Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An outdoor project

I'm not usually much of one for DIY-type activities. Mostly because I'm not very good at them, and partially because I worry I will make a mess / mistake / problem that is irreversible and irrepairable.

In truth, I am probably right to worry.

Despite these reservations, I recently summoned up the courage (and motivation) to varnish a box in which to store gardening equipment.

I found a box at Big W that looked exactly right for the task, with a lift-up lid that could also serve as a seat. Unfortunately, it cost a little more than I was hoping to pay - about $270.

Big W version

$270 was probably quite reasonable, but I still didn't want to pay it!

Happily, Ikea came to the rescue with a similar design, but unvarnished:

IKEA version

The Ikea product is actually meant to be an indoor coffee table, so varnishing would be fairly essential for outdoor use. Still, as it cost $130 instead of $270, I figured the savings would be worth the varnishing effort.

This means that over the past 2 weeks, I have had fun turning separate, unvarnished table components like this:

Hello Ikea flat packing

Into a finished product like this:

           Half way through

Throughout this process, I discovered that painting (varnishing) is quite fun. Of course, this didn't stop me gathering additional evidence regarding my lack of outdoor / DIY abilities:

  • I had to use nail polish remover to get some varnish splashes off my arms (I did wear gloves, but somehow splashes got over them)

  • I still have some faint varnish splashes on my legs

  • On one occasion, I thought I'd got varnish in my eye (thankfully I didn't!)

  • The pavers have some varnish marks that I sincerely hope will eventually fade / wash off

My solution for the latter is to not look at the ground too closely :P

My next gardening project will be to decide what to re-plant in my vegetable beds - which I am very much looking forward to. Not least because it probably won't require nail polish remover or emergency trips to the bathroom to wash out my eyes. Although I guess there is always a first time!

Coming up later this week - a return to food-focused posts and an improvised recipe for apple muffins with a twist :)


  1. Great job, Kari! I doubt I can ever manage a project like this. I would have been totally clueless about how I should go about doing it. Frankly speaking, I think your look better than the one from Big W:)

  2. @Kayla
    Oh, thank you Kayla! You've given me a DIY confidence boost :D Very much appreciated.


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