Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Patio Furniture

Once I decided to build the patio, I knew I also wanted to move our outdoor furniture around. We weren't using it much while it was on the deck and I knew it would be much more useful on the patio.

looking sad here

But if we moved our existing patio furniture from the deck to the patio, what would we put on the deck? Sure, there's a few toys for River, and the grill for Mr M, but it's a big deck and needs something there. We could leave it fairly empty, but most of my current projects are focused on getting the house looking nice and ready to sell. In other wards, the deck needed to be staged properly. Since it's off the back of the house and the same location as our grill, I decided an outdoor dining set would be a good addition.

but much better here

Sunshine frequently asks to do schoolwork outside on the deck, but without a table out there it's just not a practical option. The coffee table is too short to be a useful table surface, but a dining set would do double duty for outdoor meals as well as outdoor school time.

I wanted something super sturdy, so instead of buying a set, I built one. I used plans I found here and here, and built the table and benches on the deck so they wouldn't have to be moved. They are quite heavy and the epitome of sturdy! I debated between using regular pine and treated pine since the table and benches will be living outside, unprotected from the weather. I wasn't convinced that multiple coats of varnish would be enough to protect the wood from the rain and humidity, but decided I didn't want us in close contact with the treated wood (even if the chemicals are supposed to be safer than they were in the past), so I went with untreated pine.

I got it to this point before Sunshine's birthday party

While Mr M was power washing the patio and decks and felling the tree, I concentrated on getting the table and benches built in time for Sunshine's birthday party. I did stop to help Mr M finish bringing down the tree, but I was able to finish them Friday afternoon. I didn't have time to sand, stain or seal until last week though.

I followed the instructions on the plans, except for a couple things. I didn't put the "X's" under the table and benches, and just left them as "V's". That part was getting too fiddly and taking too long, and it was just decorative, so I just left it. I also drilled a hole through the table top and a little way into the bottom stretcher for the umbrella that I purchased a year or so ago on clearance at the end of summer.

Last week I stained the table and benches, then gave them a coat of Thompson's water seal. The waterproofing was put to the test just 24 hours later (the minimum time needed for it to dry) when we got some pouring rain.

Part of me would like to put an indoor/outdoor rug under the table and benches, but I just can't justify spending the money. Our weather is so damp and we have so many bugs and there's always tree poop falling on everything and I seriously doubt a rug would survive one summer. Or if it did, you wouldn't want to step on it with bare feet :) I might get a rug when we list the house and are actually staging everything, but for now we'll live without a "properly" styled deck. We also need to re-stain the deck, but I'm not sure when that'll happen. Probably not till fall.

While we were moving furniture around, we also brought the blue bench that used to be by the basement door up to the deck and set it near the newly-cleaned-and-re-filled sand and water table. Now the deck is a much more useful space.

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