Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Staining and Lockdown

I felt a burst of energy yesterday morning, and launched my project to reinvigorate our tired garden furniture. Olga was ready to help.

Here's our furniture as it looked near the beginning of the project -- I'd sanded it by this time, just to remove grime on the wood and give it a smooth texture. But I hadn't yet applied the patio furniture stain I bought the other day.

Here's a before-and-after shot, showing the contrast between the old finish and the new.

The project was a fair amount of work, but it wasn't as awful as I was afraid it might be. I used a brush that was a tad too big and blocky, which gave me problems with sloppy drips, but I kept a paper towel (and my fingers) handy to mop them up.

A few hours later...

...ta-da! Much nicer looking furniture, now prepared for a summer of use and weather!

(Olga's help, by the way, turned out to be lounging nearby in the sun, staring at me.)

If I can get a smaller brush I'll go over them again just to hit all the nooks and crannies between the slats, because my big brush wasn't great for that. But who knows when I'll be able to get a smaller brush. As you've probably seen on the news, the UK is now in full lockdown, which means we're under orders to stay home. We can only shop for food or medicine, and take one form of exercise per day -- which means, in my case, walking the dog. (Olga's dog walkers will no longer be able to come every weekday.)

I suspect walking the dog is going to mean short walks in the neighborhood.

Of course I'm bummed, but at least I have a lot of reading material and a big garden. That's more than some people can say. And based on what I saw at the playgrounds over the weekend, I totally understand why lockdown is necessary.

This blog is about to get even less interesting!


  1. "This blog is about to get even less interesting"? How is that possible Steve/Steph? That is like saying that rain is going to get less wet or that peanut butter is going to get less peanutty. I am still confused about the exercise rule during Lockdown. By the way - good job with the garden furniture!

  2. Beautiful job. That's quite a project. Yes, you will really appreciate your back garden! Stay healthy and keep Olga happy.

  3. I think Olga did a wonderful job supervising your work. I'm sure it only looks so good because she was such a hard taskmaster. You'll be lucky if she doesn't take all the credit. Suggest you just toss a bone her way. :)

  4. The furniture looks great. You did a good job. That garden is a wonderful thing to have. My balcony doesn't come close. However, I like my balcony because I can get some gulps of fresh air whenever I want.

  5. Olga was supervising. Pogo does that too. You did a great job on the furniture. Once it warms up a bit more, Pogo and I will be able to sit out on my little porch for fresh air and a bit of outdoors. Stay safe and have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  6. Your furniture is lovely! I'd like to stain the swing that Mike's dad made, but we keep telling ourselves that we like it natural looking. Is that true, or are we just lazy? Hmmm...

    It's looking like we're NOT going to be on lockdown, and in fact the orange menace is hinting that he's bored with this quarantine business & we should just get to do what we want. I'm just in my office using a gallon of hand sanitizer a day...

  7. A fine job on your lawn furniture. I suspect with that librarian mind of yours this blog will run no risk of becoming "less interesting". After all, there are book reviews, movie reviews, your lovely neighbor reviews . . . I can hardly wait!

  8. Apparently our president has decided all is well; let the elderly die but stimulate the economy at all costs. My personal conspiracy theory is that he's hoping all the old people die, and costs for Social Security and Medicare will go down. NYT had an article that he's losing patience with Dr. Fauci, that is not good. I think we're going to try senior hours at Safeway on Thursday.

  9. "Boring"–– or what I'd call Reportage of Everyday Goings-on–– is welcome--normalizing. Thanks!

  10. the garden furniture looks great. you don't need a brush, just a piece of rag. dip it in the stain and rub. should be able to get in between the slats easily. yes, we're not under lock down so far though I think Harris County in which is Houston is under lock down orders starting today. and yes, hooray for the garden and books.

  11. Your garden furniture looks fantastic. I am sure any missed areas are only visable to yourself. You can smash a twig for a small brush or use a Q tip.
    Your blog is excellent. Keep up the good work. I would find it interesting to hear what Chef Dave has been cooking and how you are managing your pantry. Are you still able to get food there?
    I went out to my camper yesterday and discovered a large box of food and TOILET PAPER I had forgotten. It was like finding treasure.

  12. Wow - your furniture looks like new! That must have been very satisfying to finish. Olga knew the proper way to help. When our cats help me sew, they really get their paws in there, and it does not turn out well. How I wish they would just watch :)

    I think the daily things in life ARE interesting, including in this new version of life. I feel for folks who live in apartments who don't have easy access to nature at this time.

  13. That's a great job you did, Steve! I hope you get to enjoy your chairs and garden even more. I've chosen to lock myself down and hope it works.