DIY

Fence Staining Complete

Second project of the season: Re-stain the fence.

This wasn’t a job either my hubby or I looked forward to, but it certainly needed done. The last time we had stained the fence was in 2008. It wasn’t too bad at that point so we just stained a fresh coat over the top to seal it all up. Now nine years later, the stain was peeling in every area. We knew this project required some power washing.

I had hoped we could hire out the power washing and make quick work of the project. All I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t have to pay anything for that first power washing job! With a fence our size and the amount of peeling I figured the power washing would take a few days. I guess this company had other plans. Luckily my neighbor was home that afternoon when that crew arrived to watch them power wash our entire fence inside and out in less than 30 minutes. Let me remind you that we have a HUGE yard and LOTS of fence! Our inspection that evening proved that 30 minutes wasn’t going to cut it as it didn’t make a dent in all the peeling stain still on the boards. We gave them an option to fix it, and when they chose not to we moved on to DIY mode.

Thankfully a friend of mine had a power washer and allowed us to borrow it. Little did we know that this DIY project was messy!

It took us a few weeks to get that power washing complete with rain and life delays. In the end, it took us about 22 hours to power wash that fence as we stripped it to the bare boards.

The new stain soaked right into the freshly cleaned fence boards as one board at a time came to life with the vibrant stain color. Before you ask, yes, we did stain it with brushes and rollers as it penetrated the boards much better than spraying. I even had a neighbor drive by while I was staining in 90-degree temps assuming I had gone crazy to be out there with a brush and roller! The staining certainly didn’t take as long as the power washing and within a few days we were all complete.

Those last two boards to get stained were a welcome site! That fence better be good to go for years to come. Another DIY project for the books from the Ritter household.

 

Let the Yard & Garden Projects Begin

fence repair

Spring means a number of things. New life. Green grass. Buds on the trees. Flowers blooming. A time of phenomenal renewal.

It’s also a time for me to get my hands dirty. Yes, spring means time to get in the garden. And this season, the hubby and I have several projects to complete outdoors.

First up: fence repairs.

Our home is 15 years old, and with age comes some needed makeovers. You’ve probably read about our carpet install a few years back and then the amazing transformation of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets when I redid them two years ago. Then last fall I painted the entire house. Every wall and ceiling. It looks great by the way!

So after so many indoor projects it was naturally time for us to turn our attention outdoors. Our 15-year-old fence is starting to show its age. It doesn’t help that we have a 100-pound chocolate lab that takes his toll on it also.

fence repair 4

In recent weeks we had to rebuild sections of the fence that needed new posts, pickets and runner boards. As we opened up sections, Dirk naturally thought we were enlarging his yard. He was eager to explore the neighbor’s yard and even peer in their back patio window. Repairs to our exterior fence meant he had to be left indoors as we didn’t want to risk him taking off down the street after neighbors and fellow four-legged friends.

Even random fence boards had to be replaced as Dirk showed no mercy when he was trying to greet a new neighbor. Did I tell you how strong this dog is?

Now that the fence repairs are complete it’s on to the next phase of power washing and staining. It’ll be a looooong process and I’m open to volunteers who would like to help.

box 1

Second: garden box repairs.

When we bought our house 11 years ago the previous owners had already put in some small garden boxes along our back fence It took me no time at all to put them to use right away. But as time went on, I desired something more than the minimal 2×4 boards anchored in the ground. Six years ago we upgraded to raised garden boxes that have allowed us to grow tons of vegetables every summer. We’ve harvested bushels of zucchini, dined on fresh lettuce, and enjoyed tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and more.

What we didn’t think of when we built those beautiful boxes was putting in support for the long 8-foot boards. As the years progressed warping got worse. Last season we lost so much dirt between the warped boards that I felt we were always cleaning up dirt.

The boxes needed a little TLC.

In the last week we made a few trips to the local home improvement store and stocked up on new 2×8-foot boards to replace the warped and damaged boards. We also pulled our leftover wood pieces from other projects and cut them as supports on the interior of the box.

box 7

The hubby had the great idea of lifting the boxes up and flipping them over to make repairs. I figured the dirt left inside would fall everywhere once the box was lifted. To my surprise, it mainly stayed in tack while the hubby made repairs and we lifted the box back in place.

box 2

box 6

box 4

After replenishing each box with fresh dirt the planting season is ready to begin. Lettuce is already planted, and in another box I’m trying out seed paper that was given at church as part of our Easter message series. We’ll see if it sprouts. Either way, I do feel blessed in this beautiful life.

spring 2017

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Welcome to my journey! I'm a wife, dog lover, gardener, outdoor enthusiast and cook, but I keep busy during the day as a communications, marketing and social media professional.
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