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.


DIY Projects Continue: Paint & Lighting


I lost track of how many gallons of paint I purchase for my recent DIY project, but I’m thinking it was about 20 to cover every wall and ceiling. After I completed our kitchen and bathroom cabinet transformation last fall, the paint throughout the house needed redone. We just marked 11 years in our home and we were lucky enough to be able to move right in since all of the paint at that time was fresh and a perfect color to our liking.

Fast forward throughout those 11 years to color fading, along with wrestling by the hubby and dog who fells into the walls, and this home needed a paint refresh.

New color on the left - Behr Smokestack - versus the old.

New color on the left – Behr Smokestack – versus the old on right.

We picked the colors last spring when I started my painting project in our master bedroom. My goal – keep the paint consistent and as neutral as much as possible throughout and then accent with color. The new color – Behr Smokestack – the perfect taupe color with some gray undertones that blended perfected with the carpet – another home project!

However, one bathroom into my paint job and I realized just how badly the ceilings also needed paint. Honestly, I don’t think they were actually white! I pride myself in keeping a clean house, but those ceilings were either gray or dirty. (I’m going with the gray.)


The wall color completely transformed our space changing from a yellowish tan to a fresh smoky taupe. But the mess also followed me. For weeks we lived in a plastic draped home cover every piece of furniture, flooring and cabinets. When I finished with the base color I even added a couple of punch walls with burnt orange and espresso brown.





And then I called in an electrician. If we were going to paint the ceilings, now was the perfect time to get rid of the dated kitchen lighting. Out with the old track lighting and in with new recessed LED lights that brought our beautiful kitchen up to spec. The difference is extraordinary that I can’t believe we waited so long. We also updated our dining room and flyer lights, as well as the bathrooms to get rid of the builder grade Hollywood vanity style.



bath-1With that, this recent DIY project is complete. I’m OK if I don’t see a paint brush for another 10 years. Now to enjoy our home for the holidays.


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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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