Thursday, November 20, 2014

Have you ever wanted to stab a deck?

Living and learning is the WORST. 

I mean, can I get an amen? 

Mistakes, we all make em' and yes, they are a part of life but sometimes they can leave you wanting to punch something. This was the case a few weeks ago when we stained our deck.

It all started innocently enough; we were having a party and thought it would be nice to give the deck a refresh. There was nothing wrong with the existing deck, it was just looking a little drab especially in the presence of the newer outdoor kitchen.

Before we could dive into staining, we (Brent) first had to power wash everything to thoroughly clean the planks, railing and lattice all of which would be getting stained. That process went smoothly enough so we headed to Home Depot to pick out our stain. Let me just say, there was ZERO research done prior to selecting the stain. We literally stood in the stain isle and picked something out. If you've ever picked out stain at Home Depot, you know they have a display showcasing the different stains on wood, so you can get a better idea of what your end results will look like. We settled on Acorn Brown, which was a nice light, light brown with a natural vibe going on. Or so we thought...

As is typical when preparing for a party, the days fly by and the projects and tasks, both large and small start to add up. Before we knew it, it was Wednesday evening, 3 days before the party and we knew we had to start applying that stain. We started on the far end of the deck, the part with the swing and pergola. Brent began applying the stain to the higher areas with a roller attached to a long stick while I used a paint brush to paint the lattice. About 10 minutes in we both realized this was going to take forever and was really, really messy. The stain is really thin so in order to get coverage you had to literally slosh the stain everywhere which resulted in residual stain spray and drips galore. OK, well maybe you didn't HAVE TO slosh it on, but going all slow and meticulous would of taken days, and days we did not have. In addition to the mess and the torture that was applying the stain in all those nooks and crannies, the color was coming across pretty dark and kind of reddish.  You all know I'm all about instant gratification, so had the stain been pretty I may of been more motivated. But as the minutes passed I got more and more depressed because it was getting uglier and uglier and the ugliness was spreading with every stroke of the brush.

We forged on and finished all of the railing and pergola that first night. Eventually the sun went down, which made painting more difficult, but at least we couldn't see the red. The next day, we had no choice but to finish, an all red deck was better than a half red, half drab one.

Yeah, so it's not so much that the color is terrible in general, just terrible next to the outdoor kitchen wood and not at all what we had in mind. 

Oh, oh, oh AND as if the color wasn't bad enough it started raining just as we were finishing up so some areas ended up darker than others and some of the stain literally washed away leaving a spotty appearance. Fabulous, I know. 

Needless to say we were feeling REALLY smart right about now. The end results were terrible and we had nobody to blame but ourselves. In hindsight there are two obvious things we should of done differently: 

  1. Allotted more time to this project so we could take the more meticulous approach, we went fast and it showed. 
  2. Tested the color in a small little patch before committing and applying the stain color everywhere. 

We lived with it for weeks, trying to figure out how to fix it, remove it, change it...etc...then, one day while we were having a guy give us a quote to paint the house we asked how much he would charge to power wash the deck and re-stain. The quote was good so we decided to go for it. DIY is all fun and games until a mess up costs you too much time and $$ and then you know it's time to hire a professional. 

The guys came out and began power washing, only to find that in doing so they were messing up the wood. Because Brent had power washed weeks before and the stain was brand new, the guys said power washing the wood to re-stain was not a viable option and the wood wouldn't hold up. So, we decided to have them paint everything. After a little deliberation we decided on white for the rails, pergola and swing. 

Doesn't the white make it look 10 times fresher already?

For the lattice on the back of the deck and the deck floor we decided on a light gray. 

Clearly Luke is a fan!

The new colors work SO much better with the house AND the outdoor kitchen, don't you think? Now the deck compliments the wood surrounding the outdoor kitchen instead of fighting it. 100% improvement in my book. 

Here's a shot of the back of the house:

So fresh and classic, eh? 

It's amazing what a difference a little paint can make, both good and bad. Thankfully we are on the good side of color again, WHEW!

All photos are my own. 

3 Appreciated Comments :

Elite said...

We learned it looks worse before it gets better when you power wash and paint or stain a deck. It turned out great though - it's worth taking all the steps and doing the work when you see the results.

Courtney Foster Shearer said...

I agree Elite!

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