Monday, June 7, 2010

Hitting the Deck!

I love our deck. It's a second story, covered deck that looks out over our back yard. The location and roof allow for cool breezes to pass through while keeping the hot sun off my pasty face. I spend hours lounging on the deck, reading, talking with friends or watching my kids play below.

Unfortunately, the deck is old and is definitely showing its age. The red color was peeling off and the wood was cracking. It had only been 2 years since we last stained it! The husband and I decided that it needed a good cleaning and staining to take it from a peeling, rough mess, to a smooth place to relax again.

Our first step was to power wash the deck and house. We rented a power washer from Home Depot for $75.00 a day. After researching our options, I found the best deal for us was to actually rent a unit. Most washers within our budget offered too low pressure and/or multiple complaints that the washer broke after one use. Plus with a rental, we don't have to store one more thing in our shed!

As usual, I totally forget to get a before shot.

Imagine a picture of a peeling, ugly deck floor here. Thanks.

Step two was to stain the deck. Because our deck was already stained red, we decided to just keep staining it red. After researching various stains brands, we settled on Behr.

When it comes to deck stain, price wasn't our primary focus. We wanted quality. The last stain we used went on very poorly. The stain went on spotty and it actually peeled up within a few days of application. I wish I could remember the brand, so we can avoid it forever and ever. Anyway, I happen to love Behr interior paint. It goes on so smoothly and evenly. Additionally, Behr deck stain was only $25.00/gallon with a $5.00 rebate. This was more than $13.00 cheaper than any other brand we checked out. So, we decided to try it out and boy are we glad we did!

This stain went on evenly and smoothly. We didn't use a paint sprayer as I'm afraid that would have made a huge mess of our freshly washed siding. We used good old fashioned paint brushes. This stuff is so awesome, we only needed to apply one coat. After only 5 hours of manual labor in 90+ degree, super humid weather (because that's the only kind of weather here), we had a lovely, if not bright red deck.

Yup, it's definitely red!

But so much more relaxing! Onto the next item on our list!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Slow and Steady-The Kitchen Table

Amazing things happen when you're not paying attention. Today, I stepped back and noticed all the work hubby and I have accomplished over the last month on a very limited budget.

The first project begging to be completed was our kitchen table. I enjoy cooking and spend a lot of time in our eat-in kitchen. The kitchen set stared at me every day begging for help. This was the first piece of furniture given to my husband and I. My grandmother bought this for us at an antique auction (though I doubted it was actually antique, vintage yes, but not antique!). My grandmother was one of my best friends and unfortunately, she passed away about 6 years ago. Consequently, the table holds sentimental value and I will not get rid of it. Bring on the sander!

Unfortunately, I am too impatient to get before pictures, so my afters are never that awesome. Oh, well. Next time, right? I finally finished staining and painting our kitchen table. The last 10 years of cooking, crafts and school work were very much evident. From broken spindles to worn-off stain, this table set needed help!
Sorry, this is the only picture I have of the table. As usual, I don't have a picture without a kid or dog evident. This picture really does show how worn the edges of the table were.

I sanded the table top down until it was completely bare. I added cherry finish and 3 coats of poly and ended up with this!

Look, not dog or kid in the picture (pay no attention to the dog bowl!).

Next up were the chairs and table base. Because I'm too lazy to prep all those spindles I wanted to change things up a bit, I decided to spray paint and poly these guys a lovely blue.

And here is the table set now.
There are four matching chairs, but I use the highchair for our daughter. Since I'm not trying to sell our house, I see no reason to stage it for anything other than our everyday use.

And finally, here is the table and chairs as seen in the kitchen.
Now my beloved table and chairs looks fun and fresh in our kitchen. I searched through the house and came up with the shelves, plates, pictures and cornucopia to freshen up our eating nook even more. The best part? Now, the table is a cinch to clean. Food and liquids wipe right up without leaving stains.

Total cost of the makeover was around $35 for spray paints, stain and poly.