Skip to main content

Calling an end to the endless deck refinishing

There's still more to do, but with the weather having turned cold and wet and windy, I'm calling the seemingly never-ending deck refinishing project "done" for now.

We started in July 2011 -- last year -- thinking it would only take a couple of weeks to take the old solid deck stain off, clean, and put a new coat on. Here's what we were facing.


Some areas were flaking badly. Others had a green film.

We bought jugs of high-powered and expensive Behr deck stripper. It's caustic stuff and we have the scars to prove it! We had mixed results.


Some patches of paint would come off cleanly by following the directions: Apply the stripper, let it sit for about 20 minutes while misting it to keep it wet, then wipe or hose it off. Other areas needed some heavy scrubbing or pressure-washing to get the paint off. And we were stumped by areas in which the paint -- no, it's really solid deck stain, but it might as well have been paint -- would not come off at all.

Multiple treatments with stripper, scrubbing, pressure washing and rinsing were still not working.


So, we tried a quarter-sheet orbital sander. Nope.

We bought a belt sander. Better, but still not great because of nails and uneven wood surface.

What was supposed to take a week or two was stretching into a year.

We considered burning down the deck but could not imagine a way to do so without a) damaging the siding and b) attracting unwanted attention from insurance adjusters.

Eventually, at some point in the summer of 2012, we gave up. There was no way we were going to be able to get the wood to a condition in which a semi-transparent stain would work. It was impossible. We decided to give the deck one more pass with the belt sander, then the cleaner, and then a solid stain.

Short of building a new deck, this seemed like the best idea. Stain it with solid and save up for a new deck.

Even that took a lot of work, but I made a lot of progress in a few marathon sessions.




It's not perfect, but it is very, very nice. Amanda picked the colour. It still needs a thorough once-over for those "oops, missed a spot" reapplications, and apparently I need to finish some areas which can't be seen, but still need to be done.

But for now, I'm calling it finished. DONE.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Gordon turns four and has questions

Gordon wanted to know where mommy went.

Not what happened to her body, but where SHE went.

We celebrated his fourth birthday this weekend with three gatherings. One at our house with his little friends. One at nana and grampa's house. One in Stratford with the Simpson clan.


The big party for the kids was a success. I'd never planned such an event. Thank goodness for the Internet, where I found a Martha Stewart article that laid out the basics. And thank goodness for Party City, which had a ton of Transformers party stuff ready to buy. I wasn't feeling well, but managed to pull it off. Thanks to sister Shannon and SIL Amy for being the Designated Adults who helped in wrangling and last-minute logistics. G thought the whole event was kind of loud, but he really enjoyed it. And I feel like a winner for making it happen -- some of the other parents even chimed in that they now know what goes into a kid's party, since they were as clueless as me! Great!

Great time at nana&#…

Hard to believe it's been a year - but it has

One year ago today, we lost Amanda.

Time plays tricks on all of us. We can think "that was so long ago" at the same time as "it feels like yesterday." I run into this all the time with Amanda's death.

Yes, it feels like just yesterday, or last night, or later today, that Amanda collapsed in the kitchen and died after that long, brutal battle with ovarian cancer. But every day has ticked by at a pace like any other, and it's been a whole year of those days, with incremental and sometimes revolutionary change.

As I move about our home, it's hard to fathom that she's been gone a whole year.

Many of the decorative items she carefully arranged throughout the house are in the exact same place as the last time she touched them. She had the vision, not me, so I've been reluctant to disturb her decisions on what looks good and works.

In other places, I'm reminded that it's been at least a year since something's been in place. Like the fully-s…

She went in to have our baby and came out with a cancer diagnosis

It's been two weeks since my wife and I welcomed our son Gordon into the world. It's also been two weeks since we found out Amanda has cancer.

We went into the IWK on Tuesday, April 2nd for a Cesarean section prompted by an ultrasound earlier in the pregnancy that showed the placenta dangerously close to the cervix. Too close and she could bleed to death during delivery. An ultrasound closer to the due date showed the placenta in a slightly safer place, but now blood vessels were blocking the way out. An emergency C-section was in order.

So we went in, three weeks early. The delivery went smoothly. Our baby Gordon was frank breech, pulled out buttocks-first. I went over and cut the cord. I brought our first child back to Amanda to let her see. It was better than I'd expected!

Then the surgeon started talking about finding bumps. Instead of stitching her up, the team was finding trouble inside her.

They had to page the oncologist. I went into shock, sweating and heaving on t…