it really be that easy? $13 and a few bags of $3 Quikrete later, we were back home, giving it a shot.
First, level the area you are about to do.
This area was FULL of cheap-looking stones and pebbles. A. Lot. Of. Pebbles. I threw them over to the side, around the A/C, and anywhere else I could hide them.
Next, mix your Quikrete and plop your mold down. You can add color at the mixing point (they have it with the molds) or you can wait and stain it after. We chose the latter.
Immediately lift off the mold.
Now, we had stained this the night before, but it rained that night and kinda washed it away.
I bought wipe on stain at the ReStore to blot on later. Sorry for the cropped pictures, but I'm hiding my next tutorial/project and will have a reveal in a few days. :)
Here it is at this point:
I absolutely love how it turned out. I'm debating whether or not to take up the red brick and put more white ones there. They are $1 a piece at the ReStore. We still have a lot more to do in other areas, and I can't wait to see it all finished. One of the main reasons we are doing this is because the rocks and flagstone that were around got so hot during the summer, and the burn your feet getting from the pool to the deck. You have to run or you blister-it's that bad.
Since we had the concrete out, I had Mark help me do a little side project that I found online. Concrete hurricane lamps are expensive! (Also called fire columns) They used to sell them at Restoration Hardware for about $350 a set! I've seen them on other sites for $60 plus, and I'm just not willing to pay that for something I know I can make for around $13. I found a wonderful tutorial by Diane at 'in my own style.'
That's our friend, Ben. I think he thinks I'm insane.
Next, we added coffee cans to make an indent. I dumped the coffee out of one, and then I figured out a gallon vinegar jug has the same dimension. Since I use vinegar for just about everything, I had plenty of those.
Ok. I had wrist surgery 10 days ago at this point, and I got tired of brushing it on left handed, so I just slapped it on with my hand then went over it with the brush.
A quick sanding the next day, and the awesomeness is done. We could have added color when we mixed, or stain after. I'm not exactly sure if I want to stain them. I was thinking just high gloss poly because I kinda like the color of concrete. What do you think?
And that's about it! I hope y'all enjoyed today's post. If you did, leave me some comment love! That always makes me smile. :)
Y'all take care, and come back soon for the rest of the outdoor saga!
UPDATE: To View the next installments of this series, click links:
tagged: +Diane Henkler