One of the eyesores of Flip 3 is the AC unit. It’s not new, but even if it was, AC units aren’t cute, right? It’s not like we love to see them (just feel them!). As I’m prepping to sell Flip 3, this was one of the many projects I knew I needed to knock out…and fast.
The AC unit is ugly. There’s no changing that, but there is disguising it! As with most of my projects, I had virtually no money, but I was able to scrounge up $25 for disguise the AC unit. And that’s all I needed…a measly $25!
I took a trip to the Lowe’s lumber department. I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted, but I figured I’d get inspired while I was perusing the aisles. And I did! I found some landscaping stakes (I think they’re actually used to hold those orange plastic barrier sheets). They were a little taller than I needed but that didn’t bother me. I found the stakes first and then kept looking around until I found something else that snagged my attention. I found some cedar wood strips. They also had pre-treated lumber that was cheaper, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to paint or stain, so I opted for the cedar. I spent $15 for 50 of them…way more than I needed (just means more projects in the future!).
The stakes were a little rough, so I did a quick sand of each of them. I have a tendency to get splinters, so I basically sanded it just so I wouldn’t get a splinter. They wouldn’t necessarily have to be sanded…just depends on your preference (or tendency to get splinters).
After I sanded each stake, I then took one out to the AC unit to act as my tester. They were too long for what I wanted, so I hammered one into the ground to see what I thought would be a good height to cover the unit. I made a mark with a pencil to indicate the section that needed trimmed off. I then used my saw and trimmed off several inches from each stake.
I had some leftover stain from Flip 4, so, of course, that was what decided if I should paint or stain. I had almost an entire gallon leftover, and I barely made a dent in it with this little project. So that means more projects in the future!
I stained each stake on all four sides. I only gave them one coat since it was such a dark stain. I let them dry and then it was time for the next part!
I used the cedar strips to create a “fence.” Like the stakes, they were too long, so I had to trim each one off. Once I had them trimmed off, I started at the top of the stake and stapled the first strip. I didn’t make the top of the strip flush with the top of the stake…I moved it down maybe 1/4 inch. When I hammer the stake in the ground, I didn’t want to be hitting on the thin strip.
To keep the strips even, I needed a spacer. And of course I didn’t have a spacer, so I used a stray clothespin to act as a spacer between each strip. I didn’t want large spaces, so the clothespin was the perfect width.
The finished product is temporary, so each panel can easily be uprooted for access. And in the meantime, it’s an easy, really affordable way to hide something ugly! Minimizing ugly things like an AC (that can’t be made pretty!) really enhance curb appeal…and for only $25!