Just When We Thought We Hung Up Our Paint Brushes…
…We had to dust them off to stain our large deck with its many spindles. Bleh! Like all projects around our house, this one took a while. It was through no fault of our own, really. We were at the mercy of Mother Nature. And Mother Nature in Georgia during the summer is nasty! Staining the deck started in May, but soon 90°F+ temperatures or heavy rains stalled our progress. It’s obvious why we can’t stain with rain in the forecast. Heat won’t allow the stain to cure properly, so we had to bide our time and wait for cooler days or get our stain on in the evenings.
Our deck is very new. We bought this house in June 2011 and I think the deck was still under 3 months old. It was untreated, had finally acclimated, and we needed to get some stain on it pronto. Adam picked up deck cleaner at Lowes and used a hose, the cleaner, and a stiff bristled, long-handled brush to clean the deck. Basically, he stripped the wood of its patina so it would take the stain. He also purchased two gallons of Olympic deck stain in Cedar Natural at Lowes. We wanted a natural look and the deck is made of Cedar. Done. We started painting the inside of the spindles and the handrails first.
We both spent about 6 hours doing this = 12 hours of labor – easily the most time consuming part. Then Adam got on his ladder and started painting the outside of the spindles, the trusses, and the handrails. We decided to leave the posts bare at first. They are made of pressure treated pine and can withstand a little more weather. The floor and the stairs came last. And when I say last, I mean we finished the deck in November. Summers in Georgia are long.
I’m really not doing a good job of explaining this project. Stain is very easy to apply and since we were outside, I wasn’t too picky about drips. We used a combination of brushes and 3” rollers to do the job. It was very easy, just tedious.
I am glad we tackled the deck first, but that wasn’t a conscious decision. We still have a platform & stairs off the back of the garage and the wooden fence to do. They will be so much easier than the deck. If we had started with them first, the deck would have been daunting. Special thanks goes to Adam’s mom who got out there in August on a mild day (for Georgia) and helped us with those annoying spindles and posts.
(Disclaimer: the coloring in some of these pictures is funky because it rained the night before. Oh and big pile of leaves. We cannot escape them. I’m keepin’ it real.)