Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Porch Ponderings

As my sweet friend Mrs. M said to me yesterday, I've got myself a project!

Oh my! what have I gotten myself into???

It all started out innocently enough! Big dreams and frugal living had me searching Craig's List for 'wicker' furniture. I was so pleased when I saw the set above listed for $75.

Let me just say, pictures are sometimes deceiving.

From the picture I could see some clean up and a touch of spray paint, but I thought that it was a good deal. The cushions came with the set but need some new fabric ... my speciality!

I wasn't up to the drive and there was no room in the van for all of us and the furniture, so I sent my sweet hubby and our Dreamer to make the deal and pick up the wicker!

I was happy when they got home ... I could see that a bit more work than I had hoped was needed, but we put them on the porch and I looked forward to having time to clean them up and start my project!

Let me just say, looks are sometimes deceiving.

I took a soft brush and a soapy rag and began my 'clean-up'.
What a revelation!

I promptly realized I was going to need a little more primer and spray paint than
I had initially estimated!

This was the worst piece - we knew it had been left out in the weather, whereas the rest of the pieces were covered in big plastic green protective covers ... which were included.

The board under the wicker top of the wee coffee table is just cardboard and totally moldy, soggy and falling apart. There is no way to get it out to replace it, that I can see.

Do you see this? Our wicker furniture has dandruff!!! Seriously! I swept up a grocery bag full of chipped paint and it is still flaking off to beat the band!

It's not really old - it's Martha Stewart Living from K-Mart - I found the tags!
Shouldn't it be in better shape than this?

This is the Grammy Flat porch or side porch ... also known as the place to
dump bikes, toys and other junk!
But I have big dreams! A sweet little haven of rest, a place to sit and watch the children,
sip some sweet tea with lemon and enjoy a good book now and again!
Maybe even a spot for schoolwork and a bit of lunch ... *sigh* ... big dreams.
Some day we'll have a real railing, but I do like the sweet picket fence, and it is sturdy enough.

Two summers ago, this porch got a nice fresh coat of paint ... and promptly got 'junked up' again.
I tell you, any 'void' will attract junk like bees to pollen!

I long to fill this space with something pretty!

The floor needs to be repainted ... concrete paint has never held up very well.

Oh yes, I have some work to do, wouldn't you say?
Some re-training is in order!

A place for everything and everything in it's place!

I'm not giving up!

I can't rent a paint sprayer in this town - I've called and called, but no one rents them anymore because they all came back clogged with paint ... imagine that!

So, it's going to have to be spray paint ... I'll start with 10 cans of primer and paint and see how it goes! I'd love to take them to a body shop and have them professionally painted, but I called on that too, and we'd have to keep this set for approximately 235 years to make it pay.
It looks like I have a lot more brushing and scraping to do.

Is there any hope that it will actually stick and be beautiful?

Spray paint experts, feel free to jump right in here with your much needed sage advice.

Will I deplete the ozone layer and fill the landfill with empty spray paint cans for nothing?

Was my bargain really as cheap as I thought?

I have the cushions that came with and have washed them so that I can use the foam and batting. I found this fabric at JoAnn's - Eddie Bauer Trellis Botanical Grass! It is so pretty, and so me! I used my coupon and got it for 50% off. I'm a bit confused because the online price is $39.99, but in the store it was $19.99. I need to get more for piping (a contrast) and pillows, but I'm fearful that someone will figure out that the store price is too low and rise it before my next 50% off coupon is valid!

My, oh my!

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  1. That is beautiful fabric. I bet everything will look just great once you add your special touches to it.

  2. Hi,

    I just found your blog through google from your tassel tutorial. Which was fantastic and exactly what I was looking for :) Thank you! The wicker looks great on your porch.

    All the best,

  3. I did the exact same thing a few years ago with wicker I found in the garbage. They lasted well for awhile but I finally had to ditch them yesterday as their "dandruff" was becoming too much (I think they were drying out and becoming brittle). Spray paint did the trick (after the scrubbing). I hope it goes well for you.

    I pulled a couch out of the neighbor's trash yesterdya. :) Either my sister will have it or I might sell it on craigslist. But, now I'm wondering how long it will be in my front room before I can find a home. :) ha ha ha I thought it was such a great idea at the time

  4. My oh My indeed Heather.
    Another project ? and another case where your "find" on Craig's List isn't quite what you "bargained" for. H m m m m !
    I do have a paint sprayer you can rent ( ahem ) but the delivery charge would be a little steep. LOL

    If they haven't been painted by the time we come down again, I'll bring with and we can paint this wicker together. (The sprayer works well on fences and sheds too.)


  5. This looks like a project I would get myself into! I hope it works out for you. I bet it will look great when it is finished.

  6. I'm sure it will look great when done. Your dream for your porch sounds lovely, a place for dreaming, rest, and stargazing.

  7. It's going to look beautiful...the cushions and the white wicker. The perfect place to sit, relax and drink some lemonade. :)

  8. Hi Heather,

    Thanks for answering my email, I can't wait to try the tassels...

    You should be okay with the wicker after you spray paint, I think the dandruff is because they're dry...we had a similar set, I got a few years out of but I changed to the wicker/resin outdoor set and it's been great....just a good cleaning come Spring and good to go...no more paint...

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

  9. Can't wai to see it finished...

    You brave woman!

  10. It looks like a great find to me! You're on the right track with scrubbing and scraping as much as possible. The trick is to get off every bit of loose paint that you can.

    I would probably even go over them with steel wool or something like that to really get off anything loose.

    You will definitely use a lot of paint, though. Wicker just eats up spray paint. I think it's because of all the nooks and crannies in the weave.

    Make sure that you prime it with a good primer. If I lived nearby, I'd let you borrow my air compressor and power painter. If you know someone who has one, I would definitely try to borrow it. It will be way more cost effective to buy a gallon of paint and use a sprayer than to use cans.

    It's going to look great when you're done, though. I love the fabric that you choose.

    Have fun!

  11. This SO sounds like one of my "deals". If the wicker is sturdy, you should be alright. Spray paint heals a multitude of sins, but if you could find a sprayer, you would be better off. Both, with expense AND carpal tunnel which kicks in after I have been depressing a paint can for an hour! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

    Lou Cinda :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I so enjoy reading your comments when you kindly share your thoughts!