Deck the Deck

The next step in gussying up the front of our house, after installing a new front door, was to refinish the deck, which was long overdue. Here's how it looked to start with:

The paint - it was paint, not stain - on the vertical surfaces was in pretty good shape, but the paint on the horizontal surfaces was almost gone, and there was a lot of rotten wood. I replaced about 40 feet of the deck with new wood. After doing that, and before I realized the paint was paint, I tried to remove it using the Sherwin-Williams brand Deckscapes Stain and Sealer Remover, to no avail. Upon learning that it was paint, I tried Citristrip, which worked a little bit, but had a nice odor. I think it's an OK product, just not one suited for this job. Then I decided to just pressure wash the deck and stain over the paint that was on there.

I settled upon Sherwin-Williams DeckScapes Exterior solid color stain. I wanted to use a water-based stain for ease of cleanup, and I needed a sold color stain to cover the old red paint. I thought about using Behr Deckover, a new product that has been heavily hyped that covers everything with a thick layer of stuff. I normally go with Consumer Reports reviews, and CR likes Behr, but then I found this site that hates Behr. That site gave mid-range reviews of Sherwin-Williams, but did not rate the particular type I used. My color and water-based requirements limited my access to the best-rated brands on that site.

Sherwin-Williams is one of those places that has a sale half the time, kind of like Kohl's. If you watch their website or the Sunday paper, you can find their next sale period and save 15-30% on their products. If they aren't having a sale, wait a week or two. We choose a gray color to kind of match our roof.

But first I had to replace those boards. Not that the walking surface doesn't have a lot of paint left on it. I replaced more boards than what is shown here. Note that the boards that go across the tops of the railings are mostly removed.

Here's a summary of the staining process: It took a long time, I used a brush in order to work the stain into the wood (and into the cracks), 90+ degree days limited my working hours to before noon and after about 7 pm (you also aren't supposed to apply in direct sunlight), I used about 5 gallons of stain (but I have yet to apply a second coat to the walking surface, so I may have to buy more). Here's the result:

I later built some gates for each end of the deck, because when we put Jonah down out there, he heads straight for the stairs. He used to head straight for the outlet, put I put duct tape over the cover so he couldn't open it. Unfortunately, he seems to have already figured out how to open the gate latch.

I was able to build these gates largely out of lumber I had on hand. It is nice when, on occasion, my big stockpile of leftover lumber that I have saved from projects over the years comes in handy.

1 comment :

  1. You worked hard. It looks great.
    -Neighbor J