Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Painting the Deck

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!


Anne said...

Enjoyed your saga!
Wow, with the camera. I'd liked the other shots, but the wasp nest picture--really impressive!
I'm in the market for a camera, and am glad to know what you got.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Wow Wendy.... That is one huge undertaking. I don't think I could have done that. I'm PROUD of you... Such a big job!!! I know you are glad it is OVER.

That is one HUGE hornet's nest. Yipes!!!!


joanne said...

That was quite an undertaking...aren't you glad you are done. And that nest..wow...I would be runnin' the other way if I saw that one...;p

Maggie May said...

Hornets' nest amazing! Really good shot.

I thought your story with the paint/varnish was so funny.
You started off very well and anyone could make this mistake.
I think I would have just sat there & watched the varnish dry.
Maybe in time, husband would have come looking for you!

I like role reversals. My family do that all the time & why not? Needs must sometimes and not everyone is good at or interested in the job that our stereotype tells us that we must do.

I admire your pluck and inventiveness.

Shammickite said...

Good job on painting the deck. My son and I tackled his deck earlier this year, on one of those days when it was actually sunny and warm, there weren't many of them! Nice to have a whole week of sunshine, makes a nice change from rain and clouds.
I love the detail in the hornets nest, what clever creatures they are.

Rose said...

LOL, Wendy, this is like the proverbial "painting oneself into a corner" jokes:) I can just see you painting over your own footprints. I appaud you for tackling the job, though; this is the kind of thing I tend to put off and put off.

Marimoy said...

Haha! This was a cute story! lol

Wendy said...

Hi Anne, thanks for stopping by. Hope you get a good camera.

Hi Betsy, oh I'm sure you've done lots of decks or similar projects over the years. LOL! It was a lot of work - but it's done!

Hi Jojo - deck's all done. It looks much better now. The hornet's nest I photographed earlier in the year with my old camera. I had to stand on a rickety ladder, because the zoom feature was not very good. With my new camera, the zoom was perfect! Naw, the wasps don't bother me. I leave them alone.

Hi Maggie, I was tempted to just sit on the lawn and cry. But I really really wanted to get back in the house and get cleaned up.
Role reversal. It sure feels strange, since I've always been drawn to female tasks, and really not to "mens work". Great learning experience, however.

Hi Shammickite, sounds like you've been having the same kind of weather we have. It sure is nice these days now! Your son must have been happy to have help with his deck. It does go faster and is much more enjoyable with two people working.
I am amazed at that hornet's nest. Such careful construction!

Hi Rose, well I put this one off all summer - but the weather was a good excuse. Gardening is much more fun, isn't it?

Hi Mimi - couldn't resist sharing this one.

Grammy said...

Hi Wendy, your photos are awesome. I am so proud of you. Now you know you can do any thing you put your mind to. I have always learned to do things my self as it was faster and easier to do them my self.
If you would have left the foot prints that would have been you signature. For a job well done. That you for your heart felt comment. You are very special to me. You help me to continue this life.
Thank you. Big hug.

beckie said...

Wendy, what a hoot! Had to smile. :) That's a big job to tackle, but I know you are feeling proud now. Ours needs it too, but looks like next spring will be when it gets done.

Love the hornet's nest photo. Isn't a new camera fun!?

Wendy said...

Hi Grammy, I actually thought about leaving my footprints there - just for fun! But decided against it. Aw, thank you for your kind comments. Big hugs back at ya.

Hi Beckie, yes I'm having fun with my new camera! Wish I had bought it in spring - then I'd have all spring and summer to practice - but, better late in the year than never. LOL!
Well, Beckie, just don't paint yourself into a corner when you do yours. LOl!

Ruth said...

That was a big job to undertake! You should have left your footprints just as people carve their initial in fresh cement.

Abba's Girl said...

I wish there were video of your retreat into the house!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Hee! Hee! Hee! Good thing you had a little extra to cover up your tracks, huh? Sounds like something I would do!

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Oh my gosh, I'm laughing over here as I visualize you doing each day's worth of work, and then that final day... the last bits of stain and then BLAST! Locked out!
Love your use of phrases, and now I really want to see the deck... (hint hint!)

Don't you love how projects that seem insurmountable at first can be broken down into smaller chunks and tackled with a Zen mentality? Good for you! You've inspired me on some home improvement things I need to do this week, too.

Wendy said...

Hi Ruth, maybe I should have!

Hi Annette - oh thanks! My moment of fame, butt stuck up in the air, hastily wiping footprints and standing on one wobbly foot while kicking off shoe when finally reaching the back door. LOL!

Hi Jen, well you should have come up here to help. Then we could laugh about it and go sip a glass of wine.

Hi Megan, that seems to be the key for me these days. Break things down into steps and then I can do it. Otherwise, I just get overwhelmed. Thanks for popping by!

Naturegirl said...

Wendy your new camera is taking wonderful photos! You have a good eye! OUch that hornets nest!!
Seems like the women are staining decks these days..my neighbor was doing hers as her hubby plyed the role of Mr. mom!
Wendy thank you for all the wonderful positive reminders when you comment on my blog as I heal..love and light aNNa xo

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
A most delightful story....
Footprints would have been cute too...
Your new camera will open many new avenues for you. Enjoy taking photographs. I love the light in the winter and beautiful "ice and snow" photographs keep me outside shooting all year long. Looking forward to seeing your birds and butterflies...

Beth Niquette said...

Oh, Wendy--I just totally enjoyed your saga of the deck just now! I laughed and giggled--knowing I would have done exactly the same thing. (Grin)

Thank you so much for your kind comments, and for your prayers for my Dad and Mom. You are a lovely person.

Carin said...

Gosh, what a task! Well done you for being determinded enough to start and finish the jobs that needs to be done.

But you must see, it could have been worse! Just imagine you would have used up all the stain and not a tiny bit left to cover your footprints. LOL LOL

Lots of hugs

Anonymous said...

Oh how did I miss this delightful story Wendy? I can just see it. It is a story to definitely laugh over with a glass of wine. Congrats on the new camera, your photos are terrific. I look forward to many more.


Unknown said...

Wendy, oops! Enjoyed reading that!! But the actual time spent in the entire job, my God, you have a lot of patience!

Sorry, I'm a little behind in my catching up! Love your header and the shot of the hornet's nest is awesome!

Beverly said...

That is hilarious. Did you feel like I Love Lucy....
That is what I thought of and was laughing....thanks, I needed that...

CanadianGardenJoy said...

OH ! Wendy !! I had the greatest giggle this morning reading this .. not so much at your situation .. but how similar it seems to my adventures ? .. I am always afraid of being locked outside by mistake .. and having a few medical issues myself .. that by the time I finish my mission set out for that day in the garden .. well, lets say I look and feel like night of the living dead and I NEED to get back in the house with no complications .. so reading yours .. it struck home to me ? LOL
That was too funny .. but you did it girl !
Joy : )