Rainy Day Paint Fumes and a Bench Pt. 1

Hey, Everyone! I was so happy to have the rain pour down today! I love storms and the sound of the rain washing the air! Gardens were naturally watered and I had to stay in and work on a couple of projects instead of mowing the lawn.

Okay…I did go out and get a Wild Mountain Blueberry coffee and enjoyed it in my cousin’s yard before the rain. It’s nice to have Saturday morning coffee with someone as into gardening and DIY as I am.  Kinda gets the imagination motor revving!

Generally, painting is not my favorite thing to do since I have no outside space to work in. I get stuck in the basement with little ventilation and no music. But, I was fed up with my procrastination. Yes, I admit to this. Since I couldn’t get anyone to help me move the mattress, box spring & rug out of the guest room so I could start the floor and use the saw, I was faced with….painting.  Well, spray painting to be exact.

Time to start working on this baby. My cousin thoughtfully offered it to me before putting it out with the trash and she delivered it!  Thank you, Neen! Boards missing, iron rusting, nuts/bolts/washers rusted in place; lichen growing on the rotted slats. Poor little thing was in need of a serious makeover! I am in need of some outdoor seating.  What a match!

The first thing was to tear her apart…like so. Yep…glad I took jujitsu!

I had to take the two arm pieces to work and my go-to-guy, Ryan, graciously found time to cut the frozen nuts/bolts/washers off and even thought to save me one bolt so I’d know what to buy for replacements.  What a guy! The back pieces, for whatever reason, I was able to unbolt with the help of WD40.  Then it was off to the still nameless store to get replacement wood.

I didn’t take pics of priming the new wood nor cutting with a jigsaw the top curved back piece.  How talented do you think I am? Truly, I cannot take photos one handed and safely operate a jigsaw for the first time using my dining table for a workbench!  I’m just not there yet…give me time, ok? It’s still up in the air whether the new curved piece is cut well enough to fit! I guess we’ll eventually find out, won’t we?! So new wood is primed and waiting for a coat of paint and poly.  That leaves the iron pieces.  The hefty iron pieces…I think this bench, like my outdoor table, is going to stay put in storms.

First up was washing and wire brushing these pieces down…in my kitchen sink. Remember? It was raining outside, ok? No picture…’cause it was not a pretty site.

Here we are in the basement, freshly scrubbed and dry. You can still see the rusted areas even after wire brushing, but all the loose stuff is gone.

It’s time to change her color and get rid of the weathered look so I decided to use Rustoleum’s Rust Reformer.  It’s supposed to solidify any rust into solid, paintable areas and I sure hope it does! I don’t want to be doing this again next Spring!

Here you can see the back piece partially primed with the Rust Reformer.  Primed on the left, not so on the right. It took about 2 cans to do both sides of all 3 pieces.


Ahhh…nothing like fresh color! I’m allowing them to dry for 24 hours before the final coat of paint.  Can tomorrow come soon enough? Just realized I may need a 2nd can of paint!  Reminder to self: Errand after church.


So while they dry and since I was now in a painting mood induced by fumes, look what else got a new color!

Oh, yes, yes, yes they are! These are the Funky-To-Be Flower Pots! From plastic, fake terracotta to brilliant white!  Stage One Complete!  Now the question is, what contrasting color shall I use on them?  Shall I do graduated horizontal bands?  Zebra? Spiral? What shall it be? Dark gray? Black? Navy? Oh the choices!  

These were washed down with soap & water and then wiped down with mineral spirits to remove any lasting grease.  I used Krylon Fusion for Plastic – the same stuff I used on my outdoor shutters. They should be chip proof in 7 days. Since I don’t plan to use them until Spring, I’ll let them cure for quite a while before adding any contrasting color.

Can you picture them flanking the bench and the gray table, filled with bright pink,orange & red annuals mounding under some coleus? Maybe some lime potato vine cascading down the sides? Picture courtesy of my cousin Debi.  This girl has the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen! As in she does not kill orchids.

Yeah, I’m thinking dark gray, graduated horizontal bands with those colors! I think that would work well with the waterproof pillows I’m going to make for the Adirondack chairs.  Oh! I didn’t mention I scored as in free waterproof material? The kind we use in the machine we build at work for a waterproof barrier? As in Navy Blue? Gosh, the things some people throw in the dumpster.

So what say y’all? Any ideas to share? I’d love suggestions!

For those of you concerned, I did wear a face mask while doing all this spray painting and had the bulkhead open with a fan pulling the fumes out.  Best I could do with what I have! Another note to self:  Get serious about building a shed/workshop area out of free pallets…add to expanding DIY list.

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