Our Deck Makeover

We’ve had our deck on our list of projects all winter long. We love our outdoor space but we noticed that in the last year or so, a few deck boards were really starting to show their wear. So as soon as spring started to show, we wanted to replace them, and clean and restain the entire deck.

This was probably the best before photo I could find (ignore Kevin and Gracie) of the wearing boards.

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We identified the ones we wanted to replace – about 15 of them – which wasn’t even a lot when you look at the size of the deck. Kevin was off one Friday so he started and by the time I got off work, I helped tackle the remaining boards.

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The person who built the deck used nails, not screws, and it was really hard to get them up. However, Kevin found the world’s most handy and important tool necessary for removing deck boards. It’s this little guy, and 100 percent worth it.

It took a lot of effort to get the new boards to fit. We had to shave some of them down and be really careful about measuring. We ended up buying more boards than we needed since we knew some would be warped, and just returned the ones we didn’t use.

However, after two full days of pulling up old boards and laying down new ones, we had no more holes in our deck!

Then it was time to strip, clean and restain. We used this stripper, which essentially didn’t take off any of the old stain but more or less really cleaned it. In our situation, we probably could have skipped this step because the stripper did not work for us.

However, once we used this cleaner, our deck started to look a lot better. It looked so much more fresh!

So here’s an embarrassing photo of me but our hose is leaky and we really had no desire to go back up to The Home Depot again so we made due with what we had, which meant I dressed head-to-toe in waterproof gear. I will say that Kroger trash bags aren’t exactly waterproof. I was still soaked. :/

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Once the deck had dried for a full 24 hours, Kevin rolled on the new stain to the boards. Then, a few weeks later (thanks to a lot of rain in our forecast), I came in and painted the rails.

We decided to use the same stain that was previously on the deck. We considered going darker, but we like the current color and frankly, thought it would be easier this way. Luckily, the previous owners of our home kept all the paint cans downstairs, so we just brought in one and had a fresh gallon made at Home Depot.

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It took a full two days to do the rails thanks to all the nooks and crannies.

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But the finished project is totally worth it!

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