Monday, March 19, 2012

This sunshine can only lead to one thing....

More work on the balcony! Today's changes are subtle, but oh so very key if I am going to make a point of using the balcony.

The first thing was fixing my screen door. It has rusted pretty bad and was very difficult to open and close. I often left it open so it wasn't in my way, but then I couldn't use my patio door to let in some fresh air without letting in some fresh bugs (ok, it's a bit early in the season for bugs but in the middle of August I would appreciate some sort of barrier). I honestly thought I needed to replace the whole door because it was rusted so bad at the wheels. My friend Sarah recommended some WD-40 first and let me say, THANK YOU SARAH! A good spray of that stuff and my door is sliding back and forth like soap on a slip'n'slide! WOO!

The next step was bug prevention. I bought my place in the fall and by the time I moved in, it was too cold to use the patio. The following summer I bought all this pretty furniture and I was so excited to spend time out there. But then the worst possible thing happened - giant man-eating spiders. Even though I killed all on sight (I may be responsible for all the rain that summer), I was terrified to go out there. They hid under the furniture, behind cushions, on the ground...*shudder*.

The next summer wasn't so bad but I still didn't go out there that much. I still lived in fear of my own balcony. But this year NO MORE! Because this year I found out about spider spray. Yes, they make a spray specifically for killing and preventing spiders. Hollah! So I set out to my favorite store- Canadian Tire- and picked me up a bottle of Raid Spider Blaster, which claims to keep killing for up to 2 weeks. I picked Raid for two reasons- one being that it was a well known brand, and two because the other brand had a picture of a giant nasty spider on it. For someone afraid of spiders, it is NOT an attractive can. Raid just has a simple, small, black spider on it. It understands me.

So I sprayed it around the edge of the balcony and between my balcony and my neighbours. I found it kind of smells, but being outdoors it cleared up quickly. I hope it holds up well on the concrete.

The next thing I did on the patio was a work on the table. Remember how faded and ugly it was looking after the past two summers of hanging out outside? I decided to try and work with what I got and then if it sucked I would consider painting the top a fun colour so it would end up as a two-tone colour/wood look. So I dug under my sink and I found the protective glaze paint that the table came with. I read the instructions, which included that the bottle expired 2 years ago and not to apply in direct sunlight. Well, screw that! I don't need to follow your stinking directions! Remember, if this sucked I had a plan B. So i went ahead with my staining paint and found it easy going.

Until this happened:
Oops. Ya, that's STAIN on my concrete floor!!! Luckily it cleaned up fairly easily, otherwise I would have to amp up the project to get flooring laid!!!

So here are the before and afters of my patio table:

Yay! It looks much better and this is before it dried (got too dark by the time I finished to photograph it all dry and pretty. I guess that expired stain still had some life left in it. My technique for staining is very simple. I just use a cloth, pour a bit of stain on it, and rub it into the wood. You can also paint it on or use a sponge.

Hopefully now the patio table will hold out for another year and I will have less fading than I did last year.

The final thing I did on the patio was read a book! Yup, I got out there and actually read something in my giant yellow chair. But then I got cold and came in- I might have to wait a few months for a truly hot day (it gets windy up there so it's quite nice on a really hot day).

Did anyone else get out in the sun this weekend? Or just spend St. Patty's day in the bar and then Sunday in with a face in the toilet? Haha. 

I did the former, but thankfully not the latter :) And yes, that is a terrible blackberry picture of me wearing a hat on my hat.

I hope you had a great weekend!!


  1. No toilet-facial this weekend. Did that once in college, and never again. We don't get spiders, but red wasps flying around outside. Sucks especially with kids running around in the backyard. We also get pollen, which I put up a picture of today.

  2. I was DD this St. Patty's day which was more fun than I thought it would be!
    I'm sort of scared now as to what bugs we're going to get in our apartment this summer. Here's to hoping NONE! But i didn't pick up some lovely flowers! (Picks to come)

  3. Amazing shout out. I feel famous.


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