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If you’ve been following along on the backyard updates, you know that there are two big things going on:

  1. I’ve brought in dirt and rented a backhoe to help me fix a number of lingering issues going on back there: fill in a sinkhole, grading, etc. It’s a shitload of work.
  2. I’ve brought in a LOT of DIRT. Which… is going to look really brown for a while before it gets better (I’ll get to the grass seeding part of the update eventually, but my landscaper neighbor advised a wait about a month). And that part kind of sucks, no matter how much I know it’s eventually going to pay off.

Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a big makeover, I waffle (hehe) between these highs and lows. That anticipation of how it’s going to look someday versus the hot mess that it looks like right now can be a little more disheartening than I’d like, and I have to put in effort to make sure that I don’t give up halfway through. As a pick-me-up, I will simultaneously work on something with a shorter wait time for the big payoff.

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staining adirondack chairs

A word about staining things like this: maybe wipe-on Waterseal isn’t the way to go. The nooks and crannies tend to make everything a giant mess, and apparently, I’m not a good enough planner to reach for a pair of latex gloves sometimes.

stained hands

Luckily (???), I got frustrated enough with chair number one to try a spray version for chair number two (similar). It did the job a lot better for reaching into the tighter areas and in a lot faster time. And my hands didn’t look like that.

spray sealer is way easier than wipe on for adirondack chairs

The color, by the way, is called Acorn Brown. I wanted something more brown than red, and this was the closest match to what I had in mind.

new stained Adirondack chairs

I like them so much, I think I might order two more to get a full set of four. And as luck would have it, they are on sale right now with an extra 10% off for Labor Day weekend. So, I’m pretty sure two of those are going to wind up magically walking themselves out of the online cart and on their way to my front door. There are also these foldable versions that look almost the same, but I’m not quite sure yet.

new stained Adirondack chairs 2

I then stumbled onto some planters on clearance at Lowe’s ($6.98 each – more than 50% off until the end of October). I kind of love it when things go on sale just because of the color (the silhouette on these are really simple, so the only difference seemed to be that the red and blue ones had been selling better). My gain!

planters on clearance

Equally funny to me is how they were clearly manufactured in black (you can see based on the inside of them in the above photo) and that’s the color I actually wanted. So, these ugly yellowish things have been spray painted black with some outdoor plastic spray paint, which makes for a pretty nice upgrade. Or downgrade… back to its roots. Whatever. The important thing is, they’re black now and they look better that way.

black planters back yard

I should have another post for you guys on Sunday regarding the stools in the kitchen that are going under the new bar area. I just figured out how to use my router again, so it’s finally going to get finished and installed. Woot!

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  1. Sounds like your coming along fine on the backyard releval make it usable project well. So much fun too, is running equipment such as you reanted, very versatile piece with the back hoe and bucket too foe hawling, levealing. I just removed a nuisance tree in the front yard causing a low spot and have other area where I removed 5 very messy walnut trees and had the stumps ground out which have settled and need dirt put on top and seeded soon. Our dirt in this region is black and because my acreage is still in Linn county I can take my trailer to the county compost site where ppl can take their yard waste and trees to and get a couple skid-loader scoops of good rich in nutrient compost at no charge. which is a price I agree with well. I back it up to the back of my lot by the fence in the corner and make a pile there and use it for the flower gardens and raised bed gardens in a 3 part mix with vermiculite, good rich black dirt, a bit of sagum, and soil native to where I’m planting..
    Your chairs look really nice and turned out good n like me, at times you seem to get really close to your work..;) I do keep box of thin disposable nitryl gloves to help but don’t always use them :) Not sure how much weed is in your dirt hawled in but with black dirt anything grows fast and is best to let settle after levaling out as your neighbor said and if you want a weed free lawn in the back, spray with round up at least 3 days before you seed or sod. Water water water, I have a brother who’s been in the lawn irrigation / landscaping business for 20 yrs. and they grow grass in sand where he’s at…amazing what water n a wee bit of fertilizer will do, and do try to stay off for quite awhile, otherwise you can make little divits in it, it will be a bit soft untill a good root sytem is established, evan after letting it settle for awhile once you water to make it grow good it will be a bit soft. It will be nice and can’t waite to see what you do with the area.
    constant growth

  2. So what did you plant in the black pots? My wife wants to plant a hibiscus bush or a snowball bush and we usually do our planting in the fall or early spring.

  3. Great idea on the planters! I need some big ones too and I totally passed these up at Lowe’s yesterday bc of the color. Guess I’ll be heading back there this week …

  4. I love Thompson’s Acorn Brown, that’s what I stained my catio and our front stoop last summer. I didn’t know it came in a handy spray can though… definitely going to have to check that out! The chairs look great!

  5. This looks like such a fun project. I am often looking for projects that I can include my kids in and I can’t wait to try this one. Thanks!