The problem was, I was reluctant to leave the replica-ish Lion’s Head Lighthouse I recently built outside all winter (although that was kind of the point, to cover the ugly wellhead in the front garden). So I thought I’d build something way easier that I wouldn’t feel so protective about. Hence the big-ass birdhouse. However, I now love them both equally and don’t want to risk either of them outside all winter. But if I had to rebuild one of them because it collapsed from all the snow getting shoveled onto it, the birdhouse would be the quickest to replace, so I guess that’s settled…
This is the last of the painted outdoor furniture projects for the time being. A third footstool has not aged well, and will need to be replaced (new project!) but the two that match these two chairs were fine, so the set is complete. Again, they were (and still are, under the opaque stain) made of lovely Western Red Cedar, but the years outside take their toll, and they needed a refresh. Finishing outdoor projects is a lively topic of discussion in woodworking circles, with preferences ranging from a bulletproof Epifanes or Marine Spar Varnish finish, to an annual clean, sand, and oil regime, to nothing at all (naturally weathered gray, eventually). The latter has some appeal, until you factor in that you’d probably want to wash and sand them every year or two anyway, so not much extra work to reapply a finish at that point.
Here’s how they looked in their original glory, having been outside for all of five minutes at this point.
The smaller outdoor chairs have been painted “Bluenose” blue. The larger Muskoka chairs need a few touchups, but then we’re done painting furniture I think… I would not even consider painting Western Red Cedar right away, it’s a gorgeous wood that should be celebrated (see originals below ) but after seven years outside, they needed serious rehab, and this was a fun way to give them new life. Full credit for the paint job goes to Lynda, I just did the grunt work of power washing and sanding them.
The last time these chairs looked this good (well, the one on the left at least) was in 2009 when I made them. They’ve lived outside for most of the time since then, including some winters. Nothing like a little 80-grit sandpaper to turn back time…
The next time you see these chairs they will have been painted blue. Sorry, purists, sometimes we paint things around here… opaque stain, technically…
Finally finished the slat bench (see previous post) and gave it a good sanding. Lynda will be painting it, colour TBD.
Please click to image to view larger on Flickr.
This past spring, I built an arbor (or pergola) to replace the horrible one I built a scant few years ago (2008).
The new one came together without too many problems, and it seemed that come winter it would do a much better job of supporting the snow load than the last one, which finally collapsed last year.
Yes, the new one is going to be okay, I think.
(Or is it an arbour?)
Back in April I completed building a new pergola for our patio (after a winter of heavy snow crushed the old one like a bug). It had to be done in early spring, since grape vines explode into full leafiness pretty quickly. So I thought I would take same “after” pictures to show how it looks now. Lots of dappled shade on the patio these days.