Ding dong, the deck is done! I mentioned...what, 4 weeks ago, that we'd started some repair work to the deck. Well, as with any reno project, replacing two boards turned into 11 and a new wider staircase and stain and hell, let's just throw in some new furniture while we're at it!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's remember how this all began. (picture me with my best 'thinking back' soap opera face)

Here is the deck on the day we bought the house. Glorious to people with new house googles on. They're like beer googles, only they last longer than just one night. Our inspector had told us at the time that the stairs were rotting and should be replaced within the year. That was six years ago. (Don't you wish you had bought a flesh colored house?)

Every spring and every fall we would put the deck on our to-do list. And every summer and every winter would go by with the same wobbly stairs and rotting boards.
We used the space less and less until it just became a place for the girls to use their sidewalk chalk. Finally after sitting outside with the girls, drawing yet another hopscotch, I noticed our dog (a 22 pound beagle) going down the stairs. You would have thought there was an earthquake on those suckers.

If the stairs couldn't support 22 pounds...well you get where I'm going with that. So the project moved up to the top of the list. 

While getting supplies at Home Depot the fatal words were uttered, "If we're going to replace the stairs let's just replace those two boards on the floor as well." Now I'm not going to point fingers or name names, but this suggestion was made by someone who's name rhymes with suke (Luke, that's you.)

When the two boards came up they gave a lovely view of 9 more boards that needed to be replaced as well. I swear I hear the deck laugh at us. Nieve suckers. Good times. So back to Home Depot, which brings us back to the here and now.

After only mild cussing and grunting the handy hubs got to work and replaced all the offending boards in pretty quick order.

Which ment we could finally get to the part of the project that we were supposed to be doing in the first place - the stairs. Mid stair progress though I realized I liked how nice and wide(r) the deck felt with some of the railing removed.
Deck work makes the whole yard messy

"My dear, I know you already made the frame for the stairs, but...could we make the stairs wider?"
"Sure, no problem."
I love a man who gives me the right answer.
Proof that he was almost done laying the stairs when I asked him to make it bigger

With the deck and stairs repaired and in great shape, it was time to stain and protect all of our his hard work. We had done a lot of research on various stains and decided to go with a new product at Home Depot, Restore Deck Liquid Armor.
Restore Deck Liquid Armor

Our deck is surrounded by 100+ year old oak trees and the poor thing gets pummeled all year around by whatever those trees feel like dropping on it. So we were intrigued by this stain as it adds a bit of coverage from the elements in addition to just sealing the wood. All of the reviews we read online were positive and at such a great price point, we figured it was worth a try.

And I'm happy to tell you that this stuff rocks! There are several colors to pick from and we found the color to be a true match to the chips.

It's important to note though that this stuff is like peanut butter so a standard wood paint stirrer thing isn't going to cut it.

You've got to pull out the big guns and get yourself a mixer attachment for your drill. Happy Father's Day!

Once mixed you just roll it on like a regular stain.

There is a great deal of splash that happens so make sure to wear long pants as this stuff takes a bit of elbow grease to get off your skin.

One coat on and it was time to turn our attention to those horrible railings. Although that wood was in good shape, the ugly color was bringing down my pretty new gray. So we settled into a very long day of painting. every. freakin. spindle. three. times.

But, it was worth it. We now have a brighter, tougher deck who is ready to party.

Zoey surveying her land from the new, wider, staircase. Did you know that sawdust kills weeds? And grass? Great for the patio, not so much for the grass around it.

The thing that started it all, the stairs. We are liking how open it is without the railings but obviously will need to add those...someday.

A little before and after action for you. Before...

And after. We went ahead and painted the french doors to match our front door (black) and added some lanterns from Home Goods to act as sconces. I'd love to have some real sconces out there someday. I tell ya, I could keep an electrician busy for weeks around this joint. (We painted the house a few years back)

The flower boxes help to create a bit of privacy/blockage. Particularly from the dinning room, the flower boxes add a lot to 'the view'.

We weren't going to buy outdoor chairs at the hight of the season (good gracious outdoor furniture is big bucks!) but needed someway to enjoy the new table my parents gave as an early birthday present. So down to the basement where we had a few old directors chairs of all different colors. A few cans of RustOleum spray paint and new chair covers and they look ready for summer.

With all of the work done to the deck, and a weed-free patio (thanks to the sawdust) I figured the adirondack chairs needed a spruce as well.

We got them several years back at ACE Hardware for $19 each (in the dead of winter) and although we had to assemble them ourselves, they have been great little chairs. We picked up the two foot stool things off the side of the road. The wrong color but in perfectly good shape.

More cans of RustOleum than I care to think about and they look brand new. My finger still hurts thinking about all that spray painting. Luckily my nails are no longer blue. When will I learn to wear gloves?

And with that, I'm done outside. There is still a million and one things to do out there, but they will have to wait for fall because the only thing I plan to do is enjoy my deck and patio. Who's ready for a drink?

Have you tackled any outdoor projects lately? Do you wish for a pool after a hot day of work like I do? Know of any massage techniques for my spray paint finger?

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