Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am woman hear me roar...or watch me paint a deck

My dad was really handy to have around: broken window? he can fix it... leaky faucet? he can fix it...fall through the floor in the attic (actually happened...twice)? he can fix it.
Me? not so much. I have never really been handy although my dad did give me a tool set when I turned 21 which has actually come in handy a ton especially over the last year.

As a homeowner there is no option to call the landlord to fix it. When we moved to this house last June the deck was starting to show some wear and tear. I thought about painting it last year but it was such a busy summer getting settled in that it got pushed back. This winter was horrific (2nd most snowy winter in Connecticut history) so the multiple feet of snow took it's toll on the deck even more. I knew that I had to get the project done especially since I have tons of visitors coming this summer. So here is my (possibly inept and wrong) how to guide to re-staining your deck.
My deck before you can see it's starting to look a bit run down. The first step is, of course, clearing off all the furniture. I did this alone because my husband is crazy busy for another week so I felt like a beast. Now I had spoken to my neighbor about if I needed to rent a belt sander and he thought I could get away with just renting a power washer. I was so excited about that because I really hate sanding (I refinished my bedroom set and it required me to sand it multiple times) so I rented a power washer from a local store for only $36/all day. The power washer was really easy to use and only required access to a hose. I was shocked at how much paint came up with the washer but it also got tons of dirt and grime up.

After power washing, I sanded a few spots that had flaky paint. Next, the fun part, actually staining the deck. The previous homeowners painted the deck-a big no-no according to the guy at Home Depot. Apparently paint will just flake off and deteriorate no matter how many coats you put on. Since not all the paint came up we went with a stain that had a similar color so it wouldn't take tons of coats to cover it up. After talking it over with the Home Depot guy, we went with a Behr paint stain that is guaranteed to last for 10 years. Now I am not going lie, painting kind of sucked. The floor/stairs were fairly easy-first coat took about 2 hours to apply and only about 1-2 hours to dry (it was pretty hot outside) and I did the second coat the next day and it looks great. Now for the tough part: the railings...oh the railings...they took forever because the posts are so close together so it took forever to get all the sides done. The inner railings took about 4 hours and the outer parts plus all the showing supporting structure took almost 6 hours and my arms wanted to fall off by the end.
So 2 gallons of paint plus many woman hours and lots of soreness equals a complete project!

Final part of the project was bringing everything back up. It was raining but I was determined to get the project 100% completed so that's why everything looks so wet.

So that is my how to took two days and some hard work but the results are fabulous and I no longer have it hanging over my head. I know it's silly but doing something like this by myself (with some much appreciated help from my husband) was nice and kind of empowering.
Good luck with your own projects!


  1. Where is Oklahoma are you from!?! You are like the opposite of me! I grew up in Connecticut and I went to school at the University of Tulsa! Now I live in NYC, but I miss Oklahoma!

    How do you like Connecticut?!

  2. That is so crazy! I am from Tulsa but went to school in Norman. I have tons of friends who went to TU and so miss the midtown area :( That is cool that you live in NYC-I visited for the first time a few months ago and loved many amazing restaurants and museums! I love CT especially now that summer is here which means beach time!

  3. Bravo! =D Good choice of color and deck accessories, I must say. Now all you need is a patio or deck cover to protect that beautifully painted deck from harsh weather. Let us know right away if you added some changes, okay?

    Cristen Eacret