This is a very proud week for me! I built my very first build, which also means I used a saw and a nail gun for the first time. While my husband could have very easily built the swing for me, I wanted to build it myself and I did. I am here to tell you if I can do it, you can do it!
I followed the tutorial by Plank and Pillow, linked here. They have a few different options to choose from and their tutorial is great and very easy to follow. The cuts are all straight cuts with the exception of two notches. The notches were the hardest part. I had my husband cut those for me because we didn't have the correct saw so he cut them using a circular saw and there was no way I was bold enough to try that on my own...maybe next time.
One lesson learned on the swing. Use the same type of wood throughout. We used Common board for the 1x8x8's because we couldn't find that size in Pine but it doesnt stain quite the same as the Pine.
I think the most difficult part was finding the right stain. I really wanted to it look like White Oak (shocking!). Using Oak vs. Pine would have more than tripled the cost of this build so I had to go with the most budget friendly option. Real Oak would have been beautiful though. After standing in the stain aisle at Home Depot for a while I finally pulled the trigger on one color. I tested it on a piece and thought it was perfect. So I stained 3/4 of the swing. The next morning I woke up and it felt way too orange and I knew I couldn't live with it. So I tried 4 other stains still not finding what I wanted. So I started mixing and trying all sorts of color combinations hoping I would miraculously come up with the perfect combo, but I didn't. I almost gave up and thought about painting it black but I really wanted a natural wood swing. Then I had an idea to try white-washing the stains to try and cancel out the orange and the yellow. Bam, it worked! It's not oak but its pretty darn close.
So I hand sanded (because we don't have an orbital sander) as much of the first stain as possible and re-stained it in Golden Oak. If you look closely you can still see some orange-ish spots but they are not really that noticeable.
I did one coat of the Golden Oak using a rag. It's important to put the stain on in a circular motion and then wipe it off. If you leave too much stain on or don't wipe it off then your stain will come out uneven. After the stain dried (about an hour later) I white washed over the stain. I foam brush to paint the stain on and then I let it dry for about +- a minute and then I wiped off the white wash using a clean rag.
This is the closest I could get to that oak look. If you try this and come up with a better combination please let me know. Ultimately I love the way it turned out.
I also found a twin mattress on Facebook Marketplace for $20 so this has been a successful week.
Total Cost Breakdown:
$780.11 total from the previous weeks
$20 twin mattress off of FB Marketplace
$574.36 total cost for the swing build (this does not include the ropes or any hardware)
Total Cost: $1,374.47
Operation Curb Appeal To-Do List:
- Paint the rod iron
- Replace the door hardware
- Refresh the doorbell
- Hang the swing
- Finish ordering accessories
- Install an electrical box where the existing can light is
- Replace the glass in the door