A Deck Makeover… part 2!

To tackle staining our deck we chose semi-transparant Olympic Deck, Fence and Siding stain in Coffee. The Acyrlic/Oil formula is supposed to ensure the stain penetrates deep in to the wood, conditioning it and hopefully prevent it from peeling away. It was very dark in the can, and a bit frightening, but the other color swatches just appeared too light for the look we were going for.
Though I’m aware you can spray on stain, and also use rollers or a big push brush I chose to use a 6″ paintbrush.  Crazy, I know, but again I was very nervous about the stain not adhering correctly and waking up to our deck looking like this again one morning:

Yuck!

If you’re like me and have never worked with stain, it is incredibly thin, almost like water!  I stirred it for about 5 minutes expecting it to thicken it up a bit before I realized it wasn’t making a difference.

I started with the top rails after taping off our siding. I took my time and made sure to ‘backbrush’ the stain into the wood.  I also quickly learned that you need much less stain on the brush as you think you do. Since our deck had sat un-sealed for so long the wood was very porous and just seemed to suck up the stain.  Over an hour later I could finally step back and notice a difference.
Even Caesar liked it!

After the rails were finished I was thrilled the “hard part” was over.  I thought the floorboards would go much more quickly since I could use bigger brush strokes and not worry so much about stain dripping off the boards since I wouldn’t see it under the deck.  I figured if the rails took an hour, the floor itself would take maybe a little more than 2 and I would still have time to shower and make a nice dinner for Hubby and I!

The next picture taken of the deck was this,
Notice, it’s incredibly dark out and the floor isn’t even fully stained!

Yes, it took a good 8 hours for me to get this far.  Poor Hubby came home from work to me looking like a train wreck and holding back tears.  That nice dinner I planned on making that night? Umm, we ended up at Chili’s at 10:15.

 I’m still not sure where I went wrong…I focused on 2 rows at a time staining the entire length of the deck back and forth, back and forth, for literally hours!  I think the most time consuming part was coating the sides of the boards – I had blisters from pushing the brush in-between.  Thankfully someone in our neighborhood was hosting a Sweet 16 party and their DJ kept me entertained from about 7pm on.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit I tend to take my time and focus on doing things right, not necessarily quick, but I have no idea what happened that afternoon/night!?! I don’t know why it took me so long!

It was a good thing we had plans that weekend so I was forced to take a 2-day break until from staining.  Finishing the last few rows was not as hard as the previous day.  Perhaps I was just used to it by then? Not as tired? Whatever the reason I was thrilled to be able to complete the remaining boards less than a day a few hours.
Loving the dark stain accented with the white rails I chose to only stain the top treads of the stairs and painted the backs of the stairs with the leftover paint from the rails (Sherwin Williams Duration in Satin White).  I was nervous to use blue tape on the newly stained wood so I instead cut a paper bag from the grocery store apart and used it to prevent the white from dripping.
The stairs were finished in only an hour (quite an improvement from the floors) and are probably my favorite part about the deck now. It looks much more finished and I just love how crisp the white makes it look.
There are a few touch-ups still needed to be made – seems I got a bit cavalier with my staining around hour 6 or so – so I’m hoping to finish that up this weekend!  We are also waiting for our new outdoor rug to be delivered and the deck will finally be complete.  We’re hoping to add some lights to it as well but that may wait till next spring.

Despite the fact that this project took incredibly longer than expected I love that the finish is so smooth because of the brush and I take comfort in knowing the stain was worked into the wood reallllly well.  I pray that it prevents the stain from ever peeling off and would be happy to re-stain again in a few years if the color fades or the waterproofing-ness (technical term) starts to disappear.  However, as I was staining I think I would have happily forked over a million dollars pretty penny to a painter to finish it.  Let’s just say I’m happy I did but am even happier it’s over!

Have you ever stained a deck? Did your project take forever too?!

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12 thoughts on “A Deck Makeover… part 2!

  1. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My website has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  2. Love this!!!

    How well did this hold up?? Are the white parts easy to clean? I’m nervous about painting my front steps white due to dirt..

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Laura!! Actually, it couldn’t have come at a better time – I JUST told my Hubby this weekend we need to clean the white of the steps this spring – we haven’t cleaned them since we painted and that was almost 3 years ago!

      Ours honestly don’t get too dirty given the fact that we’re not actually stepping on them, but they do get kicked from time to time. I’m about 90% sure a good cleaning is all they need but if we do have to repaint it shouldn’t be that hard. I’ll try and snap a pic when we get to it.

      Let me know if you decide to do your front steps – I’m sure they’ll look great!! :)

  3. Your deck looks amazing! We had a deck installed on our new home last summer and are getting ready to stain it … my question for you is … I know you mentioned you replaced your deck, but did that include the railings/balusters, too, or just the “floor” of your deck? If not, did you guys paint your wood white or is that white vinyl? We’d love to paint our deck railings/risers white (to complement our black balusters) and stain the “floor” of the deck a light coffee, but I’m just wondering what kind of “undertaking” painting our railings/risers “white” will be! Thanks so much, Becca

    • Hi Becca! So sorry! Looks like the comment from my phone didn’t actually post so I apologize if you’re getting this twice… So we only replaced the floor of the deck and the very top ‘railing’ piece. The balusters were still in good shape and we were trying to minimize costs as much as possible so we decided to paint those white. I was actually able to cheat a bit and spray painted the balusters with Rust-Oleum’s Ultra Cover 2x Primer before pulling up the original floor boards. We then covered that with one coat of Sherwin Williman’s Duration and to this day the white is still looking freshly painted (sans the stairs which Hubby is promising me he’ll clean this weekend).

      Not going to lie, painting the balusters was probably my least favorite part to paint BUT it’s ironically my favorite part of the deck now that it’s finished! I think if you’re just doing the railing and risers you should be fine! Definitely try my paper bag trick on the stairs, or something like it, I had nightmares of painters tape pulling off the stain I had just spent hours doing, ha. Any other questions please ask – and let me know what you decide to do! Either way I bet you’ll LOVE how different your new deck looks once it’s finally painted and stained. Enjoy it :)

    • Thanks Megan! We used a paintbrush for everything… I was so nervous anything else would lay it on too thick and our new deck would end up looking like what we replaced :( I’m sure anything would work fine as long as you take your time! Good luck!!

  4. Your deck project came out beautifully. I’m living through ‘part 1’ but decided to scrape/sand rather than replace deck boards. Not a good idea… It has taken me 3 weeks to get the wood looking halfway decent. I would prefer to stain rather than paint the deck floor and end up with the same peeling red mess again in 3 years. Your post has inspired me to stick it out. My deck will eventually be beautiful again. Now, back to sanding…have a blessed day!

    • Thank you! I hope things are going well with your deck by now, too! Ugh, I feel for you – I tired scraping and sanding for about a day and gave up so you are ahhh-mazing for sticking with it! Please let me know how it goes <3

  5. The dark deck and white railings looks great!. I am going to do this same look on my front covered porch and back deck. I can’t wait for my decks to look as great as yours do!! I’m going to use a sprayer like you use to apply weed killer. I did my fence(at my old house) that way. Sprayed the stain on then used a brush to spread it into the wood and edges. It was a lot of work but well worth it. The deck at my old house was painted so I just repainted it. I’m glad to hear that other women are DIY-ers!! My mom was and still is my inspiration as a DIY-er! Wallpapered back when that was popular, painted, refinished furniture, sewed our clothing, crafts, decorative painting, canned veggies etc, Its great to know I can do most anything.

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