New porch in one nap time (plus a giveaway from HomeRight)

As many of you would concur, time is the most precious of all my resources. I’m constantly looking for ways to get a DIY project done faster. Restaining our wraparound porch floor was no exception. I had one afternoon last week to get it done, factoring in an hour or so of “life-guarding” to make sure no children or dogs stepped on the wet stain while it dried.

I should mention we have a fairly large porch, which is certainly awesome 99 percent of the time. The 1 percent of the time it’s not awesome is when we have to sweep, clean or restain it. 😉

Considering my short time frame for this project, I prepared the wooden porch floor for stain the night before. I scrubbed it down with my magic mildew wash, then power-washed it to remove any leftover dirt and loose finish. It’s important to have a clean, dry surface before applying any stain or paint.

Pressure washing porch

Because our floor was previously stained with a solid, beige color, that limited my choices to another solid stain. The good news is that there really are a lot of great color choices out there in solid, exterior stain.

I wanted to stain the floor a different color than our posts and railing, so I went with a rich chestnut color that I thought would work perfectly with our green house siding. (For help choosing colors that work together in a space, check out my color wheel lesson post here.)

When the big day (i.e. afternoon nap time) arrived, I gathered all my materials and tackled this beast with all the desperate fervor one caffeine-fueled toddler mom can muster.

Deck-staining-tools

The key to the success of this project? The right preparation and the right tools. Check out my short video below that highlights the process.

Here’s a list of the tools and products* that made this whirlwind project possible:

Here’s what my “new” porch looks like now:

Chestnut-stained-porch-floor

Chestnut-stained-porch

Now on to the giveaway! If you’ve got a large staining project on your to-do list that you’d like to tackle at lightning speed, HomeRight is giving away a Deck Pro StainStick with Gap Wheel Stain Applicator AND Deck Pro 12″ Flat & Gap Stainer to one of you luckies!

Enter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Special thanks to HomeRight for sponsoring this post and giveaway. I’m thrilled to be a brand ambassador for HomeRight and, as always, all thoughts, opinions and projects are my own.

homeright-brand-ambassador-sponsored-post2

** Affiliate links are provided in this post for your convenience. 

Cool campfire idea and a ‘Summer Bucket List’ free printable

I don’t know about you but, after this year’s brutal winter, I am welcoming summertime with open arms! Today I thought I’d share with you two cool summertime ideas that will help your family grow closer this season.

The first is how to build a campfire using only one log and some lighter fluid. It is a cool idea I came across in Cabin Life magazine. Below is a quick video tutorial I put together a few summers ago on how to do this.

Using this method, our campfire burns for more than three hours. It’s also a great conversation piece for our guests and a good way for us to use up a large log we would have otherwise needed to split before burning.

The second idea is the Summer Bucket List. Our family has turned this into an annual tradition. It’s so much fun to see what the kids dream up for us to do each year. At the end of summer, we typically get most or all of our list checked off! Below you’ll find a free, printable Summer Bucket List you can use for your own family adventures.

Summer-bucket-list-photo

What adventures do you have planned with your family this summer?

Video: Easy projects for beginner DIYers

Here in Pennsylvania, winter is reluctant to let us out of its clutches. We woke up to more snow today! Despite the weather, I’ve been infected with a serious case of spring DIY fever and am officially in project mode. This past weekend, I finished up two easy projects I wanted to share with you today, particularly because they are perfect for beginner DIYers.

The first project is a driftwood candle holder and the second is a cabinet-mounted, magnetic knife block.

DIY-driftwood-candleholder

Magnetic-knife-block

For complete details on how to do both projects, check out the short video tutorial below:

To help you prepare, below are the lists of materials I used for the projects.

Driftwood candle holder

DIY-driftwood-candleholder3

For this project, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • 1 small stump or log piece (clean, dry and able to sit flat on a tabletop)
  • Power drill
  • 2-inch Forstner drill bit
  • Wood stain (I chose a combination of Rust-Oleum® Driftwood and Willow stains, available at Lowe’s.)
  • Polyurethane (I chose the Rust-Oleum poly in a satin finish.)
  • Votive holders (Mine measure 1 1/2″ in diameter at the base.)
  • Votive candles

Cabinet-mounted magnetic knife block

Magnetic-knife-holder

For this project, you’ll need the following supplies (available at Lowe’s):

  • 1 1″x2″x8′ section of lumber (I chose poplar and used a miter saw to cut it.)
  • Pre-glued, iron-on wood veneer edging (I chose poplar, to match my lumber. You’ll also need an iron to apply it.)
  • Block magnets
  • Wood stain (I chose Rust-Oleum Traditional Cherry and Kona stains.)
  • High-strength, clear epoxy adhesive
  • Mineral oil
  • Command™ strips or mounting hardware

QUICK TIP: If you have worn-out kitchen knives that need discarded, it’s important to use a safe method of disposal. First, check with your local metals recycling depot to see if they accept knives. If not, wrap the knives in bubble wrap, cardboard or layers of newspaper. Then use a generous amount of tape to secure the packing materials and dispose of the knives in a plastic or metal trash bin.

Have you caught the spring DIY fever yet? What projects do you have in the works?