When you DIY practically everything in a space it is so hard to explain it all in one post. Especially if there are tutorials involved. So I usually do a reveal and then share the tutorials separately. I have already shown the big Secret Garden reveal, the solar lamp tutorial, and the moss art tutorial. I am going to try to squeeze the rest into this one post.
The mirror is one of my favorite elements in my secret garden. I seems to bring it all together and make it feel like a room. It is really big, about 3 1/2 – 4 feet wide. I got it for $15.00!!! The best part about it was that it is a heavy duty plastic which is perfect for what I was using it for. I taped it (like you can see in the pictures), then taped paper all over the mirror part to protect it. I used an oil based primer first and then spray painted it white. I also used Helmsman (spray kind) to seal it. If you are sealing something white make sure you spray a thin coat, let it dry and then spray another thin coat. If it gets too thick it will make the white paint yellow.
I wanted to water proof the back as well so I caulked around where the frame met the backing. I them sprayed the back (which was wood) with the Helmsman spray as well.
As far as hanging it, it was kind of tricky. Because of the 4×4 fence post we had to add 4×4 pieces to the back of the frame. I used a super strength epoxy to adhere the pieces of 4×4. By adding those, the mirror laid flat against the fence and the post. Not only was this mirror hung on the wire it came with, but we screwed the 4×4 pieces into the fence. I didn’t want the mirror to move at all in the wind and break the glass.
Do you remember my tutorial on how to make this fun planter box? I wasn’t really using it anywhere because even though the color was fun, it doesn’t match anything in my backyard. So I painted it white. I bought some shelf brackets at Hobby Lobby and spray painted them white as well. This is a very sturdy way to hang a planter on a fence :)
I built this table out of fence pickets that were left over from my reclaimed wood floating shelves in my office. I built it the same way that I built the simple side table from last year. I just changed the measurements.
The gate was the project that was a total team effort. My hubby helped me out because I got to the point where I felt overwhelmed with everything I had to do to finish. He build the frame and added the pickets while I worked on other projects. The I drew the arch and cut it with the jigsaw. Then I sanded and stained and sealed them.
How I drew the arch is actually pretty simple. I decided where I wanted it to start and finish. hen I used a ruler and measured each picket. Each picket the line would go a little higher. Then it was just a matter of connecting the dots. Once I had the first side cut, we added pickets to the other side. I used butcher paper to create a template to trace and then cut out the other side so it would match perfectly.
Make sure to wear some sexy goggles when cutting wood…. and expect to get brown saw dust stuck all over your sweaty face :P
Anything that got painted for the secret garden got primed first. I used an oil based primer because they adhere much better. Then I used spray paint. The things that were wood (the bench, trellis, planter box, and ladder) also got a coat of the Helmsman sealer (I LOVE that stuff!).
Now I hesitate to even talk about this fence here because I did not do it the “right” way as far as “staining” a fence. But I did it the right way for what I wanted. It works for me but I can’t say that it is the way you should do it.
I wanted the fence to look old and weathered. I just didn’t want to wait for it to happen. The section of fence in the before shot has been there for about 4 years. It was starting to go grey already. But I wanted it all grey….. now. So I mixed up some grey paint and then watered it down…way down. If you do not water it down enough it will still lay on the surface of the wood and not sink all the way in. It needs to be the consistency of water based stain. In fact, I could have used a water based stain and had the same effect. I got an old rag and I rubbed the paint into the wood. It actually went pretty quickly. It was basically like I was washing the fence. The fence posts were so dark that it took 3 or 4 coats to get them the same color as the fence.
I know that since it is not a “real exterior” stain it will not stand up to the test of time. I am okay with that. All I need it to do is stay on long enough until the wood actually goes grey. So for that reason I did not seal it when I was done.
I think I covered everything…… If I left something out that you have questions on don’t hesitate to email me and ask.
I LOVE my space. I can’t wait until it cools off and I can spend even more time in my secret garden.