cast iron benches, garden hat on top of them painted dark hunter green

Bench Refresh

cast iron benches, garden hat on top of them painted dark hunter green
ixora plant similar to hydrangeas can grow in Phoenix
camera on book hunter green cast iron chairs
spray painted cast iron benches Charleston green color
e moved this incredibly heavy cast iron bench set (missing the 3 seater) about 100 times in the 107 degree heat over the weekend until I finally felt one shot looked right. I stood in the tool shed with my wide angle lens to shoot this! It’s so crazy the lengths we (bloggers) go to get the right shot, but when you know the shot has potential, you just have to do whatever it takes even waiting for the light to be just right before you go back out to adjust the furniture again.

Prep and process to spray paint chairs steps

I spray painted these chairs for a contest to win a $1000 gift card to the Home Depot, wish me luck. I rarely enter contests but it was time to spray paint these old cast iron garden benches I bought off Craigslist anyway and the timing aligned. The color is called Dark Hunter Green (not just Hunter Green) by Rustoleum. It was so much work, more than I was anticipating, but they’re done and now the chairs sit in the front of our house on the new patio (remember there was a huge debate on which chairs would be outside and might be possibly stolen in the middle of the night). If someone tried to pick them up, they would be shocked at how heavy they are so by then I’d just say, ok, fine you reallllly want them! No, don’t steal them please but I spent hours working on repainting them and then I’d have to buy new chairs.

  1. Use a wire brush to scrape off loose paint.
  2. Jet spray with water to get dust and loose paint off.
  3. Spray Krudd Kutter to remove rust.
  4. Spray Rustoleum rust primer on previously rusted areas.
  5. Spray with your favorite outdoor color. This is “dark hunter green” by Rustoleum. Don’t forget to wear gloves to prevent blisters.

I learned using green in a landscape or garden allows it to blend in more not standing out as a color. It just sort of settles into the landscape. My favorite outdoor green is Charleston green (a green black). What do you think?

It’s been unusual to not have a home project to manage, but yet also nice at the same time. I only wish we could be socializing heavily again because I really miss having friends over. I’m not avoiding many people to be honest, I’m just seeing people who are comfortable with seeing me and well, that’s how it should be right?

The garden

I took out a lot of plants from the garden, once I recently learned there are tomato plants that don’t fruit more than once (determinate versus indeterminate) I was kinda mad at some of my tomato plants! So I took one out because I’m pretty sure it was just hanging out being green with no flowers in exchange that I said that’s it, you’re outta. Of course I am not positive about this at all and I have not yet learned how to know the difference yet. See even after 8 years of gardening or so, I’m still discovering something new!

Ixora plants (the pink flowers above) look similar to hydrangeas and since we can’t grow hydrangeas in Phoenix because of heat and dryness, the Ixora plants are a great alternative! They come in pink, red, and yellow – I am unsure of white, but it’s close enough to those cute balls of flowers that they will do.

Work life

There is always something to work on, improve, and grow. I’ve been shooting some corporate headshots and loving it so much, I don’t market my photography but I need to! I have a regular client that I love working with and that fills me up a lot as they also send me out to photograph their clients as well for their own publication. Not sure if you’ve seen my work lately but you can see it on and I will be republishing and updating some photography content here.

After all these years I assume everyone knows how to use their camera on manual mode, but is that true? Are people still waiting to learn because I sure miss teaching.

Free time

The free time is consumed with Home Good stops, buying flowers at Trader Joe’s, constantly checking on the garden (but no pruning since I don’t want to promote growth right now), purging some more (how do I get so much stuff? Oh, might be all those trips to Home Goods…) and lots of watching British drama on Masterpiece. I need to work with Masterpiece, and Wendy’s. Haha!

There’s a slowness of summer because of the crazy heat here that I enjoy. Soon monsoon season will be here and that will be so fun, and soon fall will be here and great weather and wow it’ll be my birthday and not sure if I’m ready for that already! Life truly flies by, when I think about it I can sometimes get sad but then I look back at where I’ve been, the things I’ve done and the memories I’ve made and I think I’ve had a full life and I’m not at the halfway mark yet! Imagine how many more things there are to experience and learn before God says my time here is done.

I hope you’re having a lovely summer, productive or not, you just might surprise yourself when you look back at this time and see you’ve accomplished a lot more than you think and grown quicker than you realize. xx

Diana Elizabeth has her cleaning lady back and wow she missed her a lot more than she thought! She only comes once every 3-4 weeks since it’s just two clean people in the house anyway but having someone really clean, the floors and bathrooms especially sure is nice! Wahoo! 

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in her garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party.


  • Kate Keyt

    Your bench refresh looks so beautiful! I love how it turned out and the color is perfect in your dreamy garden! Loved reading about life unfolding and blossoming for you.

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Thanks babes, took much more work than I thought but worth it! :) Now every morning I check to make sure it’s still there haha!! xo


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