We did a butt ton of prep and now it was finally time to get some stain on that deck!
If you are just joining us, this post is part of our Deck Diaries. Long story short, we moved into this house four years ago, never used the deck because it wasn’t safe, so this year we are changing it all. We came up with a plan, pressure washed it, fixed the safety issues, built a baby gate, sanded the whole thing and now it was finally time to get some color on it!
Stain is really important…not just for looks. It’s kinda like foundation that also has an SPF and a moisturizer. Sure, it helps hide the sun spots and the craters left by picking those angry whiteheads, but it also protects from future damage. Same with exterior wood stain. Unprotected wood can absorb tons of moisture and cause warping, twisting and cracks. The sun can do serious damage to it….breaking down the wood and allowing fungus to grow, allowing dry rot to happen, not to mention scream-inducing splinters and structural issues. And they don’t make botox for decks….I checked. So that is why it’s super important to coat your deck with a weather proofing exterior stain.
For our little staining journey, we picked up samples first….just to make sure that we were gonna choose something that would go with our exterior house color and that we would like in the long run.
The colors we picked were more to see the undertone. We chose Behr semi-transparent stain (we went with semi-transparent because we needed some coverage but we didn’t want to cover up all the wood grain) in Tugboat, Chocolate, Valise, and Cordovan Brown. We honestly thought that we would prefer something with a more red undertone vs yellow or gray but in the end, we went with Cordovan.
Since the furniture pretty much matches the trim color exactly, we figured that a darker deck would add a little contrast. Also…it should be noted…this is a really dark DARK brown….like we might be crazy to pick something that dark in the Georgia sun. BUT we do know that this side of the house gets the least amount of sun and so for the majority of the day, our house blocks it completely….and we plan on a rug….so those are all things that help keep the burn off the ole tootsies.
After choosing our color, we went back and had a five gallon bucket made and bought a bunch of supplies. I wish I could tell you that this process was super easy and nobody freaked out….but that would be lying on the internet and that, as we all know, is a crime punishable by death.
The fact is….I got everything ready….felt really good about having a solid 36 hours of dry weather and both Weston and LJ down for a nap. It was perfect….
Until it wasn’t. Apparently, dry weather doesn’t mean non-windy weather….because dang….I felt like we were in the middle of a tornado. I poured some stain into a small bucket….it flipped over…dripping everywhere….including down below to the patio….and then the pump sprayer didn’t work….and then the stain in the bucket was splattering out of the bucket because of the wind….then the roller pan flipped. Jeremy was on the ladder but couldn’t let go because the wind was so strong. Forty five minutes of clean up later….this is how much we had done. Put that angry cat emoji here.
Then the kiddos woke up and Jeremy and I finally decided that I would stay outside and continue staining while he did dinner and watched the babes.
I have literally never been so frustrated at a DIY project in my life. I think I yelled CRAP! like ten times….and then had to apologize because our basement friends kid’s heard me. Yeah. Epic fail.
So in the end, we scrapped the roller/sprayer plan because the wind just would not allow it. And I ended up hand brushing the entire thing.
That night was just as windy….not really that cold (like 46 degrees)….just super windy and I bundled up to continue my labor of love.
I got through with 75% of the upper deck portion that night. I finished right around 2 am.
The next morning, I woke up at 6 am and finished up the remaining portion. I still haven’t done the stairs or the baby gate because our weather has been so wet….so just pretend those don’t exist okay? Also…I haven’t done a second coat….just one…so also pretend this is two coats. Just pretend a lot of stuff in general….like pretend this post tells you detailed instructions on spraying and then back brushing a deck stain….and that DIY with three kids under the age of five and a giant pregnant belly is easy. Pretend that I cook every night and that I have a thigh gap. Ok thanks.
So this is the before picture….do you remember this?
And here she is after one coat in the stain….
Looks good right?!
I will tell ya what…I can not wait till this thing is completely finished and we have no more follow up on this. I just need one week of dry weather. One. Week. And no wind. Let’s make that very clear. Dry and still. And no children. And coffee. And giant soft pretzels with cheese dip. Maybe I should just talk about food….because let’s be honest….that’s all that on my mind these days 🙂 And yes, when I say Cordovan Brown stain….all I think about is Chicken Cordon Bleu. Now let’s go eat 🙂