Porch Swing Makeover
Even though my focus is on Interior design, it does extend to other areas too. I am an avid gardener. I love spending time outdoors. Tending my flowerbeds while barefoot in the grass is my happy place. Which leads me to my summer diy project.
If you follow me on instagram (@inspireddecorator) then you may already be familiar with my swing makeover project.
My father-in-law built this swing many years ago. It is still strong and secure. It also fits in sweetly with my backyard oasis. Last year my husband and I bought his family home and moved in.
You may also be interested in my post on Selling Your Home Quickly here!
It had been a few years since the swing was painted, and it was ready for some tlc. The paint was flaking and peeling. The bare wood was exposed in spots, and I knew I needed to tackle refinishing it this year before any rot set in.
I may be addicted to DIY projects seeing as we had barely finished this Console Table Project before I was getting supplies for the swing. This is one project though that I was eager to see the change and how it would affect my yard.
I Asked, You Answered
There was a poll on my social media on paint colors. I had two choices that I loved and thought would work great in that corner of the yard. Secretly, I was already head over heels for one of the choices but wanted to hear others thoughts too.
The decision was pretty unanimous, Blue it was! And I couldn’t agree more! I ended up switching paint brands to go with my favorite company, Benjamin Moore. The winning color is Benjamin Moore Pool Blue 2052-50. The staff at the Benjamin Moore paint store were great and they ended up doing a custom color for me too. The color I liked the most was going to look too washed out in the sun, so they doubled the tint doses for me. This gave me the truest form of the Pool Blue outdoors.
This is a relatively unknown idea, but most paint shops are willing to work with you to get you the color you want. I have had colors done in on a 50% tint because I loved the color and the undertones were just right, but I needed it to be lighter. Also, if you have bought paint for a project, but had to delay it, you can take it back to where you purchased it and get them to shake it up for you again. This way you have a well-blended paint again to start your project off right.
Stain Vs Paint
The other reason I went to my local Benjamin Moore shop is that the staff are knowledgeable. We discussed the virtues of doing a colored stain versus painting the swing. Benjamin Moore can tint their stains to match the paint chips, which is freaking awesome, and its coverage is amazing. We used a stain on the wood gables of our previous house and it turned out amazing. You don’t need to sand anything beforehand, although a good wipe down is often best, and a coat or two is all you need. Plus it lasts forever, we’re talking 10-15 years without refinishing! The downside is that it only comes in 1 gallon pails.
I did end up using the Aura exterior paint. I only needed a quart of paint for the swing, and knowing myself, I will want to paint it a different color when it is time to paint it again anyways. The paint should be fine for 5+ years though before I need to do touch-ups.
Get Down To Business
I like to take the time to properly prep a project before getting into the nitty-gritty of it. That means sanding. I wiped down the swing, and then started sanding away the chipped paint.
That’s when my husband’s sander died.
I made a quick trip to my local hardware store and came home with a new sander! This one is mine, my husband will have to ask to borrow it. This Black and Decker sander is great and has a few neat features. You use the heel of your palm to push down on the activating button, which feels very natural when you are already putting weight on your heel while sanding. The shape of it is generic so you don’t need to buy expensive, shape specific sandpaper. And finally, it has a filter on it!
It took me a full hour to sand the swing all down. There were a few rough patches in the wood that I smoothed out.
Then I used an old paint brush to dab the new paint color into the grooves, and nail heads. Those hard to reach spots were where I started. This way I didn’t have to worry about wrecking paint lines by trying to get full paint coverage in the grooves.
Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how cool the roughly painted blue looks on the aged wood!
The top of the bench is what I painted next. After being left to dry for an hour, the swing was flipped over and the backside was painted as well. This also helped to smooth out some paint drips that happened when I was covering the grooves. Once again, leave it to dry for a bit. Refer to the drying instructions on your paint can.
I did this twice so that there are two coats of paint on every part of the swing. The third layer of paint was done on the seat since that is going to see the most wear.
The swing was left to dry for a few days before we hung it back up again. I wanted to make sure the finish was no longer tacky, so no leaves or dirt would imprint themselves into the finish. There were some rainy days too which could have compromised the life of the new paint finish if the swing had been out too soon. Since we had the space, it was worthwhile to leave it and let the paint fully cure before moving it back outside.
I am in love with this swing all over again! Doesn’t it bring the space to life? It no longer blends into its surroundings. I can just imagine how beautiful it is going to look this winter with the white snow all around it. The color is just gorgeous! And it received my in-laws approval! Bonus!
I had leftover paint and used it for some more projects! You can see how I used it to add a distressed finish to an outdoor bench in my post Tips for Creating a Distressed Wood Finish!
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