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Backyard Makeover Part 1


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It’s DECEMBER. I know, you all already know this, but I need to point this out because it’s December and I’m writing about a project we completed months ago. Actual months!

If you keep up on Instagram, you have already seen that we took on a rather large project this Summer – the backyard makeover! Yep, the whole thing! There was landscaping, deck cleaning and painting, and it’s not even finished yet, but the hardest parts are done. Here’s where we started:


So this was a big undertaking – like 60 square feet of undertaking! We started with the digging, which is so stinking hard! Six inches deep and so, so, so many roots from those lovely bushes on the other side of the fence. My mom, Alex and I managed to get this done on the first day:

Landscaping day 1


The next time we dug, my dad came along and, of course, it was a huge help because he’s the master landscaper. We definitely could not have ever done this without him and my mom! Here is the other side:


Landscaping day 2

Next, we removes all of the old lattice underneath the deck. It was super torn up and not pretty, so it had to go!

Removing old lattice

We then put down a layer of gravel, rented this lovely machine from The Home Depot and made everything all nice and flat!

compressor on gravel

Here’s a full view of the yard:


Then all of the brick had to be moved from our garage out to the backyard. So. Many. Bricks. I never want to see that many bricks again!


bricks piled up

We started with the area closest to the fence, and it has a cool circular design, which I looooove! We got all of this done in one day, which I thought was pretty amazing considering how much we covered! My dad is a machine!

Day 1 of bricks


Once all of the bricks were down, came time for the sand. Basically you sweep this stuff on until all of the teeny tiny holes are filled. Water it, and you’re done. It makes a huge difference, as you can see here.

Sand in bricks


That’s it! It sounds like it’s no work at all, but this took us weeks to complete because our schedules didn’t allow for all of the work to be done at once. 

Next came the lights! Yep… lights went up before the deck was painted because we wanted to use the patio and the fire pit!

patio lights


Oh my gosh… I love it so much!



Here’s where the Home Depot  REALLY came to the rescue! With 400 square feet of deck to clean and stain, we had our work cut out for us. Frequent trips to HD and relying on quality product and tools was key for this part of the makeover!

Step 1 was cleaning, and boy, did this deck ever need it! It had been so long since it was last stained that there was no stain left, except in a few corners and underneath the shed!

Deck cleaning

See how the handle on that brush is bending in the photo? Not long after, the whole thing broke in half – and he kept going anyway! We used a deck cleaner first to get all the grimy stuff off the deck, and you can see there was a lot of it!Before cleaning, the deck looked grey when dry, but as soon as water touched it the mossy green came right out and it was super slippery! Didn’t seem safe… 

We moved the shed off the deck because it made no sense up there. You can see a more natural colour back in the wood after it was cleaned – so much better!

Deck before and After #1

Deck after cleaningWe then proceeded to power wash the deck because it still seemed a bit dirty despite the first clean. Again, HUGE difference! This step really helped the wood to kind of shrink a bit so there were fewer gaps in the grain.

Deck cleaning round 2

Tip- wear pants when power washing or your legs will look like this:

dirty legs

Also, consider real shoes and not flip-flops. I clearly had never done this before!

After all the cleaning was finished, I got to painting! Starting with the railing and seating around our deck. Here was coat #1:

Painted Rails

I ended up putting on 2 thick coats and some spots needed a touch up/3rd coat. Being that there was nothing on the wood and I was going for opaque white, it wasn’t so bad! A gallon of stain did the trick!

Painting the rails

Then came time for the floors. I used a 4 inch brush and good knee pads for this part. No rolling for this gal! Because of the deep grooves in the wood, I wanted to be able to get in there properly with a brush. In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad. I got the whole deck done (only one coat of stain because this is awesome stain) over two days.

Painting the deck

And just like that, our deck and the patio are finished!








And here it is at night!!!






That’s it, you guys. That’s the yard. And in case you’re wondering, we’ve been able to use this space well into the chilly weather because roasting marshmallows and cooking hot dogs on the fire pit is pretty much the best ever!

A big huge massive thanks to The Home Depot for helping us out with this project. No way we would have been able to do this without them!

Now we just need Summer to come back! The backyard makeover will continue, but just some minor changes and gardening so we can enjoy our new amazing space!

Oh, and don’t forget about the Penny Paper Co. Giveaway! You have until Friday to enter!! 

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  • Reply Raven Corwin, aka Meggie

    Really need a LOVE button for your blog! What a comfy, charming, *useable* space you created. Well done, all of you :) (Totally with you on the marshmallows!)

    December 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks so much, Meggie! We love love love the space and it’s been so nice not to look at busted lattice, you know? And marshmallows are ALWAYS a good idea ;)

      December 10, 2014 at 10:37 am
  • Reply Vanessa

    Looks great, lady! Love the circular pattern of the brick!

    December 1, 2014 at 8:02 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks, Vanessa! It was a tricky thing to do, but handy dads are kind of the best, aren’t they? ;)

      December 10, 2014 at 10:40 am
  • Reply Annet M

    Really great. I love the circle of bricks!

    December 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thank you, Annet! It’s my favourite part :)

      December 10, 2014 at 10:42 am
  • Reply Steph

    It looks amazing! Great job :)

    December 2, 2014 at 10:24 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks, girl! Two years later, we no longer have a sad, dry deck to look at!

      December 10, 2014 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Nana Chiarinelli

    Aqui no Brasil a gente não tem tanto o costume do “Faça você mesmo”, então fico muito surpresa com as coisas que vocês fazem por aí…
    No mínimo tenho que dizer que vocês são muito prendados!!!! hehehehe
    Parabéns, ficou lindíssimo!
    beijocas, prima

    December 2, 2014 at 10:39 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Obrigada, prima!! Acho que este costume é bem coisa de Americano/Canadense mesmo! Por aqui, muita gente faz isso, então temos que aprender, né? Beijinhos!!

      December 10, 2014 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Kristin

    I don’t know why I am just reading this NOW, but I LOVE it!!!!! The lighting makes such a difference.

    December 10, 2014 at 10:32 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Ha! Thanks, Kristin! Those lights are my most favourite thing ever, and that they were on clearance at Target just makes them that much more loveable!

      December 10, 2014 at 10:51 am
  • Reply Elite

    I really like the chairs and the throw pillow. We have to power wash our deck, it really needs it for next season.

    December 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm
  • Reply Robyn Petrik

    Wow, what a lovely backyard you’ve ended up with! I love the railing seats, such a smart us of space. I also enjoy the lights you put up. Must be so great to sit out there in the evenings now!

    April 5, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks so much, Robyn! We’ve gone from having a space we didn’t even want to look at, to basically wishing we could live out there! Haha

      April 6, 2015 at 6:10 am
  • Reply Adrienne Ranney

    2 things…
    1. I love your whole project and how beautiful it turned out!
    2. You might be aware of this, but your pictures of this project are being used at the Black and Decker website in their DIY /Inspirational ideas section. If they have your permission that’s fine but if not, I don’t know. You should get credit because your ideas are so creative and you did all that hard work!

    August 14, 2016 at 3:19 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Hi Adrienne! Thank you so much! That’s so kind of you! Also, I totally appreciate you looking out for me and letting me know about that post. I did originally write it for them, so it’s all good. xo

      September 8, 2016 at 2:51 pm

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