deck envy

I tend to get ideas in my head and these ideas turn in to projects… and these projects turn in to massive efforts requiring lots of time and money. That’s how everything started with our deck makeover. What was supposed to be a quick few days of power washing and simple staining turned in to a massive overhaul. All because I was perusing Pinterest and saw this deck lookin’ all stylish and cool….IMG_3981

And once you see a deck like that on Pinterest you just can’t settle for anything less. It seems that ours had been severely neglected over the past many years. So I took matters in to my own hands and made the decision to give her a makeover.

First I scrubbed both decks with every ounce of shoulder/arm strength I could muster using Behr All-In- One cleaner from Home Depot. Word of advice – wear gloves when you use this stuff. I say this, because I did NOT wear gloves and my skin was peeling so badly for the next two weeks it looked like I had leprosy. IMG_4053After the cleaning, the wood was looking slightly better. At least the green algae and furry moss was washed away.
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Now when  I say that my projects tend to take loads of time… I don’t just mean my precious time. I also take up the time of anyone I can sucker in to helping out. Fortunately, Dean and CJ were willing to go along with me. After all was dry, we removed every single one of those individual railings or balusters (whatever you call them). THEY GONE. IMG_4022If you recall, the model deck has sleek horizontal boards to prevent one from falling. The good news is that by trashing all those hundreds of 4-sided balusters, meant we didn’t have to stain 4 sides of each one (which would have taken YEARS). BUT, the downside was that we had to buy new boards ($) and install them (time).

I have many strengths… none of which are measuring and thinking through a design. I married a person who actually is really good at measuring and thinking through a design, so that’s where Dean came in. He did the math to figure out how many boards we needed and then spaced them out oh-so-perfectly to recreate the deck of my pinteresting dreams. CJ was our little work pony that just kept painting and DOIN’ WORK. Ain’t no work party like a CJ work party because CJ GETS WORK DONE.

She was also my moral support when I had to rent a Home Depot truck to get the 48 8ft boards for the side railings, and one 16 ft board home which proved to be a challenge because the bed of the truck was only 8 feet long. I asked the lumber guy, who loaded all the wood in to the truck for us, “Do people do this often? And, if so, do they make it home WITH the 16ft board still in the truck?” To which he replied, “Well, how far are you driving?” I’ll just say he didn’t make me feel very good about driving with half of the board hanging out the back of the truck, but he did put a bag of concrete on it to hold it down. um, THANKS. Once CJ and I pulled in the driveway we almost peed ourselves with relief to be safely home.

I’ll save you the step-by-step details, but here’s the progress in photos. Side note – our clothing may deceive you in to thinking we got this done in one day but this project was completed over a span of 4 very long days… but we definitely lucked out with beautiful weather in the 80’s. So that’s why we could wear the same clothes every day – absolutely acceptable.

We stained the railings with Behr Weather Proofing semi-transparent stain in black (it wasn’t called “black” but it was the darkest color they had).

We worked on the lower deck first and moved up to the deck that’s off the dining room. IMG_4007

The floor and new railings were stained with Behr Weather Proofing semi-transparent in Chestnut.


As soon as Dean had the new boards up, we were right behind him with stain. Now, I bought 1×6″ 8ft white pine boards which are NOT recommended for outdoor use… but these boards were only $3 for 8ft. The 16ft pressure-treated outdoor boards were $18.87 each. And I needed 24 16ft boards for the side railings. That’s a very expensive face lift. So $144 for 48 8ft pine boards or $450 for 24 16ft outdoor boards? I decided (and admittedly may regret) to go with the less expensive boards because (1) I’m a Jones and cheap is my unofficial middle name and (2) the guy at Home Depot said that as long as I weather proof the boards once every 1-2 years, there’s no reason these shouldn’t last a long time. More work on my part, yes. More money in my wallet, YES (at least for the time being). IMG_4008IMG_4013IMG_4041

The deck as you walk out of the dining room…




As of today, we still have a few finishing touches to wrap up. The stairs leading down to the yard have a small landing that needs to be dealt with, but I assure you that project will be underway in the coming weeks. I just have to break the news to Dean first…


3 thoughts on “deck envy

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