9 Creative Projects for Spring 2017

With spring in full swing and summer quickly approaching, it’s a great time to get outside and get your yard fixed up so you can be ready to enjoy it when summer arrives.While Preserva Wood has long been used to stain fences and decks, there are many other exterior wood projects that can be taken to the next level with a simple coat of stain. We’ve put together a list of fun projects, ranging from simple to complex so you can make the most of your yard.

Simple Projects  

Cedar Planter

If you’re looking to fix up your front porch, our favorite way is by adding some plants in beautiful wood planters. By building your own, you’re able to get the exact size and shape you’re looking for. As an added bonus, you can stain them so they match the theme of your house, porch, or yard. Cedar has been seeing a resurgence this spring and we love this cedar planter from The House of Wood.

Adirondack Chairs

There’s nothing better than relaxing in your yard on a warm summer night or weekend afternoon. Adirondack chairs are great to sit back and enjoy the evening with your family or with your favorite new book. Check out this quick tutorial from Popular Mechanics and you can have a set of these beautiful chairs in no time. Better yet, you can use Preserva Wood to make sure they match your deck, fence, and the rest of your yard.  

If you’re looking for a fun and simple way to enjoy a nice glass of wine while relaxing in your new adirondacks, check out this awesome wine caddy with space for 2 glasses and the bottle over on the Rogue Engineer.

Wood Pathway

There are many ways to make a beautiful pathway through your backyard. You can use stones, concrete and now… wood. We love this new take on a the traditional pathway through your garden, grassy, or other frequently traversed areas. Simply take several pieces of wood of equal size and properly treat them following the steps in our “Successful Exterior Wood Projects” post. Once the wood has been treated, dig a shallow path, place the wood pieces in the pattern you want, and pack them in with dirt so they won’t slip around.

For complete step-by-step directions, head on over to FunkyJunkInteriors.

Medium Projects

Wood Ice Chest

We all love having ice cold drinks at our backyard BBQ’s and parties but ice chests aren’t typically the very aesthetically pleasing. This is a great way to take an ordinary ice chest and not only improve the look of it, also make it easier for everyone to grab drinks because the frame raises the chest off the ground.

Interested in making this one? Head over to LumberJocks for full directions.

Wall Planter

Want to grow vegetables, herbs, or flowers but don’t quite have the room in your yard? These amazing planters attach to your fence or home so you can save space and still enjoy the beauty of fresh plants in your yard. By making your own, you can choose to keep the stain consistent with the color of your fence and deck or change it up and add some contrast.

Looking to add some space saving planters to your yard? Head on over to the Rogue Engineer for full directions.

Table with built in ice tray

Picnic tables are a great place to sit down for a meal with your family and friends on a warm summer night. Unfortunately, the benches aren’t always the most convenient to get in and out of. Luckily, you can eliminate at least a few reasons to get up during the meal with a built in ice tray down the center.

Head on over to Today’s Homeowner and for their simple, easy to follow directions.

 

Complex Projects  

Pergola

If you’re looking to make a major upgrade to your home or garden, a pergola is a great way to transform your backyard. Depending on your needs, you can attach curtains for shade, string lights if you love hosting backyard dinners, or simply use the pergola as a way to section off a portion of your yard for an outdoor kitchen or lounge.

We love this amazing Pergola with swings and a fire pit from Remodelaholic with a materials list and step-by-step directions but there’s hundreds of designs on Pinterest so you can find one that fits your needs.

Detached Deck

While many times we think of decks as an attached addition to our homes, sometimes space and terrain don’t allow for that. Recently, we’ve been seeing more and more versions of detached decks, sometimes surrounding trees, pools, or simply built as platforms in your yard. We love these easy to follow directions from The Family Handyman, but there are many different tutorials online that can help you build the deck you’ve always dreamed of.

She Shed

While the man cave has been around for years, there’s a new version that we’re seeing more and more often: The She Shed. This is a fun, feminine take on the traditional escape or hangout. She shed’s can be used as craft rooms, offices, or simple peaceful escapes to read a book or write in a journal. The best part is these sheds are detached so the interior can be anything you want and doesn’t necessarily have to fit the theme for your house. Head on over to The Family Handyman for easy to follow directions and get inspired by the amazing interior on Designer Rachel Roe’s she shed over on St. Louis Magazine.

Have you created anything fun with Preserva Wood lately? Upload some pictures in the comments below! Not sure what color would look best, how much to use, or have questions on application? Comment below, give us a call at 800-797-2537, or email us at info@preservawood.com and we’ll be sure to give you a personalized response.

Tips for a Successful Project with Preserva Wood

We all want our homes to look professionally done but sometimes hiring a contractor isn’t feasible. While big DIY woodworking projects can seem daunting, they don’t have to be. However, there’s nothing worse than spending hours on a project with the expectation that it will turn out beautifully only to get to the finished product and realize it’s not at all what you wanted. Worse yet, something went wrong and you have to start all over likely adding work to get the wood back to its original state.

We’ve created this list to make sure your wood staining projects go off without a hitch and you’re able to achieve those professional looking results you desire.

Plan Ahead
If you’re reading this post, you’re already on the right track but there are a few more things to consider. Later in the article, we’ll talk about the need to clean the wood prior to staining, allow the wood to dry, stain your wood, and allow another 12-24 hours for that to dry. Weather can be unpredictable so we recommend staining in the late spring or summer months when there is less chance of rain in the area. You’ll want to avoid foot traffic for those first 12-24 hours so if you’re staining your front porch, use a side door or garage to enter the house. Lastly, if you’re planning a big outdoor bash, we recommend completing projects at least the weekend (5-7 days) before to ensure everything looks great and is ready for your party!

Use the Right Tools and Supplies
While Preserva Wood is easy to apply, there are a few other supplies needed in order to ensure a successful project. While at the hardware store or shopping online, we recommend purchasing the following to avoid multiple trips:

  • Pump sprayer (fences and vertical surfaces) or Paint pad/brush (deck and horizontal surfaces)
  • Rags
  • Mineral Spirits

Test a Small Portion of the Wood First
We recommend testing a small portion of the deck or fence first prior to completing the whole project. This will allow you to ensure the color of the stain combines well with the color of the wood and the surrounding aspects of your home and yard (outdoor furniture, color of your home, etc).

Prep your surface
Now that you’ve planned for weather and foot traffic, purchased all the supplies, and tested the wood, it’s time to get to work. The first step is to clean the wood to be sure the surface is ready for the stain so it can penetrate properly and provide the best possible protection and beauty!

To do so, thoroughly clean the wood with a mixture of soap and water, and use a stiff bristle brush on a pole to gently scrub the wood surface. Once clean, rinse with water until it runs clear. Then allow the wood to dry completely (typically overnight). A great trick we’ve found to ensure the wood is ready to be stained is to sprinkle drops of water on the wood to make sure the drops penetrate quickly.

Apply your Stain
Once the surface is prepped, you’re ready to apply the stain. Due to the natural properties of the product, pigment will sink to the bottom. Start by thoroughly stirring the stain until all the pigment comes up off the bottom. Repeat this process every 15 minute or whenever you add stain to the paint tray.

As mentioned in the supplies step, use a sprayer for fences and other vertical surfaces and a paint pad or brush to apply to decks and various other horizontal surfaces. Though a roller may sound quicker and easier than a brush or pad, using one will apply too much stain and result in a tacky appearance, ultimately ruining your project. We never recommend a roller.

Once the stain has been applied, you’ll want to wipe up any shiny spots within 30 minutes of application. If it is a large project that will take longer than 30 minutes to complete, break the project into sections so there’s time to wipe up any spots within that 30 minute window.

Clean Up
Now that the stain’s applied, there’s just one very important step left. Preserva Wood is a combustible product so make sure to clean all rags, brushes, and sprayers and tightly seal the cans. To properly clean the rags start by soaking them in water, wring them out, then lay them out to dry in a safe place away from heat or other ignition sources, preferably out of direct sunlight. Next, clean brushes, pump sprayers, and any other tools used with mineral spirits. Lastly, make sure the lids are tightly sealed on the cans of Preserva Wood. If you only have a gallon in a 5 gallon pail, transfer it to a 1-gallon can and seal tightly. Though these steps may seem like extra work, they’re critical in keeping everything safe.

We hope these steps have helped make you feel just a bit more prepared for your next big wood staining project. Still have questions? Shoot us an email, give us a call, or leave us a note in the comments below. You’re guaranteed to get a personalized response and we will do our best to answer any and every question to ensure every project is a success!