Friday, August 10, 2012

Deck Spruce-Up

Our "new" deck!

O.k. I've been holding out on you. Over the last few months my posts have really lagged... for a couple of reasons, the biggest of which is that we have been working on some serious projects to share with you when time would allow me to finish them. Once of these was sprucing up our 12 year old deck.

Our poor deck. It was seriously in need of some TLC - or a sledge-hammer. I preferred the second option but once again that irksome budget thing decided to get in my way. Fortunately for us, Hubby works in the building supply industry. Funny thing is, on may occasions over the last few years "Fortunate" is not how we would have described it! Anyway, there is a fairly new product out there called Encore for wood decks and docks. What it does is basically turn your wood deck/dock into a composite encased deck without having to rebuild it! There is a similar product out there that I've seen at Home Depot called Restore, but the big advantage to me of the Encore is you can make it any color you want versus the limited palette of the Restore. Both only work on a deck/dock that is still structurally sound, though. There is a limit to the miracles you can put in a can!

This was our already rough looking deck when we bought the house several years ago:

The problems just continued to grow over the next few years. Everyday life with deep south humidity, trees, three boys, neighborhood kids and a dog didn't help! But, hey... that's what a decks for! So, out came the pressure washer and deck brush. I think Hubby spent more time taking off any peeling stain and "gunk" with our seriously underpowered pressure washer than he did actually painting it.

You can see a distint line here where he'd made it to as he was scrubbing the old off.

One day, Hubby is going to get a heavy duty pressure washer (wink, wink)
that could strip the deck right off the house! No scrubbing required!

This shot really shows how bad the seats and railing were looking. 

Stripped down and ready to go.

This was primarily a hubby project. We both worked on the first coat, but hubby did the second and all the railings. I have to admit, I had my doubts it could turn out this nice, but was pleasantly surprised. It's still not a cheap redo, but compared to replacing a deck, it was pennies on the dollar. Our's had hit the point that something had to be done and it simply couldn't be put off any longer. Structurally it was sound, but some boards were starting to warp and splinter and the stain was long gone. We didn't want any rot to set in so cue the Encore.

This stuff is super thick and dries really quick, so you have to work fast and efficiently (especially in southern heat/sun!). It layers the entire deck surface with a thick gritty composite like coating without the plastic look. No more splinters or even obvious cracks if you put it on thick enough (and put a few hundred wood screw into flatten out warped boards!).

There was a good bit of prep work, as with the garage floor painting, but that is crucial for how well the end product holds up.  In order to get a good color match to the brick, I simply took a scrap piece of brick into Home Depot and had them match the color in Behr (Chocolate Sparkle!) exterior latex gloss (which has the most enamel/toughness) which was then added into the mix to tint it. On the railings, we simply mixed the paint with another product of their's called Polymatrx that extends the life of exterior paint.

So, for few hundred dollars, we have a new looking deck and you have a better idea how I've been passing time! There's more to come, so stay tuned:)


  1. Congrats! Your joint effort did wonders! ;) Basing on how your deck looked before the redo, replacement wouldn’t have been quite the money-saving decision. It was hardly damaged, and it just needed some repainting. Humidity is a seasonal problem. I suggest you apply treatment on the wood, make it less susceptible to moist-caused damages.

  2. Wow, great job you guys! What an amazing outcome. : ) I couldn’t have done it better myself. Kudos to you! Washing and cleaning the deck before making any actual repair is a critical part of the maintenance process. How good dirt and wood fibers were removed definitely factor in how the end result will fare.

    - Christian Renwick

  3. Christian is spot on! Maintenance also keeps your beautiful home in excellent shape. Great job on the deck! How’s it by the way? Bet you enjoyed spending time on it a lot during the holidays.

    - Kylee Groves -

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