Small Backyard DIY Projects

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Rachel Stone

Good morning, friends!

The lovely warm weather we are having has pulled us outdoors again… Today we have a few small backyard DIY projects to share. Like most of you, we have a small, ordinary suburban backyard that was rather… plain and sad. If you saw our recent DIY patio projects post ad video you saw that the biggest change we made was building a custom tree bench. The tree bench not only added more seating, but it gave the backyard a lovely park-like feeling.

As most projects go, one thing usually leads to another and we’ve continued improving the bones of the patio & yard. With two sides of the yard newly fenced and freshly stained, the third side fence looked tired and sad.

You can see the difference in the rich chocolatey brown color of the new stained fence against the old great, weathered fence. While we’d love to replace the old fence that isn’t in the budget, so we’ll follow one of our mantras which is: “good, better, best.” In this case, we’re going for better. Restoring this old fence and protecting it with stain to match the rest of the fence is the best option for now.

The first step in restoring the fence is to remove the grey color, which is a layer of mildew, that has built up on the fence. Using a sprayer Matt applied a simple mixture of bleach and water to kill the mildew. The result is amazing as the fence looks much newer! During this step in the process, we also decided to add a trellis to one panel for vertical planting. We then stained the fence and trellis the same color as the fence and the tree bench. By carrying this color through the whole yard it looks bigger and unified.

We also decided to buy the sturdier trellis from the hardware store instead of the less expensive trellis since we can reuse it in the future when the fence is replaced. Besides being a practical addition I love the texture that the trellis gives!

Here is the fence and trellis stained. This is quite a transformation! The dark stain recedes visually, which makes the yard look bigger, plus it provides a gorgeous backdrop for the plants. I also think the darker color adds a bit of drama and formality to the feeling of the yard.

Here’s a shot of the fence after the bleach treatment…

Here’s the fence after being stained. I love the depth and formality it adds to the yard! Also, you can see how the fountain and flowers stand out so beautifully against the dark brown. This transformation makes me dream of panting out this bed next spring… There is so much possibility!

We also upgraded the fence posts with custom covers to match the fence. Then we expanded the trellis across more of the fence to accommodate our squash plants. And they’ve already taken advantage of the extra trellis!

These projects often have a ripple effect and now that stump needs to go!

We were going for better (not best) in the second big project we tackled. Our patio is a hodge-podge of cobbled-together concrete and pavers from the different owners and a slab leak over the years. While we’d love to replace all the paved areas with flagstone that is not financially feasible for now so we decided to unify the various concrete colors with concrete stain.

You can see the painters tape Matt used before cutting in the edges and rolling on the stain. We chose the color “High Tea” by Sherwin Williams. It is a warm brown putty color with a hint of green. I went with a warm-toned neutral in a medium tone for two reasons. First, all the other colors are warm-based. And secondly, a slightly darker color would ground the space and hide dirt.

Another practical and pretty project was to sand and paint the top of the buffet. This buffet is often used for DIY projects so the top has taken a beating.

So nice to have a fresh coat of paint on things! Once I have the brush in hand, it’s hard to stop…

Also, since it is difficult to move and clean behind the buffet so we’ve decided to put it on industrial casters. The casters will help with keeping the porch clean, but it will also be handy for entertaining and doing projects.

We are really enjoying the better function and transformation of the “bones” in our backyard and patio! Every year this space becomes more useful and enjoyable. I’m already excited about what next year may bring! what kinds of projects are you tackling this season?

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Author: Rachel Stone
Rachel is passionate about creating a comfortable and beautiful home for her family. She also loves to share the lessons she is learning with her wonderful audience both on this blog and her YouTube channel.

16 thoughts on “Small Backyard DIY Projects”

  1. Love how you and Matt work so hard to make this home your sanctuary . I think with Matts skills…. he should make 3 wood pots to surround the 3 iron awning trellis structures, so you could just add soil to some plastic inserts and grow vines or climbing roses to grow up and surround the overhang. I know this would really give the cottage feel you love so much… at such a small financial output. Just the wood…. Matt has the skills and tools!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the ideas, Miss Liane!
      We are slowly moving forward with the infrastructure in the yard and it gets me more excited about adding the flowers etc.
      We’ve even talked about building a chicken coop ~ cottage style , of course!

      Reply
  2. Lovely back yard retreat. It’s good to see a blog where you are living within your means and not being an influencer that tells you to buy, but, buy!

    Reply
  3. I enjoy your blogs. Sure miss you over on you tube. Best of luck with your projects and thank you for the inspiration to get some of my projects started AND completed!

    Reply
    • Hello Miss Janice!
      We are still up and running on YouTube, there is some sort of difficulty in getting the video to embed in our blog post. Just for future notice there is a video with every other blog post that goes out. Thank you for visiting today & happy DIY projects!

      Reply
  4. Hi miss Rachel! Thank you for taking us along on your journey. It’s so refreshing to see a sweet couple making a beautiful life with such humbleness and love 💕. Thank you 😊

    Reply
  5. I hear you on the mismatched finishes. We have a narrow patio with an awning that needs replaced at some point. Every time my husband suggests an improvement that includes something going onto/into the ground I remind him that it has to be one of the finishes we already have. We will eventually paint concrete, but we have soooo many projects and limited resources so we plan them out carefully.

    Check your local nursery, especially in the fall, for discounted perennials to add to your landscape. They may actually be available sooner but I’ve picked up some great options in the fall to fill out my front bed. Fall is a good time to plant them. Also, look for dying bulb plants. They can sit in a cool dry place until fall and can be planted then for early spring color. You can also dig up bulbs, store for the summer and plant in the fall.

    Your backyard is looking beautiful.

    Reply
  6. Fun to see what a difference a coat of paint makes. It is such a feel good feeling to make things better with the things you already have and stay with in your budget . Keep up the good work.
    MiMi

    Reply
  7. LOVE your videos, Rachel. You are by far my favorite You Tuber…. I look forward to each and every video, and seeing the charm and tasteful upgrades you are making, within your means. It’s lovely to see a beautiful couple that lives their faith like you do. Keep up the great work…. Warmly, Debbie

    Reply
    • How very sweet, Miss Debbie!
      We have a lot to learn and are glad you find our channel/blog helpful & inspiring. Thanks for being here!

      Reply

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