We have knocked out some serious projects around here in the past month. I feel like our house is nice enough to have people over at this point!
Josh was in Arizona for the week to visit his family and to go to our friend's wedding so my parents and I went ahead and tried our best to get the deck done before he got home.
Prepping the deck.
Then we cut 8in by 12ft hardy board (cement boards that look like wood) in half so they were 4in by 12 ft. We hung the hardy boards all along the bottom of the sides making a clean edge that will not rot.
Next, we replaced several of the rail uprights.
Then my mom used wood filler on most of the boards that were in really bad shape to fill in holes, or cracks. There were a few oily spots also that she painted over with a special primer.
The previous owners had replaced a section of the deck boards really, really poorly, so my dad had to undo what they had done and redid it correctly. He also replaced a few deck boards that were rotting. The previous owners also used 4 different kinds of screws on this deck so we never knew if we needed a Philips, star, small star, or a square bit. You can imagine our frustration having to switch drill bits so often throughout this project. I could go on a rant about how absolutely ludicrous it is that different kinds of screw heads even exist, seriously, why couldn’t they just all by Philips? Or squares? Pick one and let it be universal! But I will suppress my rage and not go off on that tangent.
While doing all of this, we noticed that the front deck had a big hump in it and that one corner of it was way lower than the rest. My dad was able to jack it up at the corner and somehow leveled out the hump. It is impressively level now! I am mad that I don't have a picture of this in progress.
We spent a long time sanding every inch of the deck to dull the top layer of paint and smooth out our wood filler patches.
Then we had to clean the deck really well and that meant running a tool down the length of every.single.crack to clear out any rocks, acorns, tree debris, etc that was stuck. We finished this job just in the nick of time. The fall leaves were just beginning to drop on the deck. If we had waited another week, it would have never been leaf free.
My dad reconstructed these back steps. Previously, they were, well, loose and crooked for one thing, but also open so the dogs would lie under the stairs and get dirty and gross. The cats used it as a litter box so flies congregated around the door there.
It looks a million times nicer.
Painting the deck – Finally it was time to paint! We chose to go with Cabot Deck Correct on the top surface of the deck and Cabot Solid Stain on the railings and sides of the deck. It comes as a tint-able base. We chose the color "New Redwood". I was pleased that both products were EXACTLY the same color after being mixed. This project took 10 gallons of Deck Correct and 6 gallons of the solid stain.
The deck correct has a sandy texture so the deck will not be so slick when it rains. It was also supposed to cover any flaws and imperfections but it definitely did not. I'm glad we were so thorough in our prepping.
The solid stain was basically paint. You cannot see any wood grain through it. (which is what we were going for)
I used a paint sprayer for the rails. It was a life saver but it also was a pain in the neck!
Every time I had to refill the tank, (which was several times) it would not work correctly and paint would spit out of the nozzle in big drops. I figured out a cleaning ritual that seemed to make it happy so it wasn’t so bad once I figured it out. Thankfully, this was a one coat deal.
The deck paint was supposed to fill in cracks and flaws up to ¼ in wide. It did not. We had to take a paint brush and jam the paint into any cracks and then roll over it. Because of this, the painting took longer than anticipated.
We had to do two coats and then go back and brush between each of the boards.
And here are some random after pictures:
What a HUGE relief to have this done! I am really happy with the way it turned out! I think all future projects will be easy from here on out. I can't imagine one being more labor intense as this was.