backyard blitz, cont'd

Well, it's been a busy couple of months here at casa de backyard blitz. I mean, we embarked, just before Christmas last year, on backyard blitz: the deck parts 1, 2, and 3. We gave an old, tired outdoor furniture setting a bit of a makeover. And in the proceeding weeks, it's been quiet blogwise, but let me assure you, we've been hard at work on the next phase of operation improve-backyard. To start with, this is what the backyard beyond-the-deck looked like. Even without the clutter that got a bit wild (from the other projects going on), everything was a bit of a garish mashup colour-wise. The pergola was still just raw wood beams, and the whole area was a little dark and well, decidedly NOT airy. The area had so much potential, especially for entertaining, but seemed a bit closed in.

backyard wall

This was the view of the same area, from the side of the house and deck.

backyard wall - 28

First up, I figured the colours needed work. That bright orange wall cast a weird glow inside the pergola, and frankly, I prefer my landscapes to feature colours that are a bit more nature-inspired! So off we went to Bunnings to find some colour matches. We decided to stick with Wattyl, given our good experiences with it, and chose the colour "Hessian". See how we got all matchy matchy with the colours we chose for the deck?

backyard wall - 02 - paint swatches

Of course, as usual, we started with prepping everything. We used our handy high pressure water cleaner, and blasted the walls. Shock and horror ensued, when we saw HOW MUCH DIRT came off.

backyard wall - 08 - using high pressure water cleaner

backyard wall - 05 - cleaning with water cleaner

The walls got so clean we even toyed with the idea of NOT painting them, but by this stage, we were pretty committed.

Then S poly-filled the crap out of every crack, hole, and uneven bit out of the wall, and the hedge box along the side pathway.

backyard wall - 13 - polyfilling it

backyard wall - 15 - prepping for painting

And then the painting began! <Insert gratuitous photo of handsome painting man>

backyard wall - 24 - painting hedgebox

Here's an idea of how different the colour we chose was. Doesn't seem huge, but we went from a brightish yellow to a muted earthy colour.

backyard wall - 48 paint colour

And then, we got started on that orange wall. Oh man, I was excited about THAT! Almost as soon as S started painting it, a huge sense of relief flooded over me. My eyes no longer were hit with the glare of the entire sun as soon as I stepped outside, and my eyeballs no longer had to be sore from its garishness. Hyperbole? Maybe. Whatever.

backyard wall - 29 - painting it over

This was a huge job, and 3 coats and very porous wall = took a couple of weekends and many nights after long days of work, to get to THIS wonderful result!

backyard wall - 32 - painted wall

We were mighty pleased - amazing what a lick of paint can do to improve a space dramatically! Next, we got started on the pergola. Note: I use the term "we" pretty loosely because this was pretty much all S, and me standing around cheering him on with pompoms.

He started with polyfilling all the cracks in the wood.

backyard wall - 63 - polyfiller

Actually, one of the most gorgeous things about watching S work in the yard is that he actually smiles whilst he works. Seriously. This shot isn't posed - he didn't even know I was taking it! And those rays of sunshine behind him? IT'S AN ANGEL HALO. I SWEAR.

backyard wall - 53

And then my magical man sanded it all down to make it smooth and nice to touch.

Yup, HAND-sanded. *swoon*

backyard wall - 46 - sanding pergola beams down

Yes, in his moccasins. Who am I to argue with comfortable workwear?

Next step - priming the whole damn thing. This was near as painful as when we were priming the raw wood beams of the deck, and it kept drinking the paint, but not AS painful because there wasn't any careful edging off to do. It was "get happy with a paintbrush and slap it on", as far as technique went.

Here's how it looked primed. You can already see the VAST improvement it makes over raw wood.

backyard wall - 72 - primed pergola

Then we got serious with Mr Pergola, and started slapping the Hessian paint onto it.

This photo was shot around coat number 2. Look at the broken pot plant. S had a bit of a nasty accident with falling off the ladder, and smashed the entire pot and also hurt his foot. And then, the darling man KEPT PAINTING. Sometimes I wonder how me (Ms Injury) could have found Mr Made Of Steel.

backyard wall - 52

So folks, after what seemed like eternity (3-4 weeks) of painting, talking about painting, washing paint gear, clearing paint gear, more painting, and then some, here's the end result!

backyard wall - 35

Oh wait. Wrong picture. (This was actually what I found one day lying on our kitchen floor, in between coats, worn out from the end NOT BEING NEAR AT ALL).

So, take 2.

HERE'S the end result!

backyard wall - 73 - painted pergola

backyard wall - 75

Reminder of the before picture:

backyard wall - 03 - before painting

And TA-DA!!!

backyard blitz - pergola makeover

It's still a bit messy, I know, and we haven't staged the area for USE just yet, but it's already a huge improvement. We are trying to decide if we want to pop the barbeque and the outdoor setting in there since it's so nice, and we need to tackle putting a ROOF on the area to make it a great lounge space.

Having a few vestibules of other ongoing projects lying around doesn't take away from the joy though that firstly, it's OVER, and secondly, IT LOOKS AWESOME! I can't wait to show you more pictures of its completion, and how we decide to use the space!