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DIY Patio Makeover

Okay, I'll admit it- I was meant to write this blog post about our DIY patio makeover when we actually finished it at the beginning of the summer- but alas summer flew by in a blink of an eye and here we are. Better late than never right?! I hope so, so here we go!

I realize that I never wrote a blog post about moving into our house, so here is a brief backstory. Dan and I moved into this house in April of 2020. Dan had bought this house about 5 years ago- we had just been dating for almost 2 years at that point, I was still in school for my undergrad in a different city and neither of us were working a stable job. Needless to say, we were in the position to move into a full on house together SO- Dan decided to use his investment as a rental property and rent it out to tenants. Now let me tell you, being a landlord you acquire some wild stories with many strange situations. Anyway, after moving into an apartment together a few years after that, and living there for a few years, we decided it was time for more space and we wanted to move into a house. Dan wanted to make some updates to his house, so it was perfect time for us to finally move in! Now let me tell you, moving at the beginning of a pandemic was definitely not the perfect time to move, but who would have known this was all going to happen in 2020!!! We survived the move and although 6 months later, a lot of our stuff is still in boxes- we are doing pretty well with our never ending reno to do list. All these mandatory lockdown/quarantines have definitely worked in our favour in that sense- more time at home to get stuff done!

The first project that I'm going to share as part of my home series on the blog is our Patio Makeover! We live on a corner lot and really wanted to make the outdoor space that we do have, an awesome place to hangout. Our patio is located between our carport, which is off the back of our house, and our workshop building- so it is framed by two walls giving lots of potential. After fixing it all up we enjoyed this space summer long and we are so pleased with how it turned out. Of course we will be adding to it as time goes on, but this is our for-now finished space!

Here is a step by step guide of how we achieved it with before and afters to compare!

Before: years of debris, a half dead tree leaving gross black and green acid-y film on anything, and an old deck needing some tlc!


Before we did anything we actually took down the rotting tree! Dan and his Dad painstakingly cut each branch down and then the trunk. We then found someone to come and de-stump it. Although this tree added some privacy from our neighbours yard, we were happy to see it go due to its condition. We then spent a good amount of time hauling out loads of leaf debris, build up and garbage left by the previous tenants; cleared the gutters and swept the whole space multiple times. We borrowed a power washer from Dan's parents and power washed ALLLLL the things. I pre wiped things down with a soap/bleach mixture and Dan power washed (and did an amazing job I must say). It's amazing how big of a difference simply cleaning things makes. Dan power washed the fence, deck, siding, patio stones and a picnic table that my parents were getting rid of and generously gifted us. The before and afters of cleaning these things are mind blowing- everything is like NEW!

Step 2: Paint & Stain!

We painted and stained a lot of items which is a great affordable way to give things new life. First off, I painted a cast iron bistro set that my parents also generously handed down to us. I cleaned the set and then sanded down all the flaky paint that was on it. I then used a few cans of rust protector semi-gloss spray paint to cover the table and two chairs. We also have a little bike shed storage space at the back of the car port, which is a great storage space to have. The door was horribly painted a gross mauve colour, so we opted for a nice contrasting black. I sanded and cleaned the door and got to painting. I thankfully only needed one coat of paint, and then scraped any paint off that got on the glass windows. We used the Behr Marquee exterior paint in gloss from Home Depot and we were super pleased with the quality. I only ended up using a little bit of paint so we have lots left over to do our other external doors. We also got a can of stain and sanded then stained the fences, picnic table and deck. We weren't sure if we were going to keep the deck as it was large and a part of it got damaged when the tree was taken down. However, we ended up cutting the damaged bit off and it fit the space a bit better, and moved it to the front of the patio to use as a BBQ stand.

Step 3: Landscape!

We created a garden at the back of the patio space where the tree originally was. We had a bunch of old bricks in our workshop so we used what we had, creating an edging to the garden, and made a path to a randomly placed gate that goes to the side of the house, kind of to our neighbours backyard (why?). Future plans include creating a path to the gate on the other side and fencing in our property but that is a project for next year. It felt so good creating this space with things we already had! We then picked up some emerald cedars to go into this space which added a nice pop of green, and privacy once they grow a bit bigger. We also got some black mulch to make the cedars really pop, and some flowers and things to create some planters!

Step 4: Add some decor and lights...TADA!

We are so happy with how this space turned out! It was such a low cost makeover with a big impact! It turned out to be a very modern, clean and minimalist look which we love! We repurposed or cleaned things that we already had, was generously gifted things from our parents that they were looking to get rid of (ex: the bistro set, picnic table and awesome bbq), and bought some affordable new things to dress up the space! The aspect I am most pleased with are the string lights! We got these edison bulb lights from costco last year and never ended up putting them up on our backyard space at our apartment. We installed some hooks to the exterior walls of the carport and workshop that frame the space. This configuration really helped in being able to actually hang these lights!

We actually only spent money on a can of paint, a few cans of spray paint, a can of stain, the plants and the lights that we bought last year! Oh and the citronella candles and lantern decorations were just from Dollarama so hello cheap decor items! The rest was many hours and lot of hard work! Also the cute and rustic bucket we used to chill wine is actually a milk bucket that I saved from my childhood farm that recently sold (maybe I should write a blog post about that? guys I'm really slacking at this whole blogging thing but I'm trying ok haha). We also saved the old wine barrel and other buckets from the farm as well and used them as planters! We enjoyed this space all summer long with friends and family and It was so relaxing to come home from work and enjoy a bbq dinner and a glass of wine under the lights!

Before and After: Remember what this space looked like before? We are so pleased with how everything turned out!

Let me know your thoughts on our Patio Makeover and share some of your own patio refresh projects if you did any this year during quarantine- I'd love to see! Stay tuned for more home projects- you know I have a never ending list guys ;)!

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