Acrylic drink dispenser
Get party-ready with long weekend essentials that ensure a season of sun and fun to celebrate the joy of summer living!
Did someone say ‘long weekend’? After surviving a long, cold winter, are there any more delightful words to Canadian ears? Well, it’s true! The summer of long weekends is here and we couldn’t be more excited! As you fire up the grill and gather friends and family to celebrate the joy of summer living, get yourself party-ready with these long weekend entertaining essentials.
This classic game has been super-sized and is perfect for bringing big fun to your next outdoor party! Made with 54 hand-crafted, solid wood bricks, this game of logic and patience is sure to be a hit amongst your guests. Giant Tumbling Tower, $198, Terrain.
If you’re hosting a casual cocktail party, this large acrylic drink dispenser will be indispensable. Let guests keep themselves hydrated so you don’t have to keep running back and forth topping up glasses. Fill with water, lemonade or something stronger to keep the party going all night long! Acrylic Drink Dispenser, $39.95, Crate and Barrel.
Add bright, vibrant colours to your table with a mixed set of patterned melamine dishes. Perfect for outdoor entertaining, these shatter-proof dishes are completely unbreakable. We love that the rustic pattern mimics the look of old hand-painted, glazed Italian country ceramics. Elsa Medallion Melamine Salad Plate, Mixed Set of 4, , $31.50, Pottery Barn.
Illuminate your outdoor space with the glow of white lights. These gorgeous patio lights will add a festive touch to any fete. The 10 clear bulbs are strung along a plastic-covered copper wire and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Large Bulb Patio Lights – Set of 10, $31.50, Indigo.
If you don’t have a pool in your backyard, it’s time to head over to someone else’s house where you can get your float on! This donut pool float is the perfect summer party accessory – but be prepared to share. Everyone’s going to want their turn. Donut Pool Float, $26, Urban Outfitters.
Make your burgers the best on the block with a secret ingredient no one else knows about! These handcrafted sauces will add an explosion of taste to your perfectly grilled burgers. Made with mayonnaise, dill pickles and ketchup, this savoury condiment brings all your favourite burger flavours together into one tasty sauce everyone will love. Burger Bomb, $8.76, Williams-Sonoma.
Maybe you’ve never invested in outdoor patio furniture before or maybe it’s time to update your current pieces with something new and more contemporary. Start with this sizeable club chair from the GlucksteinHome collection found exclusively at The Bay. Constructed to weather the outdoor elements, this piece is durable, comfortable and stylish. The only downside is that your guests may get so comfortable you could have trouble getting them to leave when the party’s over! GLUCKSTEINHOME Newport-I Club Chair, $499.99, The Bay.
You’ll need plenty of serving bowls when hosting a large gathering outdoors and we love the multi-functional uses of this one. It features a cork stand, which not only makes it easier for guests to serve themselves from, but the heat-resistant cork also protects the table from scratching and keeps hot dishes directly off the surface of your table. TILLFÄLLE serving bowl with stand, $19.99, IKEA.
No party is complete without some good tunes! Keep the party alive with the help of the stylish Sonos Play:1 speaker. Simply connect the speaker to your Wi-Fi network and download the Sonos app to control your music from your smartphone. You’ll have access to your personal music library as well as any other music streaming services you’re subscribed to. Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speaker, $249, Sonos.
Long weekend parties in the backyard tend to extend into the wee hours of the morning. Keep your outdoor space lit with the gentle glow of candlelight. These porcelain tea light candle holders cast light in a constellation pattern that will add a delightful and playful atmosphere to your entertaining space. Pierced Porcelain Tea Lights, $7, West Elm.
How to: Paint outdoor furniture
When undertaking a DIY project, there are usually a few things to consider. Add tempermental weather to the list and suddenly that little list has multiplied. How do you prepare your furniture for painting? What type of paint do you use? How does it differ for different types of material?
Though the process of painting outdoor furniture may seem daunting now, the best way to go about a DIY job is to be prepared. We talked to an expert at Canadian Tire to do just that. Michael Bache, Category Business Manager at Canadian Tire, shares his prepping and painting how tos to help put your DIY nerves at ease.
1 What supplies will you need for prepping and painting?
Depending on the state of the furniture (e.g. new wood, old plastic, painted metal, painted wood) and the type of paint chosen, a variety of items should be considered.
If using brush-on paint, consider using a primer before applying a new fresh coat of colour. When priming your furniture, make sure to use a good quality paintbrush and rags or drop cloths for clean-up. However, if you're using Krylon® Fusion™ no primer is required.
If repainting a metal or wood surface that has loose peeling paint, it must be removed for best adhesion. You can use sandpaper, steel wool, wire brush, scraper, or a stripper. You may require a tack cloth to clean up dust residue when sanding. If sanding a latex paint, a simple damp rag will work just fine.
2 Do these steps differ when prepping different materials, such as metal, plastic, wicker or wood?
Yes. Some products don't require primer, saving you a prep step. Using an aerosol is a benefit, too, as you also save a step in the prep. It generally dries faster and doesn't require clean-up since no paint brushes are involved. Even better, aerosols tend to give a factory style, air brush finish when applied properly, as opposed to a brush-on paint.
Bare wood generally requires a primer to seal the wood prior to painting as the surface is porous. The primer is used to provide a nice, smooth finish. Krylon Dual saves a step on both bare wood and metal since it primes and paints in one easy step. This saves time and allows people to have more time enjoying their furniture and less time prepping it!
3 What type of paint should you use for outdoor furniture?
Always follow the directions on the label for specific product use. This will ensure proper adhesion to your surface.
Plastic patio furniture should only have a paint specifically designed to adhere to plastic and hard-to-bond surfaces. Many general purpose paints can adhere to most surfaces except plastic.
For wicker or rattan, spray paints tend to make a nicer finish and easily gets into the grooves. Muskoka chairs are also easier to paint when using an aerosol as opposed to a paint brush. Now there's even an aerosol wood stain by Krylon. Spray stains make fast work of Muskoka chairs and planters - no brushes to clean up either.
5 What about rust prevention?
Paint designed especially for metal surfaces tends to add rust protection into the paint - make sure the paint says "rust proofing" or "rust inhibiting".
As our climate changes, U.V. rays are also a consideration - they're hard on our skin and our exterior patio furniture! Some paints actually have U.V. protection in their paint. This will help protect your finish to resist harsh weather conditions. We suggest storing patio furniture during the fall and winter months when not in use. If space is a problem, a variety of covers and tarps are available to help protect your investment.
6 What are the best painting methods to use?
Much of this is personal preference. However, some surfaces, like wicker and rattan, have a nicer finish when sprayed versus brushing.
7 What kind of finish, if any, should you use?
Most paint companies offer a variety of finishes to choose from - satin, gloss, textured, metallic, hammered, and more. As long as you use an appropriate paint for your exterior surface and follow the instructions, you should achieve the finish you want. The really nice thing about the variety of paints and finishes available is that people can turn "garage sale finds" into treasures. Mixing and matching old and new creates a different and personalized patio set.
8 How many coats should you use
Follow the instructions on the can, however many paints suggest two coats. When painting remember this rule of thumb: Thinner coats are better than thicker coats. Thinner coats dry faster and produce a harder finish.
9 What should you look for in a brush?
Is it the right paint brush for your paint? Oil-based paints generally have different bristles than latex paints. The brush label will specify this.
Is the paint brush the right size to do your project? If you are painting furniture, smaller brushes may be better. Ensure it fits into your paint container.
A roller can be great for large flat surfaces, like a tabletop. This can help reduce brush marks, too!
10 How does climate affect the painting process?
Weather is a big factor. For the most part, if you're getting a sunburn and sweating, it's probably too hot to paint. This will cause the paint to dry too fast. If it's too windy and you're using an aerosol paint, your paint may dissipate before it reaches the surface. Either wait for the wind to die down or use cardboard to build a spray tunnel. Humidity can affect the paint's dry time, which leaves more time for surface imperfections to take place on your finish. In general, 21ºC and about 50% humidity are ideal conditions for painting.
12 Any last tips?
Remember to protect other surfaces if working outside by using masking tape and drop cloths. Most importantly, regardless of your project, remember to always read product labels thoroughly and follow directions.
5 tricks for hosting a stress-free holiday party
How to clean your oven
Everything you need to know about getting this in-demand appliance clean – and keeping it that way.
The holidays are a busy time for your oven, whether you’re making a turkey, gingerbread cookies, salt-dough ornaments or all of the above. Winning results require a clean appliance, as built-up grime can affect foods’ flavour or, worse, lead to fires. Repeated heat will burn spills and splatters in place, so make a habit of wiping them after each use, once the oven has totally cooled (a sprinkle of salt will loosen the mess while the appliance is cooling). For a deep clean , make a paste by adding water to baking soda, and apply it generously to the oven’s interior using a clean cloth; leave overnight. Wipe the surface using a damp cloth and scrape off large stuck-on bits with a spatula. If any grime remains, generously spray on white vinegar – it will react with the baking soda to work the dirt off – and wipe clean.
KNOW YOUR OVEN
Get to know your oven’s built-in cleaning function (or lack thereof) before getting started.
Self-cleaning: In an isolated cycle, extreme heat turns grime into ash to be wiped off with a damp cloth. Racks must be removed (and cleaned separately); commercial cleaners are prohibited.
Continuous cleaning: A chemical coating on the walls dissolves splatters during cooking. Avoid commercial cleaners (they may strip off the coating).
None: It can handle both homemade and commercial cleaning solutions.
Your oven racks work hard and, every so often, they could use a bubble bath – literally. Start by lining your bathtub with old towels to protect it. Place the racks on top and submerge them in hot water; mix in several generous squirts of dish soap. Let stand overnight to loosen dirt before wiping clean with a soft sponge.
Behind closed doors
Grease-carrying steam can get in between the door’s interior and exterior glass panes. Cleaning this requires taking the door apart, so check your warranty to see if this service is covered or call in a pro.
Expert tip: “Keep a baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven to catch spillage. Then simply remove, clean and replace it.” -Natalia Bronstein, Team Leader, Aspenclean.
Dos and Don'ts:
Do: Be patient. Allowing cleaning solutions to sit for the full recommended length of time will minimize your scrubbing effort.
Don't: Get any water or cleaning solution on the door gasket, as it damages easily.