Tuesday, May 29, 2012

All decked out...

Ever since we moved into our house, we knew we would have to refinish our deck. 

The wood was cracked, gray and had only hints of stain on it. The railings were a little better, but still the old stain was barely hanging on. Ryan power-washed the deck but we didn't even strip or use wood cleaner on it because it was pretty much down to the bare wood (...and we're a tad lazy).

Our biggest decision was, do we use a transparent or solid wood stain? There are advantages to both but for us, we decided that the solid wood was best for us. It's easier to cover mistakes and gives a more uniform finish. We had so many nicks and dents throughout, we thought the transparent would just highlight the imperfections. 

So we gathered our supplies. We asked some of the pros at Home Depot the best way to stain a deck and we got varying answers. We decided on a paint pad on a pole for the floors, a mitt for the railings and a small brush for the details. 

We started from the top and did the railings and spindles first, then the floors on a different day. 
Here's my groom hard at work. 

A note to anyone considering using the mitt to paint their railing slats, DON'T DO IT. It sounds easy as pie: dip the mitt into the stain, grip the railing and coat evenly. Now, if your wood is smooth as a whistle, it might work. But if you've got any splits in the wood, the tiny hairs in fabric of the mitt get everywhere so it looks like a cotton ball attacked your deck. So I went back over each railing slat with a tiny square detailing pad and it was the perfect size. You can find it at Home Depot in this handy-dandy kit. 

To be honest this whole process took a lot longer than I thought it would. I thought we would paint the rails one day, and the floors another day. But of course, thanks to endless weekends of rain, it took us almost a month. Plus, all of the nooks and crannies of the deck were very time-consuming. Since I work from home, I spent a few mornings doing the detail work and second-coating the railings and finally it was complete just in time for Memorial Day.

We are so happy with the results. The color we chose was Sable and it works perfectly with our house color. This picture really shows the difference in the paint versus the bare wood. 

Next up was furnishing the deck. Stay tuned for details....


Sarah @ Cozy.Cottage.Cute. said...

Wow, what a difference! Your deck looks brand new.

P.S. It looks great with the new furniture, too.


Jen said...

Thanks Sarah. Can't wait until the rest of the furniture is delivered!