Our back deck has been badly in need of paint (or wood stain, actually) all summer.
But this summer in particular, has been cool and rainy - not good for staining an outdoor deck.
However, as we know, weather changes and we've been very lucky to finally, finally have a real summer! The sun has been shining every day for more than a week! I'd almost forgotten what real summer feels like. Shorts, T-shirts, flipflops and taking grandchildren on picnics in the park.
Friday morning, I decided to tackle the neglected and peeling deck (did not think to take before and after pics, but then - who'd want to see a crummy, old deck?).
Following hubby's instructions, I donned his gardening knee pads (don't know where mine went to), got down on hands and knees and began sanding and smoothing the old, flaking bits of paint.
"Don't do too much at once! Don't worry about being meticulous! Take your time!" Hubby cautioned.
Geeeez, as if........
I was not looking forward to this. It had to be done. So I was doing it.
Walked back into the kitchen for something. Hubby was washing the breakfast dishes. Suddenly this struck me as funny - this role reversal. Years ago, it would be me at the kitchen sink, while he was outside preparing to paint the deck.
It took me 3 days. I divided the deck into 3 portions. And each day did about 1 to 2 hours work.
The first day took the longest amount of time; the surface had to be prepared, paint mixed, brushes found, etc. etc.
Day 2 was a little quicker.
By Day 3 I was on a roll. Paint can on the deck, stirred and ready. Knee pads on. Brushes cleaned and standing by. I was sure this was going to be quick. Last day. Let's just do it. I had developed a rhythm and found this chore not all that bad after all.
Finished. Yes! But - there was still some stain left in the bottom of the can. There was no way I was going to save that small amount and anyway the top of the paint can was so rusted (had been sitting in our garage for a year or more) I'd never be able to get it back on.
Well, I could just second-coat part of the deck and be done with it.
I'd start at the back door and work downwards towards the opening in the surrounding hedge. Thought I was pretty smart to make sure I had an exit, since I'd already painted another area and could no longer use that exit.
Made sure the back door was open. O.K. - let's go. I slapped on paint as fast as I could, moving plants and tables as I went, instead of getting them out of the way properly beforehand. I did not know how much surface I could cover with the remnants of paint. Ran into the BBQ. Geeeze, had to move that too.
Finally, I'd had it. Only a few brushstrokes left in the can, but I was done. Totally. Tired. Ready to quit. I exited the deck and ran around to the garage.
The back door was open, but guess what? I had started painting at the back door......
Nooooo - this could not be happening! I had planned so carefully.
How do I get back in the house?
I could ring the front door bell, but I knew Hubby was upstairs getting washed and dressed for the day. I just could not bring myself to make him walk all the way downstairs, open the door for me and have to climb back upstairs to finish. It would wear him down too much.
So I did the only thing left.
Feeling like I was an actor in a comedy television show, I stomped over my freshly painted deck, leaving footprints in the dark brown stain. Ewwwwww - it was slippery!
Turning around, I hunched over, butt stuck up in the air, and "erased" my footprints one by one, (using the very last bits of paint) until I got to the back door.
Once inside, I had to stand on one foot, slip off one shoe at a time and place it carefully upside down on the floor so it wouldn't stain.
It will be a long time before I do that again!
Hornet's nest taken with my new camera, using the zoom lens. No rickety ladder this time!