Remember how hot it was the other weekend? Like 100 degrees hot? Like walk outside and have your skin melt off hot? Guess when we thought it would be a good time to stain the deck.
Oh yeah, that is how we roll. To be fair, we had a deadline since the previous weekend we had the house power washed and the deck stripped when we found out the deck had to be stained within two weeks. After looking at our very busy calendars, we figured a saturday morning would be the ideal time to spend a few hours on the deck.
Remember how I said no one should ever state, “This shouldn’t take too long,” or “I don’t think we will need a Home Depot trip during this project since we have everything,” because it jinxes you? Next time I should take my own advice and never utter those phrases again.
Sigh. Shakes head in shame.
We ran to Home Depot the night before and got two gallons of stain in Redwood Natural ($35 each), more rollers ($6), and a deck staining pad ($7) and devised our game plan over dinner at Applebee’s. I wish somewhere in the all the do-it-yourself blogs they mentioned a hot date is now considered a trip to Home Depot and dinner at Applebee’s/Friday’s/Pizzeria Uno/Olive Garden.
Our plan was to wake up early, get Greg coffee, and start staining. We figured it would take about three to four hours to cover the entire deck. We decided to do the railing first with one doing the inside and the other on outside duty to ensure all drips were caught. Then Greg would handle the floor of the deck since we felt like buying one floor pad. Fortunately my dad lent us his painting poles (thanks, dad!).
The next morning, our alarm did go off but we got out of bed a bit later and were back from coffee around 8am. Then it was time to get to business. Greg went around hammering all the nails which stuck out a bit and screwing down a few planks which popped up. I spent what felt like hours (and I mean hours) sweeping the deck to ensure there were no leaves, no bugs, no nothing left on the deck to hinder our staining process.
Oh, and we trimmed the bush so it would not interfer with the staining. An hour later, we were ready to start staining. I never realized how freaking expensive stain was. I figured it would be the same price as paint.
Add about $10 onto that price and you are ready to go. But you aren’t really ready to go until you fully stir the stain. After my last experience staining, Greg made sure to remind me stain needs to be stirred. Who would have thought I could go twentysome years without staining and then stain twice within two weeks.
Homeowning (well, renting) wonders never cease!
Once we stirred it for the proper amount of time, Greg followed a tip from his brother, Steve — mix the two gallons of stain. Why? We’ll let Greg explain (and enjoy the 80s background music).
Painting time! We each took a gallon and a side (does anyone else start spelling gallon with two o’s? I’ve done it like four time randomly while typing this post). Greg took the outside and I handled the inside.
We never truly realized how big our deck was until an hour and half in and it felt like very little progress had been achieved. Our plan had factored in about four hours for this project and we were pushing about three and half at this point with only half the trim done and none of the floor.
Heat induced deliruim set in when we started quoting Maude from The Big Lebowski and imitating her voice. We kept quoting Maude’s request:
Maude Lebowski: Here’s the name and number of a doctor who will look at it for you. You will receive no bill. He’s a good man, and thorough.
Jeffrey Lebowski – The Dude: Th-that’s thoughtful, But
Maude Lebowski: Please see him, Jeffrey.He’s a good man, and thorough.
As we were moving along, we had started handing staining the edges to ease the rolling process for Greg. We stained about 8-10 inches around the deck and the house. It made the bottom portion of the deck easier for Greg to handle.
About two- two and half hours later, we had the entire railing with benches and edging stained. After quick break for cold pizza and a gallon of water, Greg was ready to stain. At this point, we have gone well beyond our estimated time. I think it’s because we stated it shouldn’t take long. Damn you, DIY Gods!
Much like when washing a floor, you must ensure you do not stain yourself into a corner. Fortunately, our deck had two exits.
We started with the staining pad instead of the roller because it reached the side of the wood better but after 1/3 of the deck, the pad was slightly shredded from the nails. Good thing we bought the paint rollers.
Now if only we bought enough deck stain. Sigh.
Off I went for two more gallons of stain (we really only needed one). I would really like one project which doesn’t require a trip to the hardware store in the middle of completing it. Did I mention the handle on the patio door broke too? It’s a good thing it happened right before I went to the store.
Greg had about a five minute break in between running out of stain and me arriving home. I secretly think he was hoping for a longer break. He wasn’t so secretly jealous of the ice cold water Home Depot was handing out to all their customers.
I handed him the stain and cracked my whip. For those of you following along with the time, it’s three at this point. 6 hours of staining.
Forty-five minutes later, we had a stained deck and I fixed the door. We were exhausted but accomplished a big task. Surprisingly, the stain color matched the pergola color almost perfectly. Go us!
I think we did a pretty good job. Now we just have to work on the landscaping around the deck– just not on a 100 degree day.