Updating the Wood Swingset with Behr Wood Cleaner

Monday, April 10, 2017

It's springtime, and I can't be the only one with sad, forlorn wooden structures in their back yard. I'm talking about the grayed out decks, the mildew covered playsets, and yes, the fences that have seen better days.  Guess what, there is hope!  They can be revitalized!

When we came to look at this house last spring, I was drawn out to the yard by this old swingset.  It was nestled in the woods, and gave you a nice view back to the house from outside.  We planned to update the swings, but we've only got one kid.  So we got one swing up, and never got back to the project.

But recently, I have been itching to complete something, so I decided to put the rest of the swings up.  But even with the new swings, the set look dated.  The wood has always looked worn, so the plan was to stain it a dark black, or greeny-black stain color to freshen it up.  I didn't realize that the discoloration was mildew.

But the directions on the stain said to clean the wood first, so I reluctantly went back and did so. 
If I had known that the wood cleaner would have this much of an effect, I would not have put that sample up!  Who knew old wood could look this good?  Some people know, I just didn't, but everyone needs to know this!

I am so impressed with this product.  It was only $15 and took me about four hours to complete the whole swingset.  Working in sections, I wet the swingset down, applied the wood cleaner mixed according to instructions with a small 3-inch chip brush, and went back to my starting point and began scrubbing.  It requires you to scrub it, but you see it working and removing the mildew.  I rinsed the wood as I went along.

We still need to figure out how to cut off that one last blue swing hanging on like a toddler who doesn't want to leave the playground.

The stairs also need a bit of repair, and I have to remove the EXTRA-LARGE sample that I put up!

But I can't wait to stain and seal this baby!  I don't know how old this swingset is, but I would say it just got a major facelift!

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Spring Gardening-The Front Yard

Friday, April 7, 2017

It's spring time, so the garden beckons for you to come outside.  I just mulched the front foundation beds a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to see all the plants come back to life. 

This is actually a project I started last summer.  Initially there were azaleas and ivy in the beds.

But I wanted the ivy gone for a cleaner look.

Never in my life...

I came across a snake in the process of ripping this stuff out, and I believe something poisonous as well because I broke out in a rash. 

But now the house could breath.  I have never been so happy to see bare dirt.

Have I ever mentioned that I love hydrangeas?  Like L-O-V-E love them.  But I knew I needed something evergreen to provide year round interest.  I originally wanted hydrangeas in the back and Otto Lukyen Laurels in the front, but the garden center guy cautioned me that they were susceptible to a particular insect.  Instead he steered me toward a plant I had never heard of called Distylium, 'Vintage Jade'.  I kind of wish I had stuck with my guns, but so far I like the distylium.  It held up well over the winter.

This was most of the plants in the fall, but shortly after I got them in the ground and mulched, the leaves started falling.  I can't win!

I also love a good vine, and had been wanting an evergreen clematis ever since seeing this post over on Cottage and Vine.  I finally found one.  You can see my little vine over by the porch step.

So because of my timing, my mulch got 'leafed' immediately after I put it down, and the next several
months were spent raking an endless amount of leaves and acorns.  This was just the beginning.

But all is forgiven.  It's spring, and I feel renewed.  I almost cannot wait to get outside and get my hands in the dirt everyday.  Like gardening counts as exercise, right?  Below are the front beds re-mulched just in time for spring.

I'm working on repeating this phenom in some other areas of the yard.  What are you up to in the garden this spring?  Is yard work the bane of your existence, or do you love it?

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