Outdoor Transformation Challenge Sneak Peek…a Soft Reveal

Submitted to Community Chat

Outdoor Transformation Challenge Sneak Peek…a Soft Reveal

First and foremost, THANK YOU to Creator’s Studio by Rust-Oleum for this awesome gift and THANK YOU to EVERYONE who supported my submission!!!

The Challenge Submission: Park View Has Potential…BackYard Beautify!

You may have followed along with our progress via this Inspiration Board:

My husband and I purchased our home about a year and a half ago and the backyard was a bit of a scary spot. I dreamt of relaxing out there but the uneven concrete and sharp cornered brick planters kept me on my toes as my toddler ran around.

I knew I wanted to do something to change the look, feel, and safety of the backyard, but most of what I hoped to do was completely out of scope due to what I had available for a budget. When I won the Outdoor Transformation Challenge I knew I could finally move forward with this project.

The Creator’s Studio community has been very supportive and encouraging [thank you!] throughout the challenge and as I’ve been trekking through this project. I hope that you are as satisfied with this transformation as I am. I’m eager to reveal it to you.

So here we go…

A quick run-down of everything we’ve done to this backyard:
Removed several shrubs and trees
Removed the old patio cover, the sunken concrete patio, and the brick planters
Replaced windows and doors (replaced one of the windows with a door)
Installed window trim
Poured a new concrete patio
Built steps to the doors
Fixed the soffit/fascia that was missing from the house when we removed the patio cover (surprise)
Removed moss from roof, cleaned
Washed the house and wiped down siding with WipeNew ReColor
Planted grass
Installed the chimney vent hood
Painted and Installed shutters
Built window box and installed
Built wood slice table, wooden bench, and pallet sign
Painted the area rug
Hung lights
Added flower pots, flowers, and plants
There were a few other miscellaneous items, but this was the gist of it.

The Process: This was a really great learning process! Most of what is listed above (nearly everything we did in the backyard) I’ve NEVER done before.  Although there were many challenges, I’d do it all again- hopefully easier, smoother, more efficiently, more cost effective, etc. etc. etc.  Although a bit stressful at times, it was worth it.  
I’m a project manager (not in this field) so it’s very like me to write out every detail, when it should be done, and what needs to be done first before we can move forward. I pretty much had a gantt chart made for this project. You may not need to be as detailed as me; however, I do recommend writing out a timeline with all the pieces so that everything gets done in correct order (of course, somethings you just can’t predict).

What I Learned/Challenges: I definitely ran into some challenges; needless to say there were a LOT of Lessons Learned (that’s the Project Manager in me coming out). I’ll just name a few of them:

  • Squirrels like to eat grass seed.
  • You can take on BIG projects and succeed…even if you haven’t done the majority of them before. If things go wrong or unexpected, consider it a learning experience that you may have paid a little more for (with time or money).
  • Keep a positive attitude; try not to get stressed or anxious, but rather regroup and keep on truckin’.
  • There will be unexpected things happen [LIFE]. Aside from the known weddings, bachelor party, birthdays, etc (that we traveled for), we also encountered my grandpa’s passing and the passing of a family friend, a flood at my parents house, several out of town visitors, short notice trips out of town, the flu, our handyman tearing his achilles tendon, and little hiccups with the patio. This. Is. Life. And life happens.
  • Research materials well and as soon as you know you need them. We didn’t know that our soffit  was missing until we removed the patio cover. I called about 25 companies trying to find the same ventilation pattern as our existing soffit before I finally found a company (an hour+ away) that had it. The fascia had to be fabricated. Who knew!? This ended up being one of the last “big” pieces of the project that came together because it took so long to procure materials.
  • Break your project into pieces, especially there are lots of moving parts, items that build on each other, or items that can’t be done until something else is complete.
  • Be flexible and be realistic. If your final project doesn’t look exactly like what you had pictured in your head, think through if what you had in mind really fit the budget, timeframe, and if it actually (structurally and physically) could work.
  • Take pictures. I like to see before and after pictures, they inspire me. Sometimes all I can focus on is completing the big picture and forget that I’ve made a ton of progress already…many of which I don’t see unless I look back at the pictures. Then I realize that I HAVE made a lot of progress- it’s just a really BIG scope of work!


WHY IS THIS A SOFT REVEAL? This is a soft reveal (rather than the final ‘Big Reveal’) because we had a hiccup with the patio; after it was poured/dried we realized that there was some water puddling on it; so we had to get it leveled out so that the water can drain properly before we stain and seal it (and wait for weather to cooperate). The Big Reveal will be coming very soon!

New Products We Tried: I tried several new products; to name a few: Sporex Cleaner, Marking Paint Spray, Varathane, and Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Paint (fast drying for indoor/outdoor use). A full list of Rust-Oleum products that I used/will be using in this project can be found at the bottom of this post.
We look forward to using concrete stain, anti-skid, and sealer prior to our Big Reveal.

Favorite Products: WipeNew ReColor - I used this on the siding. It is easy to apply, provides immediate positive results, and is much less expensive and time consuming than replacing siding. Universal Spray Paint - who doesn’t like spray paint!? I used spray paint on my rug and on my shutters. It’s just easy! And I like that.


I hope this soft reveal inspires you and keeps you eagerly awaiting the Big Reveal that is coming soon!

~Kindest Regards~


Creatively Living


Rust-Oleum Products:

Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint, Satin White

Concrete Stain Tint Base (tinted to Putty)

Concrete Sealer, Natural Sealer

Sporex Cleaner

Wipe New ReColor

Concrete Prep & Accessories Anti-Skid Additive

Inverted Marking Paint Spray (Fluorescent Orange)

Stops Rust® Protective Enamel Spray (charcoal gray)

Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac, Clear Transparent (brush on, not spray)

Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Multi-Purpose Satin Brush-on Premium Latex Paint (Satin stone gray)

Varathane Premium Spar Urethane (Clear Gloss)

Various Cleaning Supplies