Projects for Fun and Function
Backyards, decks, patios, swimming pools…they are what summer is all about. But, is your pool or patio furniture looking a little tired? Why not take a weekend to jazz it up with some brightly colored paint. Many types of spray paint go on easily and can take a beating indoors and outside (see Krylon for Plastic™ www.krylon.com). This particular type works on ceramic, glass, plaster, hard vinyl, wrought iron, metal, wood, wicker, and most plastics – including PVC and resin. No need to sand or prime. Just spray it on and it’s dry to the touch in 15 minutes and ready to handle in just one hour. It “cures” and becomes chip resistant in a week. The color possibilities are almost endless, and there’s a line of metallics that really packs a punch.
You can even use stencils or masking tape to mark out a pattern and use more than one color. How about a table with racing stripes? Or, spray a base color and, after it’s thoroughly dry, tape a plastic “lace” tablecloth on your surface and spray with a contrasting color. This can be beautiful with metallic! Another method is to hold a large fern in front of the surface to be painted, and then spray away. The look is unique and downright ethereal.
A Place for Everything
Spruce up your furniture and then spray some large ceramic pots to match. Add a tall plastic bin painted a coordinating color and – using a stencil – identify it as a depository for WET TOWELS or POOL NOODLES. Wet swimsuits can be hung from hooks over the lip of the can. Having trouble corralling those diving discs and sticks, small balls, inflatables, and other backyard items? Collect them in a large, brightly painted ceramic pot and make an easily removable tabletop/lid out of a simple plastic tray purchased at a discount store.
Standard PVC pipes offer infinite possibilities. They can be purchased in various diameters and lengths (or cut to desired size), spray-painted or left white, and glued together to make a number of useful units. Stand them up straight, glue them in a bunch and use them for holding pool noodles. Add twine, seashells, or dangling cork bobbers for that “at-the-shore” feel.
Stick With It
Gorilla Glue™ (see www.gorillatough.com) makes a self-priming PVC pipe glue that is virtually odorless and cleans up easily with water. It’s 100% waterproof – perfect for the projects around the pool, patio, and deck. Once it’s dry, it’s unaffected by changes in temperature. Although it dries to a pale tan color, you can sand it, paint it, or stain it. So, what’s not to love? The line of glue you leave will be virtually invisible. So, rookies need not fret. And while glued pieces must be clamped for an hour or two, the window for making adjustments is 10 minutes or less. Known for its incredible strength and holding power, Gorilla Glue™ bonds wood, stone, metal, ceramic, foam, glass, and more!
Buy a number of inexpensive plastic bowls and a large plastic platter. Rough up the bowl lips and bottom edges with sand paper. Wipe clean. Decide on a desired stack shape – top to top, followed by bottom to bottom, etc., ending with a piece capable of balancing the tray as its top. Then glue the construction together and set a weight on top until your new poolside table is dry!
Chalk One Up for You
Tired of sidewalk chalk and chalk dust on the patio getting tracked into your house and pool? Purchase a large picture frame with a plywood or particleboard backing (no glass needed, but even glass can be “chalkboarded”). Remove the frame and spray or brush the backing piece with a few coats of chalkboard paint, now readily available in black and multiple colors from makers such as Krylon, Benjamin Moore, and Rust-Oleum. Let it dry thoroughly (about three hours) before returning it to the frame and hanging it from an outdoor wall or fence.
If the picture-frame idea is not your cup of tea, use the chalkboard paint on another surface, whether ceramic, plaster, glass, metal, or wood. Regardless, once you’ve completed your chalk station, use a wreath hook to hang a pail of chalk right beside it, and the little ones’ chalk play will be contained.
After a weekend of fun and functional projects, take a big piece of chalk and scrawl this message to yourself: RELAX and ENJOY!!!