Monday, May 13, 2013

We Fought the Deck and the Deck Won

Yes, it was one of those types of weekend...  A weekend when we sit back on Sunday evening and say to one another, "what the heck just happened?".  This weekend dealt us some big time DIY lessons.  What is this DIY lesson we have been dealt, you may be asking?  Here is goes, you ready for it?


No, reading the stain can does not constitute research.  The can lead us astray, in fact.  It made staining seem easy (like how I am displacing blame onto a paint can?).  Dang you stain can.

Moving on, this weekend was spent attempting to strip (god only know how many) layers of stain off our deck.  It turns out that even though it is suggested that people roll stain onto a deck with a paint roller, you CANNOT roll over a surface that you have already gone over once.  This is makes no sense to me though because you usually touch the same surface multiple times when using a roller.  Anyway, our rolling technique caused a patch-work quilt affect on our deck.  Some spots looked great and others looked red (we used a semi-transparent light cedar stain).  The multiple stain layers had also started peeling.

Our initial plan of attack was to use a deck stain stripper, mop it on and spray it off with our garden hose.  We started off by dragging out our enormous tarp to protect all surrounding plants.  Deck stripper is some really nasty stuff; I know because one side of my face and my arms are covered in chemical burns.  Attractive.

Then we lined up our chemicals and go to mopping it on.  Also, we moved Chloe into the house for those of you that may be worried.  We may have some chemical burns today, but Chloe was very well protected inside.

Round one was unfortunately, not successful.  It was time to call in the big guns, and by that I mean a pressure washer.  Sunday was spent like this:

Like those overalls?
Note- pressure washing is generally not good for your deck.  It can destroy the wood.  We however, had no other option.  
Eight hours and three coats of stain stripper later, we had this:

Ugh...  What a mess.  The deck won for this weekend.  Progress was obviously made, but not what you would expect after 8 hours of work and $300 in chemicals and pressure washer fees.  Last night we gave up and recovered from our lack of success the best way we know how- guacamole and mojitos.

So, here is our new plan of attack for next weekend- sanding.  Today, I will be heading over to Home Depot to buy copious amounts of sandpaper and next weekend you can pity us as we go at this deck once again.  This better work.  I did mention to Eric though that in the time we have spent stripping, we probably could have ripped off and flipped over every board.  I guess that is our back up plan if the sanding isn't successful...

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