Monday, April 7, 2014

The World's Tiniest Deck

Spring clean up has officially begun!  I wish I had some special tricks to offer you to get things done faster...but I don't.  If you want your yard to look good this summer, you've gotta put down that TV remote, put on some old clothes, pour a cup of coffee and get your buns in gear!  We've been waiting for the weather to warm up enough to allow us to work outside and Saturday morning, it happened.  It was probably below 40 degrees when we headed outside at 8am but that's an awful lot warmer than what we've been experiencing.

It's been a crazy month for us and it looks like things are only going to ramp up from here.  We were excited to find out that our workshop was pictured in a magazine!  Like, a real one, that people actually pay money for.  Unless you're the type that like to read them for free over coffee at Barnes and Noble.  Nothing wrong with that either - and if you are, pick up a copy of USA Today HOME and turn to page 61.  I wish this could be super awesome and I could tell you that we won some contest money for it - but we didn't.  It actually COST us $12.00 - the amount it set me back to buy a couple copies for memorabilia sake.  That's cool though, who needs more money, right?  I guess if we actually had a bucket list and we happened to write "Be in a magazine" on it, we could have crossed it off.


So right off the heels of the whole magazine thing, we get another exciting opportunity that I will tell you more about later - it might be a ways off so we'll wait until we know more to share the details.  But in order to get ready for this next opportunity, we needed to get our patio cleaned up.  I was looking at our patio table and chairs and they were looking a little sad.  We put a fresh coat of sealer on them a few years ago when I was hosting a bridal shower for my sister at our house, but they've been neglected since then.

Oddly enough, this story isn't about our patio furniture though - because that project isn't quite done yet - this story is about what happens when you are going crazy with the stain and looking for anything that might benefit was a protective coat.  Since I had all the stuff out to stain the patio furniture and it was busy drying, I decided it was time to tackle that teeny weeny little deck on the front of our workshop.

It was still just the construction lumber without any sealant or protective coat on it - unless a ton of muddy footprints are considered protective.  We went over the deck two times with an orbital sander using 120 grit sandpaper.

This is post-sanding and pre-stain.  Not perfect but that's where I like to throw in the word "rustic".

Here's the stain we picked up to use.  And honestly, usually I like to research this stuff a little bit before jumping into a purchase, especially since a gallon of stain is kinda spendy - but frankly, I was just so excited to get outside and work on a project that I just point to a stain color on the sample board at the store and said, "I'll take a gallon of that."  Luckily, it worked out great!

This is my trusty outdoor staining brush.  It doesn't look pretty but it really works well.  The natural bristles do a great job applying the stain and the short sturdy bristles make it easy to jam stain into hard to reach areas.

Here I am at the halfway point.  It probably took about 10 minutes, or less to do the first half of it.  I spent more time tugging my pants up so my neighbors wouldn't have to see my back side, than I did actually staining.  Poor plumbers - I understand.  

All done and looking fine.  Seriously, a 20 minute job guys and it looks way better!  Here's a before and after - because we all love a good before and after, don't we?!

As soon as our patio furniture is dry, we'll be able to get some pictures - I'm excited to see those before and after photos because they should be significant, too!

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