The Deck. Redux. Part II. Plus, Related Decking and Stuff.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Last we left off in the adventures of deck-land, I gave an all-encompassing travelogue of sorts on the deck from the beginning of its time as a wee glimmer of concept to present day.

That I had to strip the old stain off and get it geared up for new and restain.  Man, that was a lot of work.  Whooie.

finished stripping wood deck of stain
Repeat photo from last time but just so we can compare with keep reading....
But it's done now.  Done.

Or done for now, heh.  Uuuggghhh, like every single damn project, amiright?!  Sheesh.  Done but not quite done.

Is anything ever really done?  Yeah, no, it doesn't appear so.  Alas and sigh.

The plants have become boisterous; I don't want to mess around in them, trample them, or get stung by the abundant bees dancing through our pretty flowers to replace the warped facing.  A task best left for fall.  Or next spring.  We'll see.

So what transpired after I left you?

Did more research.  Go figure.  And more research (deck stripping is easy, heh, my a**) (although I suppose it is if you use a power washer which you should absolutely not do!).  I am a Research Queen, *shrug.*

Hey, if there's one thing you should never stop doing as a homeowner, other than going extra gray over being a homeowner and the copious upkeep, is to learn.  Learn about your house, learn about the stuff that makes it function, the stuff.  Ya know, the stuff and the junk and all of it.

Trust me, you'll be infinitely more astute and prepared should you need to meet with contractor types.  And isn't that a good thing?  Yes.  Yes, it's a very very good thing.

The learning also allows you to handle certain things yourself.  I mean, be smart about it, know your limits, don't think aww yeah I can totally just rip out this whoo-ha and pewww

Learning is freedom; learning gives you independence -- you won't have to call someone every single damn time a thing goes awry.  Right?!  Isn't that awesome?!  #diyrocks

So after I last left you, I queried on a website about using a deck brightener as for all intents and purposes, I was not keen on more chemicals nor an additional step if it was pointless.  Or a waste of funds.

Nicely, someone responded, rather briefly which is fine considering the traffic on that site and the innumerable amount of folks out in the world with deck woes, saying a deck brightener neutralizes the stripper and creates the right acidic balance in the wood to accept stain properly.  If you scroll through the comments, you'll find my questions.

Mmmmmm, mmk.  I'll have to take this person's word for it.  Obviously I am not a deck expert, nor a pressure treated wood expert, nor an acidity level in wood expert.

Whatever.  Groan.  So I picked up a deck brightener* which also happened to be a deck cleaner* too, a two-fer,* lucky me.  Fine.

cleaning deck with brightener
Mmm.  Mmk.  Another step.  Yay.
Based on what I read, the juice was required to have either oxalic acid or a citric acid or one other type of acidy thingie that I can't retrace my steps on, my deepest apologies for that.  Make sure you review the ingredients and don't buy one that doesn't list ingredients as it would likely be a waste o' dough.

All I did was follow the directions:  mix the brightener with water and used a roller on a pole* (ah ha, no crawling around like an idiot this tour, thank you very much), tried to keep it somewhat damp-ish then rinsed after fifteen, twenty minutes or so.  Our water bill is gonna be an utter nightmare.

trying to keep deck wet with cleaner brightener
Trying to keep the deck wet.  Hence doing this late afternoon.
Did it brighten our deck up "right before your eyes," as they heartily assert?  Pfffttt, F' no.  Could be because our wood is still so young?  Maybe?  No idea.  But pfffttt, heh, whatevs dude, I'm not buying the blindingly bright insta-brightener bullsh*t.  This time, anyway.

first round of deck cleaner brightener
Ok!  Let's compare!  This is dry post-brightener, now scroll to the first photo......Uh yeah, no brightening.  In fact, this looks darker.
Well but ok who cares, it's supposed to be all acid whatever happy now.

So then of course I had to wait for the deck to dry again, twenty four to forty eight hours, but then it rained, then it rained again, Mike spilled something doh, spot clean and dry, then it was too hot, too hot, then it rained.......

But then I was cornered into dealing with the insane heat as Mike, Mike went and uh, he uh, Mike bought a (in my mind) ridiculous gas grill to live up on the deck.

Born and raised charcoal grill girl, I still think it's, umm, frivolous and silly.  And excessive.  We have a Weber kettle*......And food doesn't taste as, as, as grilled.  It's good but....But, Mike's happy sooo,   ....and happy is good.  (Love ya, babe!  Thanks for all the cooking!)

But the grill was soon out for delivery, I had to finish the deck.

So with a chip brush,* yep a chip brush again, I slathered on that new stain over two days due to weather-work-walking on it-etc. scheduling and it also being damn freakin' hoooootttt outside.

Whoa, jeez, I didn't realize what a bargain chip brushes are on Amazon.  Wow.  Duly noted.

starting to stain deck with new gray Cabot stain
At the end of day one.  Heh, coulda got creative and stained the remaining a different shade, that might've been cool.  Now that I really see it.
Yes, I lowered the awning to keep the deck cool and shaded, keep myself cool-ish (ha) and shaded-ish, then timed it out based on the sun's movements/shadows across.

And then it was done!  Unceremoniously, it was done!  Just like that.  Bam.  Abruptly.  Exhausted, heat-worn, I proffered a barely noticeable butt wiggle.

Cabot stain deck outdoor wood gray backyard
Aaaand done.  And grill.  And now I'm contemplating washing the left side fence with the cleaner/brightener.  And stripping the fence on the right and going dark gray.  Oy me.
"Babe, how do you like your newly redone deck?"  Huh?  Huh?  Huh huh huh?  I worked sooo hard!

"Yeah.  It's nice."

That's it.  That's all I got.

gray stain from Cabot on deck done
Cloudy day today, sorry for the semi-dreary looking photo.  But vastly better than orange wood, would you agree?
I made him help me with the balcony above the front porch deck so maybe he was overly decked out.

underside of pressure treated deck above front door
Before from below.  Not horrible horrible.  
Because we have that really weird balcony over the front porch, out our master bedroom closet that's accessible by a small window and a huge step (for shorty me) down.  ???

worn out wood on balcony above door
Weirdly it was hard to capture the bad shape this wood was in.
We picked up matching deck boards one day during his Week of Mike off of work vacation time. lucky him, and outta nowhere he got loopy:  "let's just get this all done right now."

Whoa.  Ok!

replacement pressure treated wood for balcony decking
"Really babe?  Photos?  Everything is a blog post, huh?"  "Well, yeahhhh, babe, of course!"
We also picked up this insanely expensive sheet of 4x8 1/4" UV black plastic substance to put atop the wood to stop the incessant drips over the front door on rainy days.  Yeah, it was stuuuupid expensive.  An HDPE panel.  Mm.

UV panel for balcony deck
Heh, so lonely out there on the sidewalk.
Very unruly to manage as it's floppy, warp-y, and heavy.  It did cut remarkably easily though with a lil' mini compact circular saw.*  Like butter.

Which I discovered replacement blades are no longer being manufactured for, that saw.  Ugh that blows.  I'll have to buy a new saw.  Ugh that blows.  Well, it does (spending money) and it doesn't (new tools!!).

Of course Pete the Sweeper popped by to oh I don't know, razz us about probably not doing it right or something but thankfully Mike was below fielding concerns while I was above removing a board then replacing a board and couldn't hear.  Hmph, oh well.

And of course Mike was back at work by the time I got to the laying of the plastic sheet so I of course thoroughly wedged my leg between it and the brick, of course, as I fought it flat and was trapped and flailing and stuck and hurting and instantly bruised.

Manhandled by a 1/4" sheet of black plastic I was.

Of course.

trying to lay panel on top of decking
New boards!  Lookin' sharp!  And there's that black plastic standing up.
But I got it.  Nothin' like pissing me off as sheer motivation.  "I WILL get this!!"  And I did.


And now our front porch is less wet and drippy when it rains.  Nice.

UV panel atop pressure treated wood balcony deck
Water pools as you can see but that probably has more to do with the entire shebang likely being kittywampus, not level and square.
Should I have propped the plastic a smidge up off the wood?  Yep.  Could I have done that by myself?  Nope.  It'll be fine.

Aw jeez, I gotta stain the front porch sometime ASAP too.  And repaint the front steel steps yet again despite doing it every single year so far.  Is there not a paint that stops rust?!  Skipping the Rustoleum this time.

So rolling right along over here, I am.  Slowly but surely anyway.  The clock is ticking on outdoor projects, sadly.  Please, summer, don't go, stick around would ya?!  It's been so hot it doesn't feel like we had summer.  Or got to enjoy it anyway.

We did find a guy to do concrete stuff in the yard for us.  Though now that we agreed to hire him he has vanished.  Which sucks as he was the most professional of the bunch that dropped by for quotes.  I loathe being that pestering, greasy wheel bitch but have zero qualms doing it.  We'll see.

Ah!  Ah ha!  Actually just now got an email with a proposed start date thanks to my earlier in the day nagging.  Fingers crossed, people!!

In the Who's Honoring Me Now Department, this spiffy blog has been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog Award again this year!  Woo!  Awesome!!  Please be sure to come one-time-per-email-address vote (aka use all your email addresses, people!), no registering, then share share share with everyone on the planet!  Thank you!!

And in crazy excellent fun news, you can now follow Flipping the Flip on its own Apple News channel!  I know, right?!?!  How cool is that?!  Massive understatement, if you ask me.  Click this link using an iPhone, iPad, wherever you've got Apple News and be sure to favorite the channel!

Awesome, right?!  Yeah, I thought so.

I'm scheming on new projects so catch ya soon!

*The deck brightener, deck cleaner, brightener/cleaner combos, paint roller extension pole, Weber kettle grills, chip brushes, and compact circular saws are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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  1. So many details! I love your writing style, thanks for sharing this little "story", =)

    1. Just wanting to make sure everyone's got the details should someone try this, right?! :) Thanks so much for your compliments!


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