Monday, June 24, 2013

All Decked Out

After several sweltering days and more than a few discouraging words, the deck is finally done!  Okay, well technically, there are a few more things to finish up, but let's not dwell on technicalities, shall we?

So just to refresh your memory, here are the "before" pictures:

Old, badly weathered wood

and broken lattice galore:

After some (ie very little ) research, we decided to try a new product from Pittsburgh Paints called Revitalize. It is supposed to resurface wood and concrete by filling in and sealing cracks and sealing the surface to prevent further weather damage.  Basically when used on wood, it ends up looking a lot like composite decking.  It is available in all kinds of colors, but ultimately we decided to go with gray with white trim. 

In typical Kristin-Lance fashion, we started the project on an extra hot, sunny day.  The first coat of gray went on really well using a 1/2" nap paint roller.  The paint is really thick and grainy- it reminded me of really watery wet cement and it is supposed to go on really thick to fill in all of the cracks.  Once we finished 2 coats of the gray, we started with the white trim.  This was a nightmare for a few of reasons:

1. The consistency of the white-tinted sealer was MUCH thinner than the gray.  Despite all kinds of shaking and stirring, it was still pretty watery, which meant that it didn't cover as well and, dripped all over the place. I don't know why it was different- the only difference besides the color was that the gray came in a 5-gallon bucket and the white was in 2 regular 1-gallon cans, but that's it...

2. The trim pieces had to be painted with a brush.  Every. Single. Slat.  And it took FOREVER.  It was tedious.  Excruciating.  And not just because the only radio station coming in clearly was 105.1 and we were forced to listen to hours of Slacker and Steve while we worked.

3. Prior to starting on the white trim, we checked the weather report, because of course we wanted to make sure there was plenty of time for the paint to dry before it rained.  I checked the forecast on several stations and looked at all kinds of Doppler radar images before we decided it was safe to paint.  But alas, we had fallen victim to what I suspect is a giant conspiracy perpetuated by a band of disgruntled meteorologists.  Within a couple of hours of being done, it began to rain.  And rain.  And rain some more.  And when we watched the news that night, Bob Lindmeier happily announced "Wow! That rain surprised even me!! I didn't see that coming at all!" Yeah? Well screw you, Bob, because thanks to that "surprise" rain, THIS is what our deck looked like the next morning:

White paint ALL along the edges.  And to add insult to injury, we waited several days to re-paint because the forecast kept predicting rain.  Except, guess what?  IT DIDN'T RAIN.

So while waiting for the rain that never came, we busied ourselves with replacing the broken lattice underneath the deck.  Instead of wood, we went with a white vinyl lattice because it is both sturdier and more flexible, and it is maintenance-free!  It comes in 4'x8' sheets and we were able to easily cut it to size with tin snips (which we didn't figure out until after trying several different tools and having no luck). But the final product (kind of) looks pretty good:

Here's a close up of where the paint filled in and sealed the weathered cracks in the railing.

So for now, we are celebrating being done with some of the finest wine Woodman's had to offer and conveniently "forgetting" that the deck isn't completely finished yet. The finishing touch will be to add a hinged door to one of the lattice pieces, so that we will be able to easily get underneath the deck to clean out debris.  But...that is another project for another time......

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