Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Save $$ on outdoor items

Finally, we have begun to experience the life of spring in the Midwest. Today's 65 degree temps allowed me to get in a little "garden prep" after work.

If you have a home with shutters (which we do) and/or if you have windowboxes and/or flowerboxes, you probably know by now that after so many years of sun and weather they begin to fade/get dirty spots etc...

What to do?? Well, of course if you have nothing better to do than spend $$...purchase all new. Nothing against you if you do. However, over the past few years, I have learned how to give them new life. This is not rocket science here, but some may not have thought of this or realize.

If your shutters are faded and the color is 40 shades lighter than it used to be or if they have turned from maroon to a hot pink color...take a little trip to the store. I recommend the following types of spray paint simply because I have used them and they work wonderfully: Valspar (sold in a variety of colors at Lowe's) --satin finish-- or Krylon (sold at WMT and many other places) --satin finish. This is the perfect opportunity to get a new color for your shutters as well (if you wish). Maybe you are tired of the standard 6-7 sold everywhere colors (black, green, navy, tan, white, brown, & cranberry)--get a new color that you like and be different.
I can paint 4 shutters (pretty much standard sized) with one can. Each can runs between $3-4. That is MUCH cheaper than the $25 and up price you would pay to purchase new pairs of shutters.

My latest venture has been to "help" my windowboxes. Our house has quite a few windows and therefore, quite a few windowboxes. I got them on clearance probably 7-8 years ago. They have held up wonderfully to be honest, but the main problem is the dots of dirty black that have begun to make them look very drab! I know some use a bleach solution to clean them, but this didn't work for me. I was highly tempted to just replace them all when I was shopping at Target the other day. However, after seeing that the new ones were lesser quality and the cost it would take...I decided to go a different route. You guessed it...spray paint them!

Since it was warm enough today, I began painting them in a mocha color. Six are finished and it only took one can. That's way cheaper than replacing! The same can be done for flowerpots that look drab & yucky. One tip...purchase the trigger handle that can be placed on the can and your hands will not be tired or aching after all of the painting. The upside to painting...much less trash than getting new and throwing all of them away. Only a few more to go and they will look like new in a new color.