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Finishing Touches on The Front, Part 1 of 2

Happy Thursday everyone!  Today’s post shows half of the changes we made to the front of the house in early 2010.  Here’s where we left off on the last post:

Landscaping out; house painted; gutters up; and new roof.

The first accessories were two rain barrels (one in front and one in back).  We made them from wine barrels (bought off craigslist) using these instructions, but made our own slight modifications.   Again, sorry there’s no step-by-step pictures as I didn’t anticipate having a blog, but you’re all creative people who can visualize, right?  😉  I placed painters tape around the hoops while I primed and painted the wood.  I then peeled the tape off and painted the hoops using this Rust-oleum product:

Once the paint dried, it was conversion time!  The instructions called for plastic parts, but we decided to go galvanized for a more attractive look (if you can call galvanized attractive).  Instead of RTV sealer, we used a clear waterproof silicone sealer.

I’m pretty sure the instructions don’t mention how to plug the original wine bunghole.  We asked the very knowledgeable staff of a locally owned home improvement store what to use and they came up with this expandable plug:

The instructions also had us using a standard downspout.  Instead, we went with a rain chain, again, for a more visually interesting look.  To keep the rain chain and screen in place, we screwed in two L brackets.

It’s been two years and the barrels still look great and are serving their purpose.  The total cost to convert 1 barrel: $75

This includes the cost of the barrel, paint, conversion parts, and the rain chain.  We already had the brick lying around to make the base.  Tip:  If you build your barrel platform high enough, you’ll be able to cut the rain chain length in half to use it for two barrels.

If you don’t quite have $75 in your budget for this pretty rain barrel, here’s an alternative.  It’s a pretty elaborate system that’ll provide tons of water for your garden.  I found similar looking food grade barrels on craigslist for free!!

Next on the list, we locally bought these low voltage landscape lights, this surface light for the address numbers, and a few flood lights for the trees.  Installation was relatively simple and only took a few hours.  On a side note, the paint finish on the low voltage landscape lights wasn’t the best.  After about 6 months the copper finish faded to the silver metal.  Luckily, we had some of the Rust-oleum paint left from the rain barrel project so we were able to make the lights look brand spankin’ new again in under an hour!

Continuing on with lights, I’m obsessed with our garage & porch lights.  They took months to get here, but were well worth the wait!  We often receive compliments and I’ve seen these popping up in more and more places. (The’ve had a couple of years to tarnish in these pics.)

I’d love to hear what you think of the changes so far.  Come back tomorrow as I wrap up the finishing touches on the front of the house!

Happy creating!


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Servane Demol - I love the lights, great job on the remodeling and thanks for sharing all the tips. So useful!

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