Monday, August 8, 2011

Slight Rain Barrel Detour...

Before I delve into what I expect will be a lengthy post recapping this weekend's interior trim and door frame project... a quick post about some rain barrel progress...

I reached a stand-still this weekend on the inside project, and in my endeavor to keep moving I decided to pour the second (of three) rain barrel pads.  This one is on the front of my carport. 

A wee bit precarious
It was a little trickier to frame and level the form due to obstacles; there was some old concrete from when they poured my carport that I guess had oozed out between the form planks.  There was a tree root which interfered with leveling... and there was a fence corner where my fence juts out to allow space for a neighbor's tree.  The good news is, I was still able to use the form from the first pad that I poured.  I had to notch out for the tree root, and it took a lot more work to get it level than the first one.

After I got it framed and stabilized, I placed the criss-cross of rebar in the middle, and went to Home Depot and bought 3 - 60 pound bags of concrete.  Three bags is what the last form took; in fact I had extra -- but as it turns out, I should have bought 4 for this form.  Alas. 

I mixed it up in my favorite tangerine orange wheel barrow and heaved it into the form, smoothed it out, and confirmed I was all still level -- the form and the resulting concrete, since it fell below the form frame.

Then I got ambitious and decided to paint this barrel and the one on the back corner of my carport (both are bright blue recycled food containers).  First I removed all the adhesive labels -- which pulled off dreamily easily -- have you ever bought a clay pot where the price tag was on the top lip and it shreds when you try to remove?  Hello?  Why don't they put those on the bottom?  Ugh! 

Then I scrubbed down both barrels with a 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water to remove the dirt.  I had some primer (Kilz 1-2-3 Professional) left over from my culvert planters* so I put a coat of that on both barrels and while that dried I headed to Home Depot for some terra cotta colored spray paint.  Which they did not have.  They had something called "cinnamon" but it wasn't quite right.  I ended up with sort of a khaki color -- it's fine.  It may even be better...

I figure I can always paint over it if I change my mind.  It is recommended that I apply 2 coats of polyurathane over the final color.  I haven't done that yet.  But may I just say -- yowser! what a shockingly huge improvement over that blinding blue!

At some point maybe I'll get crazy and do a colorful design.  Here are a couple photos of some barrels I found online...

Photo courtesy of Cobb County Watershed Stewardship Program, Cobb County, Georgia
But as I've learned -- first with the culvert project and now with these -- it's a lot more surface area than you think it is when you begin painting!  Ha ha  So... maybe not.

At any rate, I'll look forward to the pad setting up and getting the newly painted barrel back in place.  It will sure look better looking down my driveway from the street too!  I have one left to do -- the one on the front corner of my house.  That barrel just emptied yesterday.  (That leaves me just two partial barrels of water left.  C'mon, rain!)

*The last of which you can see in the background of the photo above -- I can't decide where to put it, and until I decide where to put it I can't determine final paint there it waits, primed... 

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