Behind my condo I have a sweet little patio with a world of potential. When I moved in it was kind of gross and the closet was more than a little bit scary. The first summer I was here I never even went back there. It was pretty much an unusable, unattractive space. However, this past summer my project has been to overcome my fear of dark closets, creepy spiders, and manual labor. I spent several weekends overhauling the outdoor closet, planting flowers, mulching, pulling weeds, decorating, painting concrete, etc. I guess I should have mentioned that it is just a patio – there isn't even any grass to take care of (fortunately)! I can’t imagine how much time it would take to maintain a yard! I have a hard enough time remembering to water the fern!
My first project was to tackle the outdoor closet. I know that most people try to make the before pictures look really bad so that the after pictures look even better (i.e. women with no makeup, acne scars, and 30 pounds overweight are suddenly Miss America when they get new contacts). I didn’t have to try. I literally found it this way. Rods hanging down. Holes in the walls. Kind of creepy.
After mopping the walls with bleach, patching some holes, painting the walls and ceiling, refinishing the concrete, and building a shelf by myself (so heavy that I had to carry it from my car piece by piece) I now have a functional outdoor storage space!
The floor of the closet was really gross. I hate the look of stained concrete.
I wandered the aisles of Lowe’s aimlessly looking for something to do to the concrete. And then I found concrete spray paint. My saving grace! Or so I thought. I proudly came home and sprayed the entire floor. Well, since there were staining spots on the concrete (and large white paint blobs from my ceiling and wall adventure), the spray paint basically just made the floor look wet. It didn’t cover anything. See my Middle photo. (You know... the mistake between the Before and After).
While concrete spray paint would be ideal for a solid colored surface like a bird bath or a flower pot, it is not efficient for actually covering blemishes – only for changing the color. So I went back to Lowe’s (fortunately just a mile down the street – because everyone knows that every home project requires at least one lengthy trip to Lowe’s and at least two quick follow-up trips). This time I got Valspar concrete porch paint. I tinted it with something like English Tea Time or English Breakfast Tea or something classy like that. I then used an incredible technique that I invented on the spot. It went something like this. Open can. Pour contents of paint can onto floor. Smear around with a roller. It worked! And it looked so much better. Not perfect, but my skills were honed on the actual patio floor remodel later in the blog.
Voila. Functional Closet.
The next weekend I tackled my patio.
My garden gnome - Peerpon - came with the house. He is named after Babette’s gnome on Gilmore Girls – my all time favorite show. However, Peerpon was an ugly shade of greenish-gray. He is now red so that he will match my cushions.
I successfully painted the concrete floors with “Weathered Concrete” tinted Valspar porch paint. My dump and roll technique worked very well. If you have smooth, shiny concrete floors (like the Sam’s Club floor) paint would likely peel or chip off. If you have rough concrete (like a sidewalk) the paint soaks right in and doesn’t chip. And for some reason Porch Paint smells exactly like homemade strawberry freezer jam.
And here is the final patio! I spent so much time out there this summer. So glad I invested a couple of weekends on these little projects. It makes it so much more enjoyable!