Summer Projects: Painting the Little Porch Chair How-2

Happy summer to you, dear friends!!! I am enjoying this time off from work and just this past week I worked on another summer project ~ repainting our little metal chair which currently sits on the front porch…

This little chair was sold as part of a patio set which included two metal chairs and a small metal table back in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s. I believe I found it at Big Lots for around $99. They used to sell them every year and I waited for a set I liked before buying one.

A Little Fall Decor Past and Present ~ the only post I had showing this chair.

The set held its paint for a good 25 years or so and was a nice green over black. When we were getting ready to sell our last house in 2015, my husband sold the table at one of our garage sales (a mistake!). The other chair had the back legs broken off several years prior and had been tossed (also by Hubby) at some point.

I looked through all of my old photos from the beginning of FE eight years ago and I didn’t find “the chair” when it had paint, but I DID find our teak bench! (2014, from my old iPhone 4,
I think) It needs repainting again, too.

The paint on this remaining chair had seen better days, even in California, as it sat outside in our backyard or on the covered front porch all year long (there’s a photo somewhere with a small stack of pumpkins on this chair).

With Texas’ strong rainstorms, the remaining paint had been “sandblasted” off most of the chair, lol!

So it was a good candidate for a refresh…

Giving it a good clean!

How to begin?

I began this project with a good wipe down with just a clean damp rag, rinsing it out with the hose a couple of times. This removed all of the cobwebs and most of the dirt. I set the hose on “jet” and sprayed out the rest of the debris from underneath in the upper chair leg crevices. 🙂

After a dry in the hot morning sunshine, next I applied some elbow grease and a good scrub with a wire metal brush. This took off the biggest chunks of leftover paint and now there was clean metal ready to paint!

Lay down a paint cloth or old bed sheet (shown here), lay down your chair, and shake your paint can well for at least two minutes. I turned mine upside down, too, and continue shaking. Really helps mix the paint well!

Lightly spray over the surface of the metal using short bursts of paint and very quick sideways strokes as you spray. This gives a nice coating without paint “running” or “pooling” in cracks, which I wanted to stand out anyway and not be all gooped up.

Paint as much of the chair in this position, let dry at least 2 hours. This allows for painting as much of the chair at one time as possible. Some people like to stand up their chairs to spray paint, but this is what I like. 🙂

Love how the white paint picked out the filigree work on the chair!

Stand chair up after the appropriate drying time (per paint can manufacturer) and paint the other side of the backrest plus paint over any missed spots of exposed metal.

Paint a light second coat and let dry again.

***Tip: When you are done painting, turn the paint can upside down and spray a little out of the can to “clear the tube.” This makes it a possibility of saving the leftover paint and using it next time. Otherwise, the tube is often clogged and you’ll have to throw out the remaining paint.

Loving this chair’s refresh!

And that’s all there is to spray painting metal chairs!

Sometimes you have to tape off parts, if you are doing multiple paints. I tape off the teak bench and I’ll be doing that soon to repaint it.

Happy painting!

Barb 🙂

DIY Projects

Happy Father’s Day from Daddy’s New Shed!

Happy Father’s Day, y’all! A week ago, I was with my mother-in-law at Costco and saw a shed I’d been looking at for a year… Well, that day I pulled the trigger, had two 9′ long boxes unboxed and the contents loaded through the rear window of my unopening-rear-hatch Sequoia…

It’s not much of a Father’s Day gift, but definitely necessary to free up the back patio and get the lawn mower out of the garage. Hubby needs more room to move around in his workshop. 😉

A little out of order, but here is Hubby at the end of Saturday this week hosing off the back patio thereby removing six months of winter dirt and grime and the remaining leaves. He finished the small shed then spent the rest of the day moving things into it while I worked out in the garden on the newest planter area.

Last week, though, chose to be the first really hot week of the year in North Texas thus far, so I spent several hot days indoors putting on parts to each panel of this new shed. A pretty big chore, surprisingly!

This is going to be where we store all the stinky things: lawn fertilizers, bug sprays when absolutely needed, and the lawn mower.

Pole vault, anyone?? Actually, Mr. Ethereal needed to have a bit more leverage to get this old fence post out of the ground. Who knows how long they had been there?!

Mr. Ethereal began early last Saturday morning to build the new shed’s base.

Hubby fitting the 2×4’s in around the 4×4 exterior.

By noon, the plywood was down and after stopping for a bite of lunch…

My MIL came over and brought homemade potato salad, baked beans and some hamburgers which I cooked on Herbie, our little grill, we began the shed build…

By 6:00pm, we were “done in” from the 105 degree heat (41 deg. celsius), but all of the shed was up and the roof on with just a few bolts still needing to be tightened. 🙂

Here’s what’s now inside:

Charles is a trooper for moving all these things inside yesterday! He finished installing the final few things which needed to be bolted-in (two brace supports which solidify the front door and transom area, and putting up the back shelf).
He’s really good at organizing it all… It looked photograph worthy! And so I did. ;D

Now we have the Big Shed and the Little Shed… 💜

And now we have somewhere nice for all those lawn necessities. And my husband is wonderful for building this for us!

I hope your Father’s Day weekend has been a good one. Hubby even brought me flowers when he got a haircut this afternoon. He’s a keeper…

Happy Father’s Day to you all,

Barb 🙂

DIY Projects

Working on a Shed for Gramma

Happy Wednesday, friends! Sorry, no Share Your Style tonight. I didn’t bring my computer and we have been building a shed all day.

Hubby went and picked up a small U-Haul this morning just after 7:00am. By 9:00am, he had it loaded with packed boxes which have been on the back patio since New Year’s, a bucket of tools and drills, and a pile of lumber!

My job most of the day? Scrub and clean every last panel and part of our old 7.5’ x 7.5’ shed… But, I am happy to say that Gramma’s new shed (my MIL Gini, btw) is mostly done! It’s almost 6:00pm and Charles is just screwing in the last of the roof bolts and screws. Woot!!! 😊

Hi ho, there!

Now to get the door on… ☺️

Always one.last.thing. 🤣 Anyway, I hope to get Share Your Style up later this evening for you. I will send out a notice when it is up.

Enjoy your evening!


Barb 😊


Prepping for the New Shed

Welcome back, friends! I have been away working with my sweet Mr. Ethereal getting our backyard ready for the new shed’s arrival. It may come as early as this Friday but probably next week sometime. Weather is wrecking havoc on shed deliveries but that has given us time…

Old Shed, the Before

This is how the backyard looked up until this past weekend. I forget when I took this here in the springtime but it was after one of the monster rainstorms!

How it looks now

We are still getting rain about every three or four days or so, but the yard has dried out, which has made the lavenders and the Mediterranean-type plants (rosemary and basil) are much happier with the drier weather. (They sure don’t like wet feet!)

Before taking the shed apart, all of the bicycles, chairs, garden supplies, tools and such were placed all over the patio and yard.

Yoda is excited that he can walk where the old shed was. Here is the new panicle hydrangea beginning its bloom!! It is a lovely hydrangea…

When we began around 8:30am, it was in the low 80’s but quickly jumped to mid-90’s. It was hot out… Mr. E did a lot of work; he is a good sport about these things!

It’s plywood base is leaning up against the back fence now.

Here is when we had most of the shed taken apart. My job was to mark all the inside panels so we can put them back together in right order again, and to hold up the sides as each panel was unscrewed.

I went this weekend and picked up 8′ pressure treated cedar to replace the boards underneath for the old shed. Since it is only 8′ x 8′, we will put it along the side fence to hold the lawn mower, weed eater, edger and the tools which would “leak.” I also picked up two new 4″ x 4″ Around it I’ll put in flowers and make it cute. 🙂

The City did not approve us putting the new shed closer to the side yard (surprise!) but we did get our money back from the application. I have been so upset over this that I still need to resubmit plans for the new shed to go where the old is was. I just haven’t felt like taking up the discussion with the City again. Their rules are ridiculous…

We literally have 25′ of yard that: either “isn’t our own” (10′ easement) yet we take care of it, water it, mow and edge it; and another 15′ that we can’t put a permanent structure on. Apparently that is so they don’t have to pay someone to have something taken down if they decide to take away our side yard when building a wider road.

Honestly, I hate city planners at the moment…

Using my pole vault pole-tying skills with these timbers…

Charles worked really hard moving most of the tools and things out of the shed. I could only do a little at a time because I was still pretty ill with this Post-Covid Syndrome (PCS) virus… However…

Today I am finally feeling better!

Turns out it I am negative for: Covid, strep, flu and Mono. I had a mammogram yesterday and a few lung x-rays last week, so we shall see… Hopefully it is nothing and I’ll just get better over time. This new PCS can occur even as late as 9 months after the illness and it feels like you have Covid again (at least I did). I wondered if it isn’t the body learning to “over-react” to any illness, like a cold.

Most of the shed panels…
Hubby taking a much-needed rest…

Well, that’s where we are with the tear-down of the old shed and the new shed still coming! Now we wait. 🙂

Happy summer, friends,

Barb 🙂


Backyard Garden + Shed Plans…

We are coming into the home stretch with getting our Garden Shed and Fence plans approved, friends! This coming week I go in to visit with the City Planning Department and see if we can nail this thing down before summer break begins…

City Ordinances

Most of this spring, I have been sending emails back and forth about the fence and shed plans. Part of what the City needed to see was something I didn’t expect… Anyway, I will get to that in a minute, but here is a photograph of our Proposed Shed plan marked out and a 15′ line behind it (all in yellow measuring tapes).

Most of us know that in cities there are easements of land which we all take care of but we don’t actually “own.” We don’t pay taxes on that part in case the city decides to widen the roadway, dig up utility lines or put in water drainage systems underneath. For ours, that is a BIG 10′ section of land.

Whenever you wish to build or place a shed that is larger than 120 sq. ft., then a permit needs to be applied for and the city planners need to approve your plans. It’s all for safety reasons and in our case there have been concerned about wind ratings for the structure and its tie-downs since there can be Cat. 1 tornadoes and straight winds whipping through the area!

We just need 54″…

What I didn’t know is that the City also has a “No Build” area another 15′ from the property line… That’s 25′ from the main road that we aren’t supposed to build anything major on. To me, that is just silly and a waste of valuable property. I see sheds in homeowners’ sideyards all over the city so we are asking for a Variance.

In my many emails, I’ve found the City Codes for adding structures, and have addressed why we should be allowed to allowed to put the proposed shed here along the back fence but close to the side fence (which will be moving out 3′).

Our original proposal was to move the fence out five feet but the closest stake to the fence is 3′ away, hence we can only move the fence out three feet.

Here are the surveyor stakes laid out and you can see the narrowing which follows the curve of the main street, more or less. We have left all of the surveyor stakes until we begin putting in posts for the new fence.

Our Proposed Shed ~

Our Garden Shed will look very similar to this shed with the dormer windows but in a medium grey with white trim. I have gone back and forth between a white roof and charcoal. What do you think?

Here are a couple of other sheds Wolf Valley Buildings makes which have the charcoal roofs. Ours will be metal.

What we are having made is called a Cabin Shell, like the top photo. It will have upper storage inside and I am really excited about it! I’ll move the potting bench inside and we are planning on having electrical run to it. Wolf Valley is building it with electrical outlets, overhead ceiling boxes and an outside electrical box built with it.

Now if the City will approve our plans and allow us to put the shed where we would like it!

Can’t you just see the new shed down there? This would be one of the nice views towards it. It will angle towards the house and our dining room a little so it can be seen from the patio and dining room.

Be prepared to wait

When asking for a Variance, all paperwork has to go infront of the Planning Commission for approval and this can take some time. The paperwork on the city website says 1-2 months as the commission only meets once per month.

So when I go to meet with the Planning Technicians this week, I’ll be bringing all of the paperwork I have so far and hopefully they will use the emails I have forwarded with all of the photographs, so the Planning Commission will be able to see what we are trying to do. 🙂

Prayers are much appreciated,

Barb 🙂


Our Fall Garden and Potting Bench


Welcome to  our autumn garden! Fall’s cooler days have brought about a renaissance of blooms on the roses and all of the plants have perked up. My joy this weekend has been photographing the season’s changes and a bit of decorating on the potting bench…

Friday after work, I stopped by Lowe’s garden center and picked up more cement pavers for the pathway to match the ones put in by previous owners. I also picked up more bricks to use around and under potted plants here in the back garden.

Hubby and I went out to lunch on Saturday and he found some much needed sneakers at our local sporting goods store. We then stopped by First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch, of which I totally forgot to put any pumpkins in the above display… 🎃
After two more trips to Lowe’s on Sunday, I was finally ready to decorate our potting bench for fall! Charles had seen some mini bales of hay (identical to these) last weekend so I looked for some to bring home. These are perfect for fall displays and will be useful for packing around plants as protection as the nights really begin to dip into the 30’s and below. 
The Generous Gardener is just beginning its fall blooming… It is a soft
pink normally but is showing off as almost totally white. It is also the
lead photo of this post. In the middle of fighting white flies and
spider mites…
Seventy five degrees was the high on Sunday with Saturday’s high coming in at just over 80 degrees. It was an absolutely perfect weekend to be out of doors working in the yard! 
Remember in the olden days when we called this Indian Summer? That cooler time between the heat of summer but not quite the cold of later fall? 
It is still my absolute favorite time to garden… Not politically correct anymore to call it that anymore, but I still think of it this way.
I moved Sceptre d’Isle back to its usual spot near the brick wall and close to our Garden Maiden. I need to look for new plants to try here in this area since the two camellias, which did sooo well last year, croaked either from over-watering or just from the stress of summer’s savage heat and high humidity.
I lost one small rose, one of the new ones I had bought this past spring, also due to the summer heat. Thankfully, the older mature roses all made it just fine, other than spider mites (which I didn’t catch early enough).


We have been back building out in the garden as we move around the corner of the house out into the side garden. There is an area at the far back corner, which since the addition of the water softener unit last year, seems to me to be a perfect place for utilitarian uses. 
I’ll share more of that area later this week as we finish up this newest project but here’s how the pathway is coming along. You can see how “new” the pavers I just purchased look in contrast to the other older ones which were sunk into the ground. Time and rain’s muddiness should even that up, though.
We moved the potting bench on Saturday to protect it from the coming rainstorms. Eventually it will go inside the new larger shed, when we finally decide which one we want.
As summer sales happened in August, I found a couple of chair cushions I liked so although they don’t exactly fit the bench, they are very comfortable and add a nice navy and white to the area. The colors repeat the colors in the weave of the bistro chairs, which looks smart.
It was fun to look around for items to place out on the potting bench to dress it up! I found the larger French pot at Hobby Lobby early in the summer and it matches another smaller white one I found several years ago.
So that’s how things are going in our neck of the woods. How is your fall gardening going? Anything new growing? Have you begun decorating for fall and/or Halloween?  Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments below. 💝






Happy gardening,

Our Late Summer Front Entry

Summer is still going strong here in Texas and my plants are hanging in there so I thought I’d share a little of our front entry with you today…

Yesterday I shared our front door hanging basket for 10 on the 10th and now I can share the rest of the patio! I am excited for fall so this is a happy late summer post with just a hint of transitioning.

I have been consistently watering every two to three days so our roses are doing much better this year here in the heat of summer than last year. This rose in the large green urn is named after Miranda Lambert. It is really pretty when it blooms well! Right now it is just fighting the heat.

Late this spring I brought the new plant stand around from the backyard and put in some impatients in the top tier and our small fern behind it. The boxwood growing in the French style pot is just getting large enough and to the size I want that I can begin clipping it. I am not sure whether I want to form it into a ball or into a conical Christmas tree shape. Conical is all the rage right now.

I had herbs in the cute rectangular pot but the heat (and my overwatering…) killed them. C’est la vie! It happens. I’ll try again when it cools off because I really like having fresh oregano. 

Maybe you have a trick for getting your herbs to grow well? They were burning up in the backyard so I brought them around front thinking that would help. The two flowering plants in plastic pots will go into that other planter to replace what croaked. 🐸

Next year I think I’ll get more impatiens and Super-tunias/Superbells to plant in bigger pots that would like being outfront. What does well in your gardens this time of year?

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Keep cool!

Gramma Kate’s Vintage Tricycle…

Going home  is always a little bittersweet, isn’t it… We love to revisit memories of family times together and places we have lived. We enjoy seeing how places have stayed the same and how they have been updated, how neighborhoods have changed. Coming home this time involved a lot of remembrances of times with my father-in-love, a whole bunch of cleaning and organizing, as well as trashing out things which needed to go. 

One of my favorite things from this trip, after spending my first morning there sweeping cobwebs off the house and its eves ~ here in the Sacramento area ~ was playing with Great-Gramma Kate’s vintage tricycle…

Overblown lighting but still fun!
Will have to pull into Lightroom and edit… 😉

Mr. Ethereal was busy cutting back several oleander bushes hanging over from the neighbors’ yard. Vintage wood ready for projects, cut out pattern pieces for a rocking horse and two donkey carts, antique woodworking tools and steamer trunks were part of the detritus dragged out from the large backyard shed. Many of the tools in that shed ~ the wood staves for shaving logs and different size hand-drills and planers ~ were over 100 years old and belonged originally to Raymond Fudge, Pete’s father-in-law.

The oleander cuttings had been dragged out onto the lawn to prep for the garden recycle bins and that’s where I found them… 

And this amazing vintage tricycle was among those treasures

found near that big metal shed! 

Thinking of other friends who have photographed bicycles
popped into my mind and the fun began! 

I love the sweetness of this old tricycle and I remember Kate and how kind she was. She was a track runner in her high school days and the girls on her track team competed against other local school girls during a short season of track and field during the 1920’s.  There were no state meets during those days.
Kate was a long-jumper and triple-jumper and I think she also played basketball. She had long legs and was tall at 5’10”. I am sorry I can’t download a photograph of Kate but my computer is being finicky. 

Gramma Gini’s roses bloom in the background and the old cherry tree stands to the left.
I can imagine Kate tooling around town with this tricycle along Rancho Cordova’s city sidewalks heading to the library or the grocery store or out to rides with friends along the American River back in the 1980’s. Kate could get there by the old tressle bridge which spans the river in Fair Oaks, which she lived right near. 

A favorite!
I think she would have enjoyed seeing her bicycle basket 
filled with bright pink and white flowers!!!

A bit of silliness made all the cleaning worthwhile…

All edited… Hope this post was fun for you, too! 💝

Thanks for visiting today,


Refresh Your Porch or Patio in Just One Week

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge and this month is all about getting ready for summer celebrations, cookouts and getting together with family and friends. This month’s challenge is to share our Porches and Patios with a clean inspired refresh… 

This month’s Pinterest Challenge patio inspiration comes from Bria of Bria Hammel Interiors. I love Bria’s coastal style with easy-style bamboo and outdoor wicker furnishings, a fresh blue and white color scheme, and a celebration of potted plants on the porch, in a teacart and hanging from the wall. 

I love her potted trees in those what I’d say are large square French-style planters! Gorgeous chalky blue color!! Bria used touches of black, too, and that’s what jumped out at me.

PC graphic
As we get into my post I’d like to thank Cindy of County Road 407 for once again hosting this challenge, thank you Cindy! 💝 And if you are coming over from Lora from Lora B Create and Ponder, welcome! Lora’s colorful vintage porch style is pure fun!! 
Last summer’s A Small Summer Home Tour.
This is how our back patio has looked since last summer. It was a bunch of mismatched furniture, a couple of potted plants and one of our “Girls” bringing in the French country style I love. 

Here is how our patio has changed since last summer. I worked on creating a little French café earlier this spring. Now it is a pleasant place for Mr. Ethereal and I to come outside and sit, and to enjoy cool mornings while the mourning doves, sparrows, the seasonal cardinals and other wildlife visit…

Simple, clean, and French inspired!

How the patio has changed

Even before I knew what this month’s Pinterest Challenge was to be I had already planned to repaint our park benches so this challenge was perfect timing! The green Wayfair bench I’ve only had for four years has rusted really fast because of North Texas’ hot and humid summertime climate. 

The white cast iron bench I’ve had for years and it came with us to Texas last year with our movers. In California, the lower humidity kept the iron pristine (except for paint peeling off the wooden slats). I think this bench is 15 years old?? I bought it when our last home was new to us.

My former rose garden parterres…


I sat down with some of my favorite French style design books and looked at what makes authentic French style so appealing. I realized right away what I wanted…

Our benches needed to look like those gorgeous park benches one sees at large public parks in France and even here in the United States (think Central Park, NYC). They needed to be able to move effortlessly from porch to yard on a whim. 

They needed to be black…

Over the course of a week I was able to repaint both benches, the new plant stand and also another hanging basket. Working with spray paint is easy ~ just as pie is a natural dessert for a summer picnic!

Our backyard patio porch now has the cohesiveness it lacked  and looks very close to our inspiration photo:

With wicker chairs and benches for relaxing, hanging baskets adding their lovely southern green touches, and lavender plants bringing in that French country style that is me. I am in-love with the curves and diamond patterns ~ how they repeat from piece to piece! Now to find the perfect seat cushions! (Always something, lol!)

Thank you for stopping by my patio refresh today and next up is my friend Michelle of Thistle Key Lane whose porch looks amazing! I love how elegant Michelle’s patio looks with all the blue and white, and her teacart is a favorite in my book!! 

Please pin, thank you! 💜

We have a big group of friends in today’s porch and patio tour for you. Please come back and restart here, or from any of today’s participants, if need be. 
Also sharing with
Wonderful Wednesday ~ Stilettos and Shiplap
Tuesday Turnabout ~ My Wee Abode

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Enjoy the tour,


Add French Style with Spray Paint

French style additions  are something I am focusing on 
a lot around the house while I am home and have the time this spring. With Texas’ wonderful 70 – 80 degree spring weather I decided to add a new look outback on the back patio with a little spray paint…

It all began with this little hanging basket I found when I exchanged the first plant stand I had bought at Meador’s Nursery. 

The first plant stand ~ as seen as part of Our Spring Garden Pinterest Challenge.

Since I ended up with a pretty big credit, I was able to buy a smaller plant stand which suited our backyard porch better, this rusty brown hanging basket and some plant food and potting soil. A good exchange!

A few windy days and five cans of matte black spray paint later the rusty and worn benches were fixed up and look great with their French park look…

Here is the new plant stand and it is just perfect for our needs. I realized with the larger 3-tiered stand that it eliminated the seating area I had created and that bugged me. The other problem it had was that none of the larger pots fit in its bottom and middle sections ~ that was absolutely necessary. So, this one is much better.

Now this area is pretty much how I’d like it except for a few minor touches and a really big project involving a lot more paint and sawing ~ but that’s for another day!!!

I’ll share the whole patio with you next week when this month’s Pinterest Challenge goes live but for now enjoy the view…

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Share Your Style (here!)
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home

Bisous and blessings to you,