Monday, June 13, 2016
When I last left you hanging, which I'm sure you all were, I had just washed the deck with my gas powered high pressure washer using an aggressive tip and was able to get down to bare wood in spots but not everywhere. I am positive I took a picture detailing this however, I can't find it so perhaps I didn't. Anyway, take my word for it because it really isn't relevant other than in order to proceed, I knew I was going to have to use a similar opaque stain as what was on there before.
I ended up removing one of the balusters and taking it into the paint store where they dutifully matched the color. After I got home, I realized that the paint had probably faded so we were matching the faded color but the wife didn't complain too much so I think it ended up okay. Her exact words were, "Oh, you went with the same color." I took that as a yes, she was okay with the color.
Because the boards were really checked, I opted to hand brush the stain over the entire thing. The stain said to apply it between 50 and 90 degrees temperature and I wasn't sure if they were meaning air temperature or deck surface temperature which are too different things. Here this past week, it was hot enough that one can't walk on the deck barefooted outside of the shaded parts for more than a few seconds before jumping back to the much cooler shaded parts. So I would get up at dark thirty in the morning and stain the areas that got pretty much constant sun and then work on the shaded parts later on in the afternoons when it was a bit cooler out.
The stain wasn't quite as viscous as a stain I would use when finishing my wood projects but it wasn't quite as thick as regular paint either. The wood was so dry and thirsty that it really soaked in my first coat which I think will be good for the long term life of the project. However, many of the checks in the wood were still visible so I ended up doing a second coat which filled all but the biggest checks in completely and leaving the surface very nice looking, even almost newish again.
In the end, it wasn't too bad of a project to do and one that I should have done a couple years ago. Like I said earlier though, I wanted to strip the wood down to bare wood which is a much harder thing to do and I wasn't sure if we wanted to stay with the layout as it is. I'm still not sure but for $80 in stain and a weeks worth of labor which in my case is darn near free these days, it was worth it to give us another few years to think about the layout.