I hope you had a wonderful week while we were off on “Spring Break”! (Air quotes because we weren’t actually vacationing, just taking a week off from posting.)
Today I have an update to share in our yard, thus proving that I was serious when I said that this summer our outdoor space is my big project. As you may recall, we took a big step forward in April by adding a deck to the back of the house:
But this was the view from said deck:
Not the most inspiring scene.
The shed clearly needed some TLC. If I were building it from scratch I would have built it with some more architectural interest (like maybe a window), but I didn’t want to sink too much time or money into it, just spruce it up a little. Fortunately we were able to do that in a single day with a couple gallons of paint and pieces of wood. Here’s how it’s looking now:
It was a pretty straightforward project. First, we prepped it by scraping off loose paint. That took it from bad to start with:
To even worse:
The scraping was a little fraught because there were some rotten sections where it was hard to scrape off loose paint without starting to scrape away the wood itself…but I was so not interested in doing a full repair of the shed, I really just wanted to put some new paint on it and call it done. This is a storage shed, and I don’t care about it being perfect or withstanding the next 100 years.
I also removed the corner trim pieces that were breaking off each side.
I thought about replacing them, but the corner moulding cost like $13 per side so would have added $50 to the project. Instead I just used caulk approved for outdoor use to ensure that the corners were sealed together.
With the prep taken care of, we got to work painting. I just asked the folks at Lowes what they recommended for outdoor use, and they suggested Sherwin Williams Weathershield. Since this is our shed not our actual house and would be much easier to repaint down the road, I just went with their recommendation without much additional research. We used 1.5 gallons of paint for the body of the shed, and a quart for the white trim.
For the body, I decided to go with a deep blue: “Naval” by Sherwin Williams. I thought dark blue would stand up to dirt better than the white did, and add some interest while still feeling relatively neutral.
The painting process was frustrating because pollen and tree blossoms kept flying into our wet paint, but we persevered and within a few hours got two coats on.
Then it was time to deal with the trim. In the front we just painted what was already there, but in the back the trim was rotting pretty badly.
We removed the side pieces and the piece running along the back, and I cut replacements. For the length along the back I used pressure treated lumber, and for the side pieces I used some scrap wood I had that I cut at the correct angles to match what had been there before. We screwed them onto the rafters and then painted.
There’s still some flaking paint on the rafters that I didn’t bother with because it’s only visible when you crawl around the back to take a photo like this:
All in all, it looks so much better — no more totally rotting shed peeking out over our fence:
The yard still has a long way to go, but this is progress! We will do some plantings in front of the shed, and maybe put a trellis to the left of the door to add some interest and balance things out.
It isn’t perfect of course, you can see some of the imperfections we were working with like on the left side:
But all things considered, it’s a big improvement for much less than major repairs or rebuilding would have cost, and the most important thing is that it looks much better from the deck.