Entries in Outside Work (1)


Ugly, Worn Deck Gets a Makeover

Our deck is right off of the master bedroom, which is a bummer when we have parties & everyone has to traipse past our bed to get outside.  I guess we've grown used to it, but hated going out there.  It takes such a beating during the hot summers and cold winters that I didn't like hanging out there anymore.  It was finally time to do something about it!

I hate everything about these pictures - the decking, fence/rail, table, chairs, bench, grill, dead plants from last year, everything!  (I take that back - I do like the old brick & huge french doors)

So, I got down to business.  It gets so dirty and dusty out here, so cleaning took quite awhile.  Then I sanded down the railing/fence and spackled old nail holes & wood imperfections (probably should have used wood filler, but oh well - it worked fine!).

I didn't want the fence to be the same drab color as the deck floor, so I decided to paint it a crisp white.  I've always wanted a white picket fence & now I have one!  It took one coat of primer & 2 coats of paint to get it fully covered.  It took forever...

But the difference was so great that it was completely worth it.

Next, it was time to tackle the floor.  The hideous, fading, peeling, orangeing wood had to go.  I wanted something that was darker and richer, but not too dark (in the end, I think I would have liked one shade lighter, but I am very happy with it).

As you can tell, it was very hard to keep Derby out of my way & I felt bad locking her inside and seeing her sad little face staring out at me.  Once it was time to stain though, in she went!

Stain is a lot runnier than paint, so you really need to protect your pouring area.  Plus, any large drops that you don't wipe up will stain darker than the areas around it, so you need to be careful.  I found that having a brush the width of the boards was helpful, with a small brush to get into the cracks.

Seeing the difference still blows me away.  I can't believe I lived with that ugliness for so long!

Before & After

 You may not have even noticed the ratty bench in the first pictures, it is so forgettable!  I was ready to throw it overboard when I decided to quickly run the sander over it and see how it took the stain.  It is very thin, soft wood (almost like balsa wood) was deteriorating before my eyes...

But look here - the stain made such a huge difference!  After two coats, it looked brand new.

With the large things done, I ordered a mess of fabric & drove to the burbs to buy some spray paint (you can't buy spray paint in the city of Chicago - it's to curb gang tagging, which clearly is working oh-so-well).

Can't wait to show you the rest (& yes, that is our new master bedroom curtain fabric you see there!)