Picnic table, done!

It’s finally done!

This morning, I touched up the scratches we found after we flipped the picnic table upright again. This evening, we moved it over by the fire pit.

It will probably be moved again, the next time we do a cookout and figure out where is the most useful place to position it in relation to the fire pit.

It practically glows! 😀 I’m really happy with how it turned out, and look forward to using it at our next cook out!

The Re-Farmer

Picnic Table Progress

Over the past while, I’ve been adding another coat of Plasi Dip to the ends of the picnic table legs. I stopped adding more coats yesterday, but have continued to spray the cracks in the rain barrel. Basically, I plan to empty that can on those. 😀

This is about 5 or 6 coats. I lost track of how many, exactly. When I took the picture, it had at least 24 hours to cure since the final coat. It looks like it will do the job just fine, and help extend the life of the picnic table.

Earlier today, a daughter and I flipped the picnic table right side up, then checked the surface. Sure enough, there was a bit of damage. Some paint had come off when the bird feeder had been put on top of it – both surfaces hadn’t quite cured yet, and the feeder stuck to the table.

While upside down, the table was on the chimney inserts I’d used to raise it off the ground while painting. There were a few scratches from those, as well as dirt. My daughter hosed it off and scrubbed where needed.

Tomorrow, the bits of damage will get touched up before we move it to somewhere near the fire pit.

For something that is too far gone to repair, this should last quite a bit longer now. As long and nothing actually breaks. 😀

The Re-Farmer

First coat

This morning, I applied the first coat of spray-on rubber to the legs of the picnic table, and the cracks on the rain barrel.

This is the product I am using.

I have never used this stuff, or this brand, before. It was the only one on the shelf, so it’s not like I had a choice of brands or product versions. I think it will work just fine.

The first time we used a product like this, it was a can of liquid rubber deep enough to dip things directly onto. Like the handles of tools. Which is what we did at the time. Or it could be brushed onto a surface. The first time we tried a spray, it was basically the same product as an aerosol. My husband used it to coat the handle of one of his canes (made with aircraft grade aluminum, that could also be used for self defense), and to a cord wrapping he added to parts of his walker for extra support to hold the weight of the backpack he has hung on it. For the can, a dip version would have done a better job, but as a spray, it worked very well on the uneven surface created by the rope work. It’s still holding out, and it’s been about 5 years.

So that was basically what I was expecting. Black, spray on rubber.

Nope.

It’s white.

At least it looks white against the blue paint.

It’s also a lot lighter and thinner than I expected. Which I suppose is exactly what I need to fill in all those crevices. I added extra along the part where the most rotted wood had come off on the one leg.

I probably could have applied it more carefully to avoid drips, but there is no aesthetic requirement on this.

On the rain barrel, it looks a bit different. The barrel got sprayed both inside and out.

Here, you can see it has an almost blue tint to it. Depending on the angle, it looked a bit more purple than blue.

It should be interesting to see how it looks when it’s done.

How many layers we put on will depend on how well it coats. It requires at least 2 hours between coats. Depending on how often someone can get outside to add another coat, this may take a day or two! It then needs at least 4 hours of curing time after the final coat for the coated object can be used. Thankfully, these are not things we need to use, quickly.

The Re-Farmer

Blue

When I got back from the city with our new washing machine, I just had to go around back to see how the painting went for the girls.

The first coat of paint is done!

You know, when I first picked up this shade, I was afraid that once it was on large surfaces like this, it would be too much. I’m happy to say that, now that I see it, I’m loving it even more!

The bird feeder had also been started.

Since these photos were taken, the girls were able to go back and do another coat on the picnic table, then flip the bird feeder to finish the rest of the top side and give the roof a second coat.

I might have to get another can of this paint! The window frame for the basement screened window didn’t get done, but that’s okay. There is no rush on that. We’re also going to wait for the paint to fully cure before we add the spray on rubber stuff for the bottoms of the picnic table legs. Since they’ve already been painted, there’s no rush on that, either.

These are going to look great, once they’re done and set up in the yard!

The Re-Farmer

Picnic table progress: painting started

While the tech was here to try and figure out why our secondary internet account wasn’t working (more about that on another post), my daughter and I got started on the scrubbed and fully dry picnic table.

First, we set up her tent!

Once we moved it over the table, she got the paint ready while I pegged down the legs.

Well.

Tried do.

I was able to get only 1 leg properly pegged down. With the others, it didn’t matter what angles I tried, I kept hitting rocks!

Hopefully, it’ll be enough to keep it down if we get any winds.

Even if we don’t end up getting rain, it provided much appreciated shade!

Since it’s the underside, we weren’t too worried about complete coverage, except for the ends of the legs. Those might even get a second coat before we flip it.

I’m really glad we had those chimney liners to use to raise it off the ground. They really made the job easier! Amazing what a difference just those few inches makes, on preventing back strain.

The colour darkens a bit as it dries, but it’s still really, really bright!

Of all the things we need to work on, this small project is something that will be done fairly quickly. It’s a psychological thing. Once it’s done and set up, we’ll be able to see this one bright object in the yard that is a thing that we actually finished. So many other things have been delayed, or are things that will be worked on over years, not days, or even months.

I really look forward to using it when it’s done! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Morning finds

We are back from our city shopping trip and stocked up with most of what we need. We will still have to make another trip to get the rest. After that, we should be set for the month, and anything we need, we can get locally.

I am hoping my mother’s car will be ready for pick up by this weekend. I made a doctor’s appointment for her – they’re actually seeing patients for physicals now, instead of only doing phone in appointments – next week, and it would be great to surprise her with her own car. 🙂

That, and her car has working air conditioning… 😉

Before we headed out, I did the morning rounds and, of course, checked on the picnic table that got scrubbed yesterday evening. Check out how different it looks from last night to this morning!

The first two pictures are before scrubbing, after scrubbing, and then the last one is after drying overnight. The wood looks so much lighter! I expected it to be more grey, just from aging.

It’s still quite damp in places, mostly where the wood is most rotten, so it’s a good thing we weren’t going to be able to paint it right away anyhow. We should be able to get to it, tomorrow (Thursday). There are predictions of rain on Friday (which would be great!), though. My daughter has a 10′ x 10′ canopy tent she used when doing art markets before the move. If we set that up, we can paint it and not have to worry about rain while it’s drying. The underside will get just one coat of paint, so if all goes well, we should be able to flip it and do the top on Saturday. Friday will likely be when we make our second trip to the city, so it should get plenty of time to dry.

I think after that trip, I will be more than done with being around so many people!!

Meanwhile, I had another find this morning, that was much less pleasant.

Some time after I came in from my rounds and was uploading trail cam files, the kittens trashed our dining table.

Last night, the girls discovered the cats had knocked one of our plant pots in the living room onto the carpet. The little jade tree in it was a rescue from previous cat damage! The girls vacuumed up the mess, then put the pot with the plant and remaining soil on the dining table to be dealt with in the morning. Instead, the cats dealt with it before we could. 😦

The table had a lot of other stuff on it, too. You know how it goes. Any flat surface must get covered with stuff! 😀

My husband discovered the mess. Everything on the table was covered in dirt! As soon as I got most of the stuff off the table, I then had to fight off kittens who kept jumping up onto it to play in the dirt! I was able to clean that up before we left. One of my daughters stayed home to work, so she was kind enough to clean up the mess that spilled onto the floor while we were gone.

Keeping the kittens out of the plants has been quite a battle. They just love dirt! I have a very large pot with several avocado seedlings growing in it, and Nicco in particular has been repeatedly caught curled up in the middle of it, sleeping! One of the seedlings now no longer has any leaves!

I am not impressed.

The Re-Farmer

Prepping the picnic table

If all goes to plan, by the time this post is published, I should be in the city with one of my daughters, doing half of our monthly shop. While going over our list, we realized we will have to split it into two trips.

Of the various outdoor projects we need to work on, I decided to start on the picnic table. It meant working in the shade, and with water, so being out shortly after the hottest part of the day would be less of an issue.

I had company.

Creamsicle tired himself out, rolling in the dirt where the picnic table has been for the past couple of summers. 🙂

We will be painting the picnic table a ridiculously bright blue that I found, but first, it needed to be scrubbed.

I started with the underside, since that required the most time. Here is how it looked before I started.

I had kinda hoped those white patches were old paint but, alas, they were not.

They were old, dry mold.

I spent the next while methodically scrubbing away everything but the underside of the table top.

Which revealed a fair bit, such as the state of these two legs.

There were rotten pieces that just sloughed off as I scrubbed.

I intend to paint the underside of the table, and especially the bottoms of the legs.

This old picnic table has a lot of rot on it, but it is still strong enough to sit at. The goal is to make it more pleasant to sit at, until such time as we can replace it. The paint may even add some years to it, but I don’t expect it to.

You can actually see the colour of the wood, now! 😀

At this point, I’ve scrubbed everything except the underside of the tabletop and only managed a cursory scrub of the few inches above it. Here, it became an issue of mobility. I don’t bend and reach very well anymore, which meant I needed to find a way to raise the whole thing higher.

The area I was working in is near the old garden shed, which is an area I was able to clean up of a lot of stuff, our first summer here. Among those things was a stack of what I eventually learned are chimney liners. They and the chimney blocks we are now using as a retaining wall/planters (with more in the basement) were intended to replace the crumbling chimney for the wood burning furnace.

They were acquired shortly after my parents bought the property. The chimney had needed replacing even then (about 50 years or so ago), but it just never happened!

So now I have the inserts stacked by the back of the house, waiting until I can figure out what to do with them.

So I grabbed three of them and set them up.

… after hosing off all the spiderwebs, first…

They were perfect. I wish I’d thought of using them earlier. It made things SO much easier on my back!

Here is the underside of the table top, with years of dirt and mold scrubbed away.

I can also see where some attempts had been made to strengthen and stabilize it. We had lived in a building my parents bought as an investment property in the “downtown” of our little hamlet, years ago. After many years of problem tenants costing them thousands in damages, they didn’t want to rent the house out anymore, so we lived there for a couple of years before moving out of province. While there, we got this picnic table for a whole $5. The municipality was replacing the picnic tables in public parks and selling off the old ones for next to nothing. So it was already old when we got it, but still in great shape. It just needed a paint job. Which we never got to do, before we left the province. So my late brother brought it to the farm. He is likely the one to add the angled braces supporting the middle board. That bar across the middle was an addition, too. It looks like a hole had been drilled though to support a shade umbrella, which is probably why the braces and support bar were added. Then there’s the other piece, with a lager hole drilled through it, to support an umbrella with a larger post. I’m pretty sure we have the umbrella that was used in there, stored in the sun room now. When we’re done painting, I plan to see if it fits.

Then it was time to flip it over.

I know my mother did make efforts to protect this from the elements. She’s the last person so have painted it, and she told me how she would cover it with a plastic table cloth over the winter, to protect the wood (she used thumbtacks to secure it, and some of them are still stuck in the wood!).

It has been a long time since anyone has done anything to protect it, since. She has been living where she is now for about six years, so it’s definitely been longer than that.

Long enough for lichen to start growing on it!

The top was a lot easier to scrub. 🙂

There was red paint at one corner of the table top, as well as the seat below. I suspect someone used the table to do something else, and made a mess on the table. Whatever kind of paint it was, parts of it actually dissolved and washed away with the water!

I had to use the hose almost constantly as I scrubbed. Otherwise, it all just sort of smeared. !! There was also debris packed into the spaces between some of the boards that not even the jet on the hose nozzle could blast out. Among the nearby junk around the old garden shed, I found some wire sturdy enough that I was able to get the debris loose and clear.

When we first got this table, it was a sort of reddish brown colour. I think the provincial parks department got some sort of deal on the paint because, for a while, all park benches and picnic tables were painted that same colour! There’s no sign of it now, though I can see that someone did paint it a different grey some time before my mother’s final coat of blue-grey.

So the table is now prepped for painting!

When they had a chance, the girls came out to see how it looked, then we flipped it upside down over the chimney inserts again. Since we’ve got at least 1 city shopping day to do first, it won’t be right away but, hopefully, it can be done before we go back to get the rest of what we need for the month.

Hhmm. I should probably pick up another paint brush or two. You never know. We might have more than one person available to work on it at the same time! 😀

Once it’s painted and ready, we’re thinking of setting it up near the fire pit. We will be making sure to pick up things we can cook over the fire, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to use the fire pit quite a few times this year. The picnic table will get some good use, once it’s no longer nasty to sit at! 😀

I’m really looking forward to it!

The Re-Farmer